Florida Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Dodgers 8, Marlins 0: Clayton Kershaw was probably happy to have all of that offense behind him, but he sure as hell didn’t need it (CG SHO 2 H, 10K).

Rays 7, Indians 0: Actually, the same can be said for Jeremy Hellickson (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6K). Evan Longoria was 2 for 3 with two walks from the leadoff spot. It was his second day in a row there and his second day of getting on base like it’s going out of style. Which, given the depressed offensive numbers around baseball this year, it kind of is. Interesting.

Red Sox 4, Tigers 3; Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: A ninth-inning pinch hit homer by Big Papi wins the first of the twin bill. That was the second time Oritz had faced Jose Valverde in his career, and it was the second time he went long off him. In the nightcap it was all Justin Verlander, with the Tigers’ ace throwing 132 pitchers in seven and two-thirds. But (a) he didn’t allow a run; and (b) he was still throwing nearly 100 m.p.h. when he finally left the game. I think paying attention to pitch counts has saved a lot of guys’ arms. But I also think that there will always be a handful of guys who would have been just fine had they been handled like they were 1970s starters anyway. Verlander is one of those guys.

Rangers 7, Royals 6: Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria each allowed the other team to take the lead in the ninth, but since the Rangers batted last, it was a bit more problematic that Soria did it. And check out the play at the plate that ended the game. Did Brayan Pena have images of Buster Posey dancing in his head? Is not trying to slam into the catcher the new inefficiency? Or are we trying to hard to graft narratives onto what are essentially random events?

Brewers 6, Giants 0: Sometimes someone does a way better job of distilling a game’s essence than I do. Here’s a tweet from Andrew Baggarly yesterday: “Well, this game is a turd sandwich for the Giants.” Eight shutout innings for Yovanni Gallardo. That’s twelve earned runs in just over 19 innings for Matt Cain since he agreed to be interviewed on HBT Daily that time.

Braves 2, Reds 1: Martin Prado hit a two-run homer to put the Braves up in the sixth and threw out the would-be tying run at the plate in the top of the eighth. Well, he was credited with throwing out the would-be tying run, but the replay showed pretty clearly that David Ross didn’t get the tag on Paul Janish before he crossed the plate. In this case the lack of replay helped my rooting interest, but I don’t care, we really do need replay to correct these kinds of calls. TV viewers knew within 20 seconds that the call was wrong. An ump in the booth could have known just as quickly, if not quicker given that he wouldn’t be sifting through reaction shots. Anyway, another solid outing for Jair Jurrjens (8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).

Cardinals 4, Rockies 3: Seven wins for Kyle Lohse as the Cards finish up their nine-game road trip with a 6-3 mark. Of course six of those games came against the Royals and the Padres, but hey, they’re winnin’ the ones they’re supposed to win.

Angels 6, Twins 5: I can’t decide if I’m more impressed by Mark Trumbo’s 436-foot home run or by the fact that Russell Branyan stole a base.  Well, I suppose Branyan does average one a year or so for his career, so maybe this was inevitable.

Athletics 6, Orioles 4: The Athletics give Zach Britton his worst day as a major league starter, touching him up for six runs on ten hits. More significantly, the A’s see the return of Andrew Bailey, who pitched a perfect seventh inning and allowed Bob Geren to do what a lot of people figured he could do this year, trotting out Bailey, Fuentes, Balfour and Breslow one after another (though not necessarily in that order).

Diamondbacks 4, Astros 2: J.A. Happ was pretty solid and hit a home run to — wait for it — help his own cause, but the Dbacks rallied because they are now apparently invincible. Really, since the five-game losing streak they had in the middle of May, the Diamondbacks are 14-2. And now they are alone in first place at the top of the NL West.

Yankees 7, Mariners 1: Andruw Jones (a three-run double in the third) and CC Sabathia (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) help the Yankees avoid the sweep.

Padres 5, Nationals 4: Given that they had only scored 15 runs in their previous 11 games, five runs for the Padres is pretty impressive. And they needed all five. The last one came on a ninth-inning infield single by Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick had three hits and two RBI and Brad Hawpe had two hits and two RBI.  The Nats have lost nine of 11.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: Vance Worley just didn’t have it yesterday, so Charlie Manuel decided to send out Kendrick, Romero and Baez after him, which is basically the “let us live to fight another day” pupu platter.  Three RBI for Josh Thole, who also had three hits. Four hits for Jose Reyes. Seventeen in all for the Metropolitans.

Blue Jays 13, White Sox 4: This game was basically over once Aaron Hill hit a grand slam in the first inning. A 4 for 5, 3 RBI day for Corey Patterson because the world has gone crazy or something.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2: Rain delay: 2:34. Game time: 2:36. Cool. A nice start from Ryan Demptser and solid relief from Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol.

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.