Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 2, Mariners 1: I, for one, welcome our new Adam Jones overlords. Jones was the hero of the day, hitting what proved to be the game-winning home run and making an absolutely sick, sick catch.

Royals 2, Angels 0: No one did bupkis until the bottom of the ninth when Jeff Francoeur reached on a single and then Billy Butler won it with the walkoff jack off Scott Downs. Adam Jones is still our new overlord, but Butler can be his adjutant general.

Nationals 2, Phillies 1: John Lannan beats the Phillies for the first time in 14 starts as the Nats take two of three. And while I gave props to Adam Jones’ catch as one of the best I’ve seen all year, Laynce Nix’s lay-out-and-slide catch in this one was pretty spectacular too. He assists Butler with light typing and other clerical tasks in the New Adam Jones World Order.

Yankees 4, Athletics 2: The Yankees have beat the A’s ten times in a row. They saw the A’s at the paddock before the second race, outside the men’s room when they placed their bet. They saw the A’s before they even got up this morning.

White Sox 7, Red Sox 4: Boston loses their fourth straight. Paul Konerko hit the go ahead single in the seventh and hit a two-run homer in the ninth that disabused the Red Sox of any notion that they were coming back. It’s not Yankees-A’s level pwnage, but Chicago owns the Red Sox lately. They’re getting so comfortable that they’re thinking about renting some of the Red Sox out to tenants. You know, making the most of their investment.

Pirates 9, Mets 3: The meek shall inherit this game. Jason Bay puts a major charge into a ball but it’s swallowed up by a (a) a giant ballpark; and (b) an outrageous display of range and leather by Andrew McCutchen. Meanwhile, the Pirates score five runs in the top of the seventh inning with five infield hits. Oh, and Kevin Corriea leads baseball in wins with eight. Yes, you heard me: a Pittsburgh Pirate leads Major League Baseball in wins.

Tigers 4, Twins 2: Miguel Cabrera drove one over the left field wall with two on to put the Tigers out of the Twins’ reach. Wait — just got served with a motion by Cabrea’s lawyers. They say that there’s no proof that Cabrera drove it and that at no time did Cabrera admit to anyone in any position of authority that he did, in fact, drive it. Well, crap.

Braves 4, Padres 3: Tommy Hanson wasn’t as sharp as he can be, but he was good enough on a steamy night (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER). The usual bullpen trio of O’Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel close it out. Which is awesome now but will be less awesome come September when they’re all making like Mike Marshall and pitching their 100th game. But as Twitter follower @Bengoodfella told me last night: “I try to be positive about it. In two years, the Braves will have three relievers with totally new elbow ligaments.”

Indians 13, Blue Jays 9: Despite so many runs being scored, there was no standout RBI whore in this one for the Indians. Asdrubal Cabrera, Grady Sizemore and Matt LaPorta each had three, which I guess makes this more of an RBI menage a trois situation. Rajai Davis had four for Toronto, so I guess that’s a little whorish. And what’s simply crazy: the Jays had back-to-back-to-back triples in the fifth inning. It’s not often that you even see two in a row, let alone three. Cool.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: There has been a bit of a lifeless feel in the Reds games I’ve watched lately. That wasn’t the case here as Joey Votto and Jay Bruce hit two-run homers as the Reds came back from a late 3-0 deficit. The best 1-2 punch in the game? Name me a better one then.  Francisco Cordero got his 300th career save.

Rangers 3, Rays 0: Colby Lewis had eight innings of shutout ball. Nelson Cruz was 3 for 4 with an RBI and Elvis Andrus drove in two. Tampa Bay has lost eight of 12 and now have to head west on a long road trip. If that trip goes sideways it could be tough for them to hang in the East.

Astros 3, Cubs 1: Houston sweeps the Cubbies. They’re only two behind Chicago in the Central now, too.

Diamondbacks 6, Marlins 5: Justin Upton will get the ups for the walkoff single, but give some credit to Willie Bloomquist. He was on first base and then, with Ryan Roberts up, Bloomquist took third from first base on a hit and run that ended up as an infield chop to third.  Nice heads up play by Bloomquist, making it much easier for Upton to drive him in.

Giants 7, Cardinals 5: It wasn’t Tim Lincecum’s best day (6.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER), but Nate Schierholtz came up big in the ninth to tie things up and then drove in the go-ahead run in the 11th. And this one had a light delay. No, not a slight delay, a light delay.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0: Ubaldo Jimenez with the four hit shutout. He averaged between 93-94 m.p.h. with his fastball last night, which is supposedly a problem for him. Guess it wasn’t a problem against L.A.

Buddy Carlyle named the Braves new replay assistant

Buddy Carlyle
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The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.

Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.

Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.

Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.

Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery, Andrew Heaney has UCL damage too

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.

Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.

Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.

Willie Mays gets a cable car named after him

Major League Baseball hall of famer  Willie Mays, who spent the majority of his career as a center fielder with the New York and San Francisco Giants, smiles as President Barack Obama honors the 2012 World Series Champion San Francisco Giants baseball team, Monday, July 29, 2013, during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. The team beat the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series, their second championship since the franchise moved to San Francisco from New York in 1958. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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This is not exactly stunning news, but it’s Willie Mays’ 85th birthday today and any excuse to talk about Willie Mays is a good one. Happy Birthday, Willie!

The pretext is a story in the San Francisco Chronicle about how The Greatest Baseball Player of All Time (my view anyway) is getting an iconic cable car named after him. An icon named after an icon, I guess. The cable car is, appropriately, number 24.

Next month I’m taking my kids on vacation to California and we’re spending a few days in San Francisco. It’ll be a shame when I tell them we have to cancel half of a day’s plans while I make them wait for one particular cable car to come by so they can take my picture with it, but that’s just what they have to deal with given that I’m their dad.

Carlos Gomez calls out a hit piece-writing columnist

Houston Astros' Carlos Gomez (30) reacts after hitting a double in the second inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
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Yesterday I wrote about a column written by Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle. It was about Astros outfielder Carlos Gomez, who has had a poor start to the year.

The column, as I noted, was a hatchet job, blaming Gomez for the Astros’ problems despite the fact that Gomez is by far from the biggest of the Astros’ problems. It was particularly bad in that it presented an unedited bit of broken English from Gomez which seemed calculated to cast Gomez in a bad light. Many journalists were critical of Smith in this regard, noting that he could’ve used a translator, could have paraphrased or could’ve done some mild correction via brackets, as is often done with quotes from non-native English speakers.

Last night Gomez took to Twitter to call out Smith himself:

It’s possible to write a column about how a player hasn’t lived up to expectations without being an insensitive jackass. It’s possible to do so even in the sharpest of ways. Smith didn’t do that, however, and didn’t make an effort to try, it seems. Gomez is right to take issue with it. And I suspect that Gomez’s teammates and organization take issue with it too. Which likely doesn’t bode well for Smith getting cooperation from others in the Astros family.