Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 2, Blue Jays 0: Tim Hudson allowed only two hits in eight innings and provided all of the Braves’ offense with a two-run homer. That’s not helping one’s own cause, that’s being a one man force eh, like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. You ever see it? Beauty.

Dodgers 4, Tigers 0: Clayton Kershaw made the Tigers feel like their opponents usually feel when Justin Verlander is pitching (CG, SHO, 2 H, 11K). And like Tim Hudson, he had two RBI of his own.  Which is great, because I got into a little “the DH is awful” argument on Twitter yesterday, and every response back consisted of “yeah, because it’s soooo wonderful to watch pitchers strike out all the time” rebop.  Tell me that Hudson and Kershaw driving in runs on nights where they dominated hitters wasn’t nifty as all get-out. And if your response is “well, that rarely happens,” I’ll direct you to books which set forth arguments about how value is inherently a function of an item’s rarity.

Yankees 5, Reds 3: Given that the Yankees jumped out for four runs in the first off Travis Wood, it was not much of a contest. Until the ninth anyway, when Joe Girardi had to use three pitchers — including Mariano Rivera — to nail down what began as a 5-1 lead. Well, he went with three pitchers. Whether he really had to use three is doubtful, given that he pulled Luis Ayala after he faced one batter and gave up a single and then pulled Boone Logan after he faced one batter and hit him.  Neither of those guys could have rallied to protect a four-run lead? You had to use Mo there? Whatever, Joe.

Orioles 8, Pirates 3:  Nick Markakis had three hits and Jake Arrieta won his ninth. Arrieta got a hit too, so viva interleague play.  His counterpart, Charlie Morton, gave up six runs on eight hits in two innings (plus an unearned run). For the month of June he’s 2-2 with an 8.50 ERA, so yeah, I think we can drop those Roy Halladay comparisons any time now.

Rockies 8, Indians 7:  Jason Giambi just killed a ball off Fausto Carmona in the sixth inning. Reader Brandon Fischer tweeted me this during the game: “Is there a number one starting pitcher worst than Fausto Carmona in the Majors right now?”  Hurm. Hard to limit it to merely “number one starting pitchers,” as Fausto has the worst ERA among all qualifying starters in baseball at the moment.

Cubs 6, White Sox 3: Starlin Castro brought the Cubs back from a 3-0 deficit via an RBI single and a homer and then Carlos Pena iced it with a three run homer. Strong outing for Carlos Zambrano who was shaky in the first inning but then sucked it up and threw 115 pitches over eight innings.

Red Sox 14, Padres 5: Boston is just toying with people right now. It was tied 3-3 before the Sox broke out for a a ten run inning in the seventh. Adrian Gonzalez now has 67 RBI, knocking in three against his old mates. And he’s hitting .353. If you’re the Padres it’s like going to a party, seeing your ex-girlfriend there, noticing that she looks amazingly hot and then watching as she does a freakin’ poll dance in front of everyone, and then tells you that you need to leave the room now.

Rangers 8, Astros 3: It was 7-0 by the end of three and, with all due respect, this isn’t exactly a dangerous Astros team that will shut you down and then strike for the comeback, so that was that. Josh Hamilton hit a two-run triple and Adrian Beltre had two RBI singles. The Astros are 20 games under .500. At least that’s how we commonly refer to it. Fact is, though, that if the results of ten of their games were reversed, they’d be at .500, so how can they be “20 games under .500?”  Hmm. I’ll have to ponder that one a bit.

Rays 8, Brewers 4: Six scoreless innings for Jeff Niemann, who was later aided by a four-run seventh inning and an Evan Longoria three-run homer in the eighth.  It probably ended up not mattering, but Nyjer Morgan was hit by a pitch when it was a 1-0 game, but ordered back to the box by umpire Bob Davidson who claimed he stuck his elbow out, trying to force the contact. Which was total baloney-fueled God-complex stuff on Davidson’s part and which led to manager Ron Roenicke and hitting coach Dale Sveum getting ejected.

Angels 2, Marlins 1: The Jack McKeon era — Mark II — begins dubiously. Jered Weaver gave up the lone run in seven innings. So too did Anibal Sanchez, but his pen allowed a second run to score in the eighth. The benched Hanley Ramirez did manage a pinch hitting appearance. This was the 11th straight loss in a one-run game for the Feesh.

Report: Phillies close to signing Joaquin Benoit

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches during the seventh inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim  at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 15, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.

Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.

Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.

The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.

Report: The new collective bargaining agreement reduces players’ meal money

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.

Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.

Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.

EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.