And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nats 5, Cubs 4: Jayson Werth was getting booed like crazy — especially when he struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh — but then he unexpectedly steals third base in the 10th inning and subsequently scores on a wild pitch, winning the ballgame, and the cheers rained down. His postgame quote is the sort of thing that’s gonna come back on him, I think, be it for good or for ill: “Cheer me, boo me, whatever. I’m still going to go out there and play my game.”

Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 6: Oh, Milwaukee’s bullpen, you are giving Wisconsin a sad. I mean, no Shaun Marcum was no great shakes — at least on the mound; he hit a grand slam — but no one called after him could do anything to stop the bleeding. Seventeen hits for the snakes.

Pirates 5, Astros 3: I think the most impressive part of all of this is not that the Pirates are winning, but that the fans are certainly responding. Four home sellouts in a row, and this one against the worst team in baseball.  Pirates fans have waited a long time for a good product. But I bet they remember how to support it when it arrives.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1:  Brandon McCarthy returned from the DL, but there wasn’t much doin’ for A’s hitters against Michael Pineda and the M’s pen, which allowed only three hits.

Twins 7, Rays 0: A six-hit shutout for Brian Duensing. A three-run homer for Danny Valencia. A shattered bat went back and hit the home plate umpire too, but he was alright. One of these days someone won’t be alright.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: John Lackey continues to look utterly lost out there, allowing seven runs in two and a third. Travis Snider hit three doubles and drove in a couple. He must have communed with some sort of mysterious sensei when he was down on his minor league stint.

Padres 5, Giants 2: The Padres got to Lincecum early and, with the exception of a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer, the Giants’ bats had no magic in ’em.

Braves 4, Rockies 1: The last time Atlanta faced Ubaldo Jimenez he no-hit them. This time? Not so much. Can I tell you that this Freddie Freeman kid is starting to grow on me? Two homers for the 21-year-old, who is now hitting .272/.347/.448 on the year.

White Sox 5, Royals 4: Aaron Crow — correction, the All-Star Aaron Crow — commits the walkoff balk. I think that’s the second one this year after the Mets lost one that way to the Braves.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0: Chris Carpenter vs. Johnny Cueto in St. Louis and no one lost their heads. It was a shame that either of them had to lose, though, as both pitchers were fantastic. An RBI infield single for St. Louis was the only run in the game as Carpenter continues to make up for a poor early season. Cueto is only 5-3, but he has a 1.77 ERA on the year.

Indians 6, Yankees 3: It took hitters from both teams a long time to settle in — it was 0-0 when the seventh began with the Yankees being no-hit — but big homers from Austin Kearns and Carlos Santana changed all of that. Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in his return.

Phillies 1, Marlins 0: I said something in the Power Rankings yesterday about how the Phillies would be doing if they really had four aces. Well heck, Vance Worley has been a reasonable facsimile of one in his last couple of outings. Seven two-hit shutout innings for him in this one.

Angels 5, Tigers 1: The Angels keep rolling, taking their ninth win in 11 games. Homers from Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter.

Mets 5, Dodgers 2: Rubby De La Rosa had a no-hitter going through five, but Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy each had RBI doubles in the sixth inning.

UPDATE:  Wow, forgot a game! first time I did that this year. Which has to be a record for me, because in past years I did this at least once every couple of weeks. Anyway:

Rangers 13, Orioles 4: Two homers for Mark Reynolds, but that was the only bright spot for the O’s as they’re throttled by Texas. Endy Chavez drove in four, including a two-run homer and a two-run double. Which is rather surprising considering I bet that, among people who have heard of Endy Chavez, 85% of them assumed he was out of baseball.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.