Battlestar Galactica

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 9, Rockies 1: How Jair Jurrjens continues to win — this was his 12th win — and win impressively without striking out a crap ton of dudes is one of the more interesting little things going on so far this year. How the Braves might do if they continue to score some runs to go with that pitching staff could be one of the more interesting little things that could go on going forward. What’s more interesting is the reason I didn’t watch this one: I started watching “Battlestar Galactica” on Netflix last night.  I got through all three hours of the opening miniseries and now I have 74 (or thereabouts) episodes to watch while on the treadmill in the morning.  That should pretty much guarantee that I drop Cylon references and the word “frak” in every other ATH for the next two or three of months, so like, be warned.

Reds 9, Cardinals 8: A long game — 13 innings and over four hours of playing time — thanks in part to the Reds blowing an eight run lead they held in the fifth inning. Pujols was 1 for 6 in his return from his arm being severed by Count Dooku or whatever the hell happened to him.

Mets 5, Dodgers 3: Fourth win in a row for the Mets.  I understand that my cohort Aaron Gleeman, along with many other members of the SABR Convention crew, were at this game.  Now that I know that they have willingly given money to Frank McCourt, however, they’re all pretty much dead to me. Sorry guys.

Astros 8, Pirates 2: See, the Pirates have to lose occasionally, lest all of us national people run out of things to say about them other than “golly gee, how neat it is that the Pirates are winning!”  Now we actually have to consider them like they’re a regular baseball team or something and not some novelty.  I’ll start doing that tomorrow. I still have a few more golly gees in my system.

Indians 5, Yankees 3:  Justin Masterson had eight scoreless innings before the Tribe bullpen decided to make it interesting. Didn’t matter though. And Jetes got a hit. Here’s hoping he gets to 3,000 on Friday night when I’m out having dinner and drinks with my wife and a friend of ours from out of town, because if that happens it’s D.J.’s task to write up the big “3,000th hit” post.

Nationals 5, Cubs 4: The first eight runs of the game came on homers. The last and deciding run of the game came on a suicide squeeze by Wilson Ramos with Mike Morse running.  There is something glorious about all of that. It’s like, “we go all the way or we frakkin’ forget it. None of this in-between stuff for us!”

Marlins 7, Phillies 6: Mike Stanton with the walkoff bomb in the 10th. Charlie Manuel violated a pretty hard and fast baseball rule here: “never call on sucky, awful relievers like Danys Baez on the road in an extra inning game.” Controversial, sure, because a game can be blown at any time, not just when you have a lead to protect, but it’s unwritten, plain as day, in the unwritten rule book.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 4: Rickey Romero got roughed up for six runs on nine hits in four and a third. Three knocked in for Ellsbury.

Athletics 2, Mariners 0: Guillermo Moscoso with seven two-hit shutout innings and Scott Sizemore with all of the offense for the A’s. Another home run for him. I guess the AL West just agrees with him. Maybe it’s those 2:12 games. They help sharpen the senses or something.

Brewers 3, Diamondbacks 1: Casey McGehee hit a three-run pinch hit homer. After the game, the slumping McGehee said “It definitely felt like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulder.”  The fact that my first thought upon reading that was “yeah, but if you go back to sucking tomorrow, it’s gonna feel like the cruel fates have thrown that weight back on your shoulder with some extra pounds added on to taunt you” is why I never really meshed well with teammates during my youthful forays into competitive sports.  Having pessimists around just really kills team chemistry.

Tigers 5, Angels 4: Detroit fought back from a 3-0 hole in order to avert the sweep. In other news, Joe West worked the plate and no one was ejected.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: Bruce Chen was effective and Edwin Jackson turned in one of his patented 122-pitch blah-bombs, which those of us who happen to watch a lot of AL Central games have grown used to over the past few years. When he’s on he’s electric. When he’s not, there aren’t a lot of pitchers who are harder to watch.

Rays 12, Twins 5: Three hits and four RBI for Evan Longoria. He’s been slumping, but he has some perspective about it all: “There’s nothing I can really do to control the outcome of a ball put in play.”  Hey Evan, Voros McCracken, my personal human shield when I’m in the greater Phoenix area, called and he says you’re stealing his bit.

Rangers 13, Orioles 5: That was a bloodbath. And it was 100 degrees in Arlington at game time too. Gonna go out on a limb here and say that those two things combined for this being the Orioles’ least-pleasant game all year.

Giants 6, Padres 5: A big night on a long night for Nate Schierholtz, who led off the bottom of the 14th with a walkoff homer. This went with his two-run homer in the fourth inning. Being such a long game and taking place on the west coast, I assume this ended, like, ten minutes ago.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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We’re back to a full slate of games on Tuesday night. The game to watch tonight, especially if you’re a fan of mismatches, is Braves-Mets. The Mets easily handled the Braves on Monday night, winning 4-1. The club blasted three home runs in the first inning off of Mike Foltynewicz, which is nearly as many homers as the Braves have hit all season (five). The Mets went on cruise control from there. Bartolo Colon finished with seven strikeouts over eight shutout innings. Jeurys Familia gave up a run but was able to reach the finish line.

The Braves are now 6-19, a game ahead of the Astros and Twins for the worst record in baseball. It’s not particularly shocking since the Braves have embraced tanking in their final year at Turner Field. How low can they go? The Atlanta record for losses in a season is 106 by the 1988 club. The 1935 Boston Braves went 38-115. The Braves’ current .240 winning percentage would rank as the worst in franchise history — including Atlanta, Boston, and Milwaukee — if the season were to end today.

Tuesday’s pitching match-up features Matt Wisler for the Braves and Matt Harvey for the Mets. The two will square off at 7:10 PM EDT at Citi Field tonight.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander) @ Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin), 6:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Luis Severino) @ Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 7:07 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin) @ Miami Marlins (Justin Nicolino), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot), 7:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana), 8:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Nick Tropeano) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Junior Guerra), 8:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Alex Meyer) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 8:15 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Kansas City Royals (Chris Young), 8:15 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) @ Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray), 10:05 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler) @ San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner), 10:10 PM EDT

Bryce Harper signs the largest endorsement deal in MLB history

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper pumps his fist as he takes a curtain call after he hit a grand slam during the third  inning of an baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Washington. This was Harper's 100th home run of his career. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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I figure it’s not that hard to sign the largest endorsement deal in baseball history. In the NBA? Sure. Those deals are insane. But in baseball? Man, we still have major leaguers doing quickie, video taped ads for local car dealerships and sandwich shops and stuff. It would mildly surprise me if I saw a third starter for a .500 team spinning and flipping one of those signs on a street corner near a new apartment complex some day, but I wouldn’t be utterly shocked. It’s just a different set of economics. You can’t really wear baseball shoes out around town. Cleats tend to scuff up the woodwork.

But Bryce Harper is different. He was barely in the league a year before I saw his giant underwear-clad butt in a big glossy ad while walking through the unmentionables department at Macy’s and his Under Armour ads are all over the place. Probably the closest thing we’ve seen to NBA-style shoe exposure in MLB, though it doesn’t quite compare.

It may one day, though: he has reportedly signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour that is believed to be the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player. Terms aren’t being disclosed, but they’re claiming that so it’s probably at least plausible.

Baseball players will still never be the kind of product-pushers other athletes are, but Harper is probably the closest thing it’ll get for a while. At the very least he can be the second or third banana in one of those commercials in which stars from various sports do things like shave, drink sports drinks and, I dunno, flex their quads while wearing compression gear. He can be Garfunkel to Steph Curry’s Simon. Or something.

Major League Baseball may cancel the upcoming Puerto Rico series due to Zika concerns

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Even before the Zika virus reached crisis levels early this year, Brazil had trouble maintaining routine eradication efforts. An Associated Press investigation found that cities and states in Brazil’s northeast ran out of larvicide for several months last year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito are a vector for the spread of Zika virus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Last month we wrote about how the Pirates and the Marlins are scheduled to play a series in Puerto Rico at the end of May. And how, due to an outbreak of Zika on the island, Pirates and Marlins players have voiced serious concerns. For, among other reasons, Zika precautions are such that those exposed should not engage in procreative sex for several months due to birth defects concerns and baseball players are at an age when doing stuff like having kids is a pretty important thing.

This afternoon Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that, while the official line is that the series will still be played, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation are telling him that it’s on “the brink of cancellation.”

It’s understandable though, as Passan notes, it makes politics — both baseball politics and regular politics — with Puerto Rico kind of uncomfortable. And then there’s the concern that Zika could spread to Florida and is already in other countries, which means that the Pirates-Marlins thing is something of a case of first impression which could set precedents beyond just baseball.

That’s understandable, but it’s also a set of concerns that are above the pay grade of baseball players. Personally, it’s hard to blame them for being wary. And this seems like some reasonable wariness, not hysteria.

 

Tigers activate James McCann

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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The Tigers have activated catcher James McCann from the 15-day disabled list. He’s been out since April 11 with a sprained ankle.

Whether he has a position is an open question. In his absence Jarrod Saltalamacchia has put up a .947 OPS. That’s weighted somewhat heavily by slugging and some fluky power, but he’s done a good job. At the very least it will cause Brad Ausmus to ease McCann back into the lineup more slowly, possibly in a split role as opposed to a backup/starter relationship.