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.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

Brandon Belt
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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

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Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

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Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system in baseball

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Flags fly forever! Hooray for The Process championship!

Ah, sorry. This is about as much rooting as I’ll get to do this year, so cut me some slack.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. The top system: the Atlanta Braves. The bottom: the Los Angeles Angels, about whom Law says “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Enjoy Mike Trout, though, you guys.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone. And though he drives me crazy sometimes, Buster Olney’s daily column/notes thing is also worth the money over the course of the year.