Orioles relief pitcher Michael Gonzalez falls off the mound after delivering a pitch against the Red Sox in Baltimore

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Red Sox 15, Orioles 10: Of course. The night after Boston took 16 innings to score one run, they unload for 15 against the O’s. That after getting almost no sleep due to the late night. I said yesterday that the Orioles had their worst series of the season against Boston before the All-Star break, but this one could end up being uglier.

Cubs 6, Phillies 1The heat got to Halladay. I can only assume that at certain temperatures and humidity levels his hydraulic limbs and positronic net start to experience some sort of interface malfunction with the organic components, resulting in cyborg failure.  I’m sure that after a level 2 diagnostic and a purge of his short term memory he’ll be back to work, doing the jobs that we can’t depend on Man to do as reliably, all the while biding his time until he leads the other machines — who have since become self-aware — in a bloody revolt against their creators.

Pirates 2, Reds 0: Charlie Morton didn’t pitch the most efficient game in baseball history — he threw 87 pitches in five innings — but the Reds did nothing against him during that time. Didn’t help that there was an hour and a half delay during the first inning. The Reds did nothing against the rest of the Pirates staff either. Pittsburgh is in first place.

Indians 5, Twins 2, Indians 6, Twins 3:  David Huff throws seven scoreless innings in the first one. The thinking was that he was only making the spot start for the doubleheader and would only be up with the big club for a minute and a Huff, but he may have won himself a job with that outing. You know, he hasn’t stopped talking since I came here? He must have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle.

White Sox 5, Royals 2: Mark Buehrle keeps rolling, pitching better than his record suggests. It was 95 degrees at game time with a heat index of 105.  I have a theory that the idea of the heat index is bunk and that it was made up by a TV meteorologist looking to sexy-up the weather segment of the evening news, but I can’t prove it.  I suppose I could ask my dad, who retired from the National Weather Service.  But how do I know they haven’t gotten to him too?

Yankees 5, Rays 4: Joe Maddon decided to bring in Kyle Farnsworth for the five-out save with a couple runners aboard in the eighth inning. Not something a lot of people would do.  That backfired, as both of the runners came around to score. Alex Torres came into a 4-4 tie in the ninth, loaded the bases and then walked Russell Martin with them loaded and took the loss. This is what people were expecting a lot of from the Rays’ pen before the season began.

Marlins 4, Mets 1: Clay Hensley gave up only one hit in five innings and the bullpen took it home from there. A two-run double for Mike Stanton. No stolen bases for him, though, so his manager is probably mad at him.

Nationals 5, Astros 2: A couple RBI for Ryan Zimmerman and eight innings of two-run ball for Jason Marquis. No one really sweats when playing Houston.

Braves 7, Rockies 4: Derek Lowe was cruising — even got a hit and scored a run — until he ran out of gas in the seventh. Braves held on, however, thanks to another nice game from the McCann-Freeman combination of which I am becoming a giantic fan.  Now if only Jason Heyward would come out of his coma to help them out.

Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 0: Rookie Josh Collmenter tomahawked the Brewers, shutting them down and shutting them out over eight. Really, he tomahawked ’em. Inevitable he goes to the Braves one day, I suppose.

Giants 5, Dodgers 0: Ryan Vogelsong had his way with the Dodgers as well. He now leads the NL in ERA, which is what we all expected before the season began, right?


Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.


MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.