Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 1, Giants 0: In 1968, a gallon of gas cost 34 cents, the average cost of a car was $2,282 and the federal minimum wage was $1.60.  In other news, Clayton Kershaw (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 12K)  beat Tim Lincecum (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7K).

Mets 6, Cardinals 5:  The walkoff homer from Angel Pagan in the bottom of the tenth. But he doesn’t get all of the kudos. Some are owed to Jason Isringhausen, who gave a valiant effort in two innings of relief, including striking out Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman consecutively between the ninth and tenth innings.

Rockies 3, Braves 2: Carlos Gonzalez with the walkoff RBI single off Eric O’Flaherty. Why was Eric O’Flaherty, the Braves third best reliever, pitching with runners on in the ninth inning instead of one of the Braves’ All-Star relievers? Because the damn book says you (a) use your setup man in the eighth inning, so yep, Johnny Venters had to be in there in the eighth; and (b) you never use your closer in a tie game on the road because then the gods up on Olympus will release the friggin’ Kraken and innocent women and children will be killed. Or at least that’s what Fredi Gonzalez’ book says, because that’s the way he manages.

Angels 9, Rangers 8: A six-run sixth inning brings the Angles back to beat the Rangers, ending their winning streak. All good things must come to an end. Or, if you’re an Angels fan, all bad things, I suppose.

Twins 7, Indians 5: Danny Valencia was the hero  For the second day in row, singling in what proved to be the winning run. The Twins and Tribe split the series, further establishing that no one really wants to win the AL Central.

Phillies 9, Cubs 1: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins.  Vance Worley gave up one run over eight innings as the Phillies win it in a laugher.  Game time temperature was 97 degrees with high humidity and the Phillies had a huge lead all game, so why Worley pitched eight innings I have no idea. I mean, it’s not like Phillies pitchers have been affected by the heat in Chicago already or anything.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 0: Andrew Miller walked six guys in five and two-thirds innings and the Orioles still couldn’t score. That’s just kinda sad.

Astros 3, Nationals 2: Break up the Astros. They’ve won two in a row — and a series —  for the first time in a month. Jason Michaels with the game-winning single in the 11th.

Reds 3, Pirates 1: Chase d’Arnaud had two critical errors, one in the first, one in the fifth, that let the Reds score a couple of runs.  Of course, when you only score one run yourself, you don’t leave yourself that much of a margin for such things.

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Anyone else getting the distinct impression that the Rays are falling out contention? Freddy Garcia is no slouch, but he shouldn’t shut you out into the seventh inning if you have any designs on contending.

Padres 14, Marlins 3: Not Ricky Nolasco’s night (1.1 IP, 9 H, 9 ER). And, mere hours after I voiced dread over the prospect of Ryan Ludwick being traded to the Braves, he drives in four runs.

Blue Jays 11, Mariners 6: It just keeps getting worse for the Mariners, who drop their 11th straight. A three-run homer for Travis Snider, who drove in five on the night. Homers for Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion as well.

Athletics 7, Tigers 5: Hideki Matsui hit his 500th career home run (NPB + MLB of course). He also hit the go-ahead-for-good RBI single in the seventh. Eleven pitchers were used in this one. I note that because it seems odd to see that this season. It’s far less common than it was even just a couple of years ago. I suppose depressed offense will do that for you.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Runners at first and third with two out in the 11th, and Ozzie Guillen calls for Sergio Santos.  Santos goes 3-1 to Billy Butler and then throws a wild pitch, allowing Alex Gordon to score from third. Ozzie probably blew a gasket.

Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 2: Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks all hit RBI singles in the 10th inning.  Academic though given the carnage in this one: Stephen Drew broke his ankle and Carlos Gomez broke his collarbone. This obviously hurts both teams playoff chances.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.