Luis Perez

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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This edition of And That Happened is being written in a New York City hotel room, so if it takes on a tone of fright and confusion at the horrifying, dystopian cacophony that is New York, well, that’s why:

Blue Jays 1, Athletics 0: Luis Perez makes his first big league start and holds the A’s to one hit over six innings. “Hey, skip? Am I doin’ this right?”  “Sure, Luis. Just swell.”

Tigers 8, Indians 7: Austin Jackson = Gandalf. Kosuke Fukodome = Balrog. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!  So, Cleveland is dead now, right?

Nationals 5, Phillies 4: The walkoff HBP. After a weekend of late losses and hours upon hours of rain delays, I’m guessing that the Phillies are happy to get the hell out of Washington.

Rockies 5, Dodgers 3: I love how no one on the planet cared that the Rockies hadn’t won on a bunch of Sundays in a row until last week and then, the very next Sunday, they win.

Padres 4, Marlins 3: Will Venable hit a bases loaded single to win it and to gain the sweep in walkoff fashion.  Of course he wouldn’t have been able to do that if Heath Bell hadn’t blown a save. On the same day that Trevor Hoffman’s number was retired no less. Maybe Hoffman should have pitched.

Giants 6, Astros 4: Pablo Sandoval hits a two-run job in the 11th to salvage one against the Astros. The fact that they had to salvage one against the Astros is kind of sad, of course.

Angels 7, Orioles 1: Jerome Williams — Really, Jerome Williams — shut the O’s down. It was his first win in the bigs since September 2005. My son was two months old then. He’s starting first grade tomorrow.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: The Reds faced Joel Hanrahan three times over the weekend and they beat him twice.

Yankees 3, Twins 0: Curtis Granderson hit an inside the park homer which, given that the Twins’ right and centerfielders lined up poorly to play the carom off the wall, and given that the relay throw was candy-armed into home, wasn’t quite as impressive as one might think. I mean, great for Granderson, but like so many inside the parkers, it was built on a foundation of defense that was poor enough to allow the play but not poor enough to count for an error.

Red Sox 6, Royals 1: First sentence of the Associated Press recap: ” Jon Lester loves to face the Kansas City Royals.”  Well, duh. Who doesn’t?

Braves 1, Diamondbacks 0: The Braves sweep the Diamondbacks. Tim Hudson, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combine for the five-hit shutout. Fredi Gonzalez called a silly squeeze play once that backfired, but since the Braves won I suppose we’re not supposed to care about such things. Can’t wait until he does it against the Brewers in the NLDS.

White Sox 10, Rangers 0: Gavin Floyd was stingy and the White Sox pounded the Rangers. Here is as good a place as any to mention that I stupidly left the umbrella I brought with me to New York in my hotel room when I left to go out yesterday afternoon. When I emerged from the building I was in, it was pouring, and the hotel was just as far from where I was as was the restaurant I was going to, so I had little choice but to buy one of those cheapo umbrellas from a street vendor. It lasted almost two blocks before getting soaked through.  In other news, you can count on me to do one really dumbass newbie out-of-his-depth thing on every trip to New York. Maybe next time I’ll take an $80 gypsy cab ride from the airport or something. If you have any suggestions of ways I can make my life harder for myself when I leave my safe little Midwestern basement, please, leave them in the comments.

Brewers 6, Mets 2: One of the more pointed sentences you’ll read in an AP recap:

“Milwaukee won three straight in Queens to send the Mets six games under .500 for the first time since May 4 with a thorough display of superior baseball this weekend.”

Rays 8, Mariners 7: Johnny Damon had what he thought was a grand slam taken off the board thanks to a video replay in the seventh inning, but then hit a no-doubt walkoff homer in the ninth. Joe Girardi protested both calls. It was really strange.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 2: Rodrigo Lopez was hit so hard his kids are gonna come out shakin’.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.