Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

46 Comments

Athletics 7, Royals 0:  Guillermo Moscoso took a no-hitter into the eighth inning . He allowed only two hits in all in eight and two-thirds and, between his last start against the Mariners and this one against the Royals, retired 30 batters in a row. Heck, if a hitting streak can stretch between two seasons, I’d say we can give Moscoso a perfect game for that, right?

Mets 1, Marlins 0: In an unexpected turn of events, Dickey beat Hand.  Oh please. Like you haven’t been waiting for that one all year.

Rays 5, Rangers 4: A walkoff homer for Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the 10th. The Rays are eight seven back of the Red Sox for the wild card and start a three-game series against them on Friday. Funny that people will talk about the AL Central “race” or the NL Central “race,” when each of those have wider deficits than this wild card thing and no one — really no one — talks about the Rays as if they have a shot. Which I don’t really think they do, but I do think it’s interesting that no one says anything. Well, I just said something, but I don’t really count.

Orioles 5, Yankees 4: Mark Reynolds struck out four times and then hit what ended up being the tie-breaking single in the 10th. That’s pretty much Mark Reynolds for you. This game was filled with fill-ins, and the regular starters who did play were likely gassed after that late game Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. And it rained some more, which everyone has to be sick of.

Tigers 8, Indians 6: Justin Verlander wasn’t really on his game and it took a Tigers rally in the top of the seventh after he had already thrown his last pitch for him to get the win. But hey, he got the win and someone will give him MVP votes because of it, conveniently forgetting the specifics of this game. Shelley Duncan hit two homers off Verlander. Which was pretty cool for me on a personal level as I got to tell my daughter Mookie that her favorite player totally pwned the best pitcher in the American League.

Phillies 3, Braves 2: And the sweep. Ross Gload with the pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth to win it. And of course it came off the Braves’, what, fourth? Fifth best reliever? Because you can’t use your closer in a tie game on the road? GRRRRRR.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 0: Chris Carpenter tosses a four-hit shutout. The Cardinals are creeping up on the Braves in the wild card chase, by the way. Six and a half back. And they have a series coming up against the Braves in St. Louis tomorrow.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Arizona finishes a six-game road trip at 4-2 and play 13 of their last 19 games at home.

Padres 3, Giants 1: The Giants drop their third in the last four games. Aaron Harang allowed one run in seven innings.

Angels 3, Mariners 1: Jerome Williams gave up only one hit — a homer — in eight innings of work. Who’d a thunk he would be helping keep someone’s playoff hopes alive this year?

Twins 5, White Sox 4: The Twins scored four in the third — their first scoring in 20 innings — and they snapped a five game losing streak. Ozzie “I don’t think we lose. I think we just gave this game away.” Sometimes that kind of sentiment is construed as a slam on the other team. But since this was the Twins, it’s probably the best explanation.

Cubs 6, Reds 3: Carlos Pena with a three-run homer in the eighth to break the tie. After the game he talked about coming up in those kinds of situations and how, oftentimes, hitters try “to do too much.”  “See, I could have swung extra hard to try to hit a grand slam with two men on, but I settled for the three-run homer,” I imagined him thinking.

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 10: Tim Wakefield keeps trying to get that 200th win. Last night the bullpen collapsed, allowing five runs in the eighth and six overall to snatch defeat. This kind of thing should be more concerning for the team, however, than it is for Tim Wakefield’s pursuit of a round number.

Pirates 5, Astros 4:  Andrew McCutchen homered twice. Clint Hurdle got his 600th career victory.

Dodgers vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: My kid’s soccer game went on in driving rain, as scheduled. Man-up, baseball players. Well, no, not really. I understand the difference (dirt, mostly). I just want to tell people that even though I was sick as a dog yesterday I went out to the soccer field anyway, stood in a downpour and watched six-year-old boys hog a soccer ball. Next time I bring the flask.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
3 Comments

In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.

Andrew Miller for Lucas Giolito: WHO SAYS NO?!!

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 28:  Lucas Giolito #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on June 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Getty Images
15 Comments

The rumor mongers are churning up some good stuff about the Yankees and the Nationals maybe talking about an Andrew Miller for Lucas Giolito deal. It started with Jon Morosi saying that the Nationals were willing to trade Giolito, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball, to the Yankees for Miller straight up.

Taking two steps back, the idea of a Miller-for-Giolito deal seems like it’d be something the Yankees would jump at in a heartbeat. Giolito would, in the normal course, be worth more than a relief pitcher. Even a good one under team control like Miller is. So if the Nats were willing to do this, the Yankees would be fools not to accept, right?

Well, no. Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman are saying that the Yankees are looking for a massive return for Miller, more than what Cubs gave them for Aroldis Chapman. That deal netted New York prospect Gleyber Torres and three other players who have future value. Gioloto is worth more straight up than Torres, but the Yankees want another big package, not just one guy. Assuming those reports are true, are the Yankees being greedy?

Maybe not! Maybe it’s not about the Yankees’ eyes being wide. Maybe it’s about the nature of prospects and how all of our eyes get a bit wide over them, especially when national rankings are released each spring. We see Giolito or someone like him named the top prospect — or maybe a top-3 prospect — and immediately believe they are untouchable or, at the very least, close to invaluable.

But here, if the rumors are to be believed, the Nats are offering him for a relief pitcher. And the Yankees are saying “nah, we need more.” Maybe they both see something the prospect raters and coveters don’t. Maybe, in the abstract, they’re just as high on him as the raters and coveters are but maybe they don’t live in the abstract. Maybe they have the added benefit of (a) experience with the fortunes of young pitching prospects; and (b) a downside risk in loving them too much that the raters and coveters don’t have. No prospect rater risks being fired if the guy they rank #1 in any given year blows his shoulder out. Team employees have been.

I have no idea if there are legs to these rumors. I know that I like Giolito as a prospect, for whatever that’s worth, and the Yankees definitely have a need for young, projectable and controllable pitching talent. Likewise, given that they’re in a transitional period right now and given that they Have Dellin Betances, they could do without Andrew Miller if they needed to. He’s someone they could deal in order to get a guy in Gioloto who would instantly become their top prospect.

But it’s the deadline and people get a bit nuts. Teams ask for the stars, yes, but those of us on the outside tend to forget that a huge number of prospects, especially pitching prospects, never pan out. For all of the hype a deadline occasions and for as much as we see a beautiful future for each and every young hurler that comes down the pike, there are no clear answers about who is or who isn’t being unreasonable here. That is, if any of this stuff is true.

Enjoy the trade deadline, everyone. Just remember that no one knows anything and everyone, on some level, is making a bet.