Atlanta Braves v Houston Astros

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 6, Astros 4: Chipper Jones came off the disabled list, singled in his first at bat and hit a home run in his second. Dude is on death’s door and he hasn’t had functional knees since Bush’s first term yet he’s still the best hitter on this team.  Tyler Pastornicky hit his first MLB bomb. In other news, the Astros wore their Colt .45 throwback jerseys and they looked totally amazing. Check out those stirrups, dude.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0: Neftali Feliz didn’t allow a run in his first ever — and long overdue — major league start. But according to my sources in the ATH Texas satellite office, he wasn’t all that crisp out of the gate, elevating pitches and the like. Guess there’s more of a margin for error when you’re facing the Mariners. Mike Napoli took an ugly one to the noggin but was OK.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3: Daniel Bard got roughed up (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER). Thankfully no one in Boston overreacts to such things and will give him all the time he need to ease into the rotation rather than freak the hell out and demand that he be moved to the pen. Meanwhile, Kyle Drabek gave up one run on three hits in five and a third. If he comes correct this season the Jays’ perceived rotation problems will be way less significant.

Nationals 6, Mets 2: Between learning about David Wright’s broken finger and losing their first game of the season, it seems that the Mets are not invincible after all. Jayson Werth went 4 for 5 and drove in two.  Ross Detwiler pitched five scoreless innings.

Brewers 7, Cubs 4:  The Brewers scored five in the first with the help of an Alex Gonzalez three-run homer.

Yankees 5, Orioles 4: Freddy Garcia threw five wild pitches. That’s special. Raul Ibanez doubled in the go-ahead run in the 12th. That’s unexpected.

Tigers 5, Rays 2: Work fast, throw strikes. It’s pretty easy, yes? Rick Porcesllo made it look so on a cold afternoon. Porcello allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings. Matt Moore was almost as effective for Tampa Bay, but the bullpen gave up three.

Dodgers 2, Pirates 1:  Andre Ethier hit a homer with two outs in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie on Dodger Stadium’s 50th anniversary. The Beach Boys sang the National Anthem. Brian Wilson was actually there, so it was the actual Beach Boys, not Mike Love and his Twisted, Depressing Beach Boys Tribute Band.

Cardinals 3, Reds 1: The Cardinals are 5-1, are hitting the ball well and are getting great pitching too. I guess they don’t quite miss Tony La Russa, Albert Pujols and Chris Carpenter yet. Homers from Carlos Beltran and David Freese.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: Chris Young with a two-run homer in the 12th wins it. He hit it off Micah Owings, who probably should have been playing left field instead, but then again people have been saying that about Micah Owings for years and folks still let him pitch. The Snakes were lucky the game went extras given that their starter, Trevor Cahill, threw more balls than strikes while walking six dudes in six innings.

Royals 3, Athletics 0: Given the forecast I saw yesterday afternoon I’m surprised they even got this one in. But they did, even if it was rain-shortened. Danny Duffy allowed only one hit in six innings while striking out eight. According to the game story there were probably 150 people in the Coliseum taking this one in.

White Sox vs. Indians: POSTPONED: This one was postponed due to a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. Well, rain, but since the temperatures were falling, it could very well have been snow eventually.

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.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.