Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 5, Royals 4: Jonathan Broxton walked two batters and hit two batters to blow the game in the 12th inning. That, my friends, is how you blow a save. Without doubt and with authority. None of this pussyfooting around with grounders that just get past an infielder. Decisive action brings order to a world full of chaos.

Rockies 17, Giants 8: Tim Lincecum was beat up for the second straight start, and this time it wasn’t just a minor beating. The Rockies touched the Giants’ ace for six runs in two and a third innings — his shortest outing ever — opening the floodgates for Colorado. He got a no-decision thanks to some equally-bad Rockies pitching, but then the bullpen gave up ten runs and that was that. The Rockies rapped out 22 hits overall, eight of which were doubles and three of which were triples. Lincecum’s struggles have to be concerning in the extreme to anyone who gives a crap about the Giants.

Brewers 2, Cubs 1: Castro kicked off the scoring with a sac fly in the first, but no one else on the Cubs wanted to associate themselves with Castro in this highly-charged environment, so he was the only Cub with an RBI. Yovani Gallardo induced approximately 126 ground balls and didn’t break much of a sweat in this one.

Rays 4, Tigers 2: Justin Verlander had a one-hitter going and had thrown a mere 81 pitches when the ninth inning began. He threw 23 more in the game without escaping it. A couple of singles and a walk chased him when it was tied 2-2 and Daniel Schlereth was called on for some reason. He walked another guy and Jose Valverde let two score on a Ben Zobrist single. Seeing Verlander go from nearly untouchable to watching singles squirt through here and there was one of the more unexpected things of the young season so far.

Phillies 7, Marlins 1: The Roy Halladay vs. Josh Johnson battle everyone was anticipating was decidedly one-sided. Doc threw seven innings of one-run ball and Johnson couldn’t get out of the fourth after allowing six runs on 11 hits. Every position player got a hit for Philadelphia, five of them got two or more.

Padres 2, Diamondbacks 1: Aww, Arizona finally loses a game. They were the last undefeated team in baseball before last night. So, per tradition, the survivors from the last undefeated baseball team will all now crack open their celebratory bottles of champagne, toasting the endurance of their lasting achievement.

Twins 6, Angels 5: Yes, the Twins won, but let us all take a moment and acknowledge that Peter Bourjous is one fast s.o.b. Check out his inside the park homer. Wait for the replay that sticks on him as he’s running the bases. He doesn’t even really start running hard until he’s in between first and second base. And there still was no play at the plate. What happens if he’s running hard out of the box?  Two times around the bases? Mercy.

Nationals 4, Mets 0: I guess it was getaway day for home plate umpire Larry Vanover too, because the pitching staffs combined for 25 strikeouts. Terry Collins was ejected when he’d seen all he could stand of a zone that had dudes being punched out on balls thrown over the opposite batter’s box. Johan Santana was effective but not efficient. Stephen Strasburg was both, and he got the win.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4: The second extra innings game in a row for these two. Nick Swisher’s two-run shot in the 10th ended up winning it.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Rickey Romero shut the Red Sox down. Boston didn’t even have a hit after the third inning. And now they go back to Boston with a 1-5 record. Which is one win better than they were through six games last year, but don’t anyone mention it because that screws up the whole panic thing.

Reds 4, Caridnals 3: Joey Votto had four hits and scored the winning run when Chris Heisey singled him home in walkoff fashion. Aroldis Chapman struck out five dudes in two innings of relief work to get the win. Can someone tell me why he’s not starting?

White Sox 10, Indians 5: A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer and drove in four as the White Sox pulled away with a five-spot in the sixth inning. The Indians bullpen and offense have been a big problem in the early going, but Manny Acta is not worried:

“Five games is not going to make me panic about my bullpen, my offense, defense or anything like that,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “We have to give it a little more time.”

Then he can panic.

Braves 6, Astros 3: Jason Heyward had a night, as he goes 3 for 4 with two RBI and a homer. The big guy has started the year off hot, which is exactly what the Braves need if they have a shot at contention.

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: The M’s rallied after finding themselves down 3-0 entering the eighth inning, scoring one that inning and capping it off with three runs off Joe Nathan in the ninth. In other news, Kevin Millwood has had a fork stuck in his back several times over the past decade, but he always seems to find a way to remove it. After missing most of last season, he begins 2012 by giving up a mere one run on six hits to one of the best offenses in the game. He didn’t get the win — thanks Steve Delabar! — but he was solid.

Dodgers 4, Pirates 1: The Dodgers are now 5-1, thanks in part to Matt Kemp and Juan Rivera, each of whom had three hits. Chad Billingsley was strong again too, allowing only one run over six.

Jacob deGrom open to extension with Mets

New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom talks during media day for the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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The Mets are currently enjoying the spoils of the best young rotation in the game, but the big question is whether this is just a brief window or the start of sustained success. Given the huge prices on the free agent market, it’s going to be next to impossible to keep the band together, but at least one member of the rotation is open to sticking around for the long-term.

While there haven’t been any talks yet, All-Star right-hander Jacob deGrom told Kevin Kernan of the New York Post that he could see himself discussing an extension with the Mets.

“I’m a little bit older, so I might be more willing to do something like that,’’ deGrom told The Post at Mets pre-camp. “You just have to look at what is fair so both sides get a decent deal. It’s something I’d have to look into and make sure I agree with it.’’

It makes sense from deGrom’s perspective. He broke into the majors later than most prospects, so he’ll be 28 this June. Depending on whether he qualifies as a Super Two, he’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time after either 2016 or 2017. Either way, he’s under team control through 2020, which means that he’s currently on track to hit free agency after his age-32 season. The market might not be kind to him even if he manages to stay healthy, so it could behoove him to get as much guaranteed money as possible right now. The Mets could always decide to play things year-to-year, but perhaps deGrom would be willing to settle for a discount in order to get them to buy out a free agent year or two. It’s a really interesting situation to think about, but odds are the two sides will wait on contract talks until he’s arbitration-eligible for the first time.

DeGrom owns a 2.61 ERA in 52 starts over his first two seasons in the majors. Among starters, only Zack Greinke, Jake Arrieta, and Clayton Kershaw have a lower ERA since the start of 2014.

Royals, Mike Moustakas avoid arbitration with two-year deal

Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas celebrates after hitting an RBI single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Seriesagainst the Toronto Blue Jays  on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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The Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $14.3 million deal, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

The deal, which was initially discussed last month, buys out Moustakas’ final two years of arbitration. Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports that it’s believed he’ll make $5.6 million in 2016 and $8.7 million in 2017.

The 27-year-old Moustakas posted an underwhelming .668 OPS over his first four seasons in the majors, but he enjoyed a big postseason in 2014 before breaking out last season by batting .284/.348/.470 with 22 home runs and 82 RBI.

Report: Rays having “advanced talks” with free agent reliever Tommy Hunter

Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Tommy Hunter throws to the Miami Marlins during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Miami, Friday, May 22, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported this morning that free agent reliever Tommy Hunter required core muscle repair surgery earlier this offseason. Coming off a disappointing 2015, it’s understandable why he’s still on the market, but it sounds like he has at least one significant lead.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the Rays are having “advanced talks” with Hunter as they attempt to add an experienced arm to their bullpen. Nothing is considered close and Hunter is also talking to other clubs. Meanwhile, the Rays have been in touch with veteran reliever Ryan Webb while monitoring the trade market.

Hunter posted a 2.88 ERA as a late-inning arm from 2013-2014, but he compiled a mediocre 4.18 ERA over 58 appearances last season between the Orioles and Cubs. On the bright side, his velocity has held steady and his control is still very good. Despite the down year and core muscle surgery, Topkin writes that Hunter may be holding out for a multi-year deal.

Pirates sign left-hander Cory Luebke

Cory Luebke Getty
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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Eric O'Flaherty wasn’t the only reclamation project added by the Pirates today, as the club also announced that they have signed left-hander Cory Luebke to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Luebke once looked like a solid rotation piece for the Padres, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since April 27, 2012. He’s undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries since. Now 30 years old, he logged seven innings in the minors last season before requiring a procedure to remove loose bodies around a nerve in his forearm. The Padres cut ties with him in November after declining a $7.5 million club option for 2016.

It’s hard to count on much from Luebke at this point, but he told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he feels healthy and hopes to compete for a bullpen job in the spring.