Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 18, Red Sox 3: The Rangers were definitely physically and emotionally into this game. In fact, they did a Gashouse Gorillas-style conga line around the basepaths. Josh Hamilton drove in five, Mike Napoli drove in four.

Rockies 5, Padres 3:  Jamie Moyer wins and thus becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win a game. And it wasn’t a cheapie, either: Moyer allowed no earned runs in seven innings while scattering six hits. Doing that with 78 m.p.h. “heat” is one of the more astounding things you’ll ever see on a baseball diamond. Congratulations Old Sport.

Marlins 5, Cubs 2: Ozzie returns and … the world goes on. No protests. One fan kept yelling insulting stuff at Guillen from the crowd, but that was probably a good 10-15 fewer fans doing that in this one than in most games. As for the baseball: the return of an effective Josh Johnson (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) was way more important than the return of Guillen.

Nationals 1, Astros 0: This one ended in 2:12. Everyone has someplace to be, I guess. Well, not the offenses, because they weren’t going anywhere. Gio Gonzalez, Tyler Clippard and Brad Lidge combine for the shutout. Wandy Rodriguez was almost as good, giving up a couple of bloop hits to allow a run.

Braves 9, Mets 3: Atlanta finally beats New York. Johan Santana — who at times looked like he was bending in his first two starts — finally broke. The Braves roughed up Santana, knocking him out in the second inning, though they had the help of some ugly Mets defense in the process. It was the shortest start of Santana’s career.

Orioles 3, White Sox 2: Every season the Orioles begin at the top of the standings by virtue of being first alphabetically. It’s strange to see them in first place via their actual record, but there they are. Homers from Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 3Jose BautistaAdam Lind and Brett Lawrie all hit homers. Two-time Gold Glove winner Evan Longoria had three (3)(III)(tres) errors. The Rays have lost six of eight.

Yankees 8, Twins 3: CC Sabathia and the Yankees were down 3-1 in the third, but the big man tightened up. Russell Martin got the night off, allowing backup Chris Stewart to rack up three RBI.

Tigers 3, Royals 1: Miguel Cabrera snapped an 0 for 22 streak with a single and later added another single, this time of the RBI variety.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 4: A see-saw battle, with the Brewers taking the lead, losing it on an Andre Ethier homer in the eighth and then getting it back in walkoff fashion via a two-run George Kottaras double.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: A helluva pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and Kyle Lohse goes 10 thanks to Mitchell Boggs being unable to hold a 1-0 lead in the eighth. But never fear, Matt Carpenter is here hitting a sac fly after Reds pitchers loaded the bases with walks in the bottom of the 10th.

Giants 4, Phillies 2: Three hits for Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz. A stolen base for Posey, which is yet another encouraging thing regarding his recovery from injury. Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs over six.

Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4: Pittsburgh lost starter Jeff Karstens after one inning due to some shoulder trouble, but as Clint Hurdle said after the game, they got it done with “duct tape and chicken wire.” Which, while people normally refer to that as some crazy, lucky half-ass way of fixing a problem on the fly, does suggest a lot of planning. Who the hell has chicken wire laying around these days? That requires an incredible amount of forethought, frankly.

Indians 9, Mariners 8: A seven-run fifth by Cleveland erased an 8-1 deficit and then Jason Donald hit a tie-breaking single in the seventh. Donald also took a ball to the mouth in the ninth, after which he said “Hopefully my girlfriend still wants to date me after getting smoked in the mouth like that.” That’s what she said.

Athletics 5, Angels 3: Yoenis Cespedes went two for four and drove in two. He only hit singles, though, and only struck out once which is kind of sad given that I was sort of cottoning to the idea of him being the next Rob Deer.

Marlins acquire starter Dan Straily from the Reds

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 3: Dan Straily #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch during the first inning of the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Great American Ball Park on September 3, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
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The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.

For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.

Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.

A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.

Have Hall of Fame Voters actually made the PED thing More complicated?

Sammy Sosa
Associated Press
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The story coming out of this year’s Hall of Fame balloting is that the BBWAA voters are finally easing their antipathy toward players with performance enhancing drug associations.

Jeff Bagwell — the subject of unconfirmed PED rumors — made the Hall! Pudge Rodriguez, who was named in Jose Canseco’s book and who had a . . . curious physical transformation around the time PED testing came online, made it on the first ballot! Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, whose PED use was well-documented, saw their vote totals advance above the 50% mark, making their future elections look more likely!

It’s an interesting development, and one I’m obviously pleased with, but I wonder if the BBWAA’s new approach to PED guys, while far more forgiving than it used to be, has actually become more complicated in practice.

I ask this because I look way, way down the ballot and I still see Sammy Sosa scraping by with around 8% of the vote. I ask this because I still see Gary Sheffield at 13%. I ask this because when Mark McGwire was on the Today’s Game ballot in December, no one really stumped for him at all. I ask this because, even though Bagwell and Mike Piazza got in eventually, they still had to go through a lot of hazing first and I suspect, if they hit the ballot for the first time again tomorrow, the same arguments and delay would occur with respect to their cases.

In light of that, what I suspect has happened has not been a wholesale surrender of the anti-PED voters. Rather, I think it has been a transformation. One in which a moral test — did he use PEDs or not? — has been discarded as a threshold question and a scientific/physiological test — would he have been great even without the PEDs? — has replaced it. In essence, voters are becoming “PED discounters” in the aggregate. Making calculations as to whether a guy was, in their mind, a creation of PEDs or not.

Such an approach explains these new voting patterns as well as those in recent years.

  • Ivan Rodriguez may have been called out by Canseco and may have noticeably shrunk over an offseason, but his calling card was his defense behind the plate and voters, I suspect, have told themselves that such a thing is not PED-aided.
  • Bonds and Clemens may have been PED users, but each of them was undeniably talented and, if you discount for the PED use, hey, they’re still all-time greats.
  • Sammy Sosa’s case rests disproportionately on homers and, as everyone knows, PEDs = instant dingers, so no, he’s not gonna cut it.

And so on.

As I said, I’m glad that the strict moral test — did he use or not? — is losing its hold on Hall voters. But I do not think the “did PEDs make him who he was test?” is a good approach either. Baseball writers are in no better a position to assess the physiological and performance enhancements caused by pharmaceuticals than they are to be judges of character and morality. Given the identities of players confirmed to be PED users, the old eye test implicit in these cases is famously faulty (Neifi Perez, anyone?). The idea that PEDs only affect home run totals — and not, say, the ability for a player to take the abuse of the catcher position for 21 seasons — is crude and ignorant.

I suppose it’s naive to expect voters to completely disregard PEDs in their assessment of players. It’s a bell that cannot be unrung. But while we may, thankfully, be moving away from a moral test with respect to drugs, it’s been displaced by a scientific test that is no more reasonable in practice.