Chipper Jones

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Yes, I’ll get to the Weaver no-hitter in a minute. But it’s already an HBT top story and we have some supporting stuff too.  And besides, there was some clairvoyance going on last night too, and that’s way more rare than a no-no, so first:

Braves 15, Phillies 13:  Dudes, not gonna lie. I turned this game off when it was 5-0 Phillies and Halladay was on the mound because 99% of the time, that’s over.  So instead I chatted online with my girlfriend and watched a couple season 2 episodes of “Louie.”  Including the one with the duckling in Afghanistan which was awesome, right?  Of course.

So, Louie ends and I go to the scoreboard to see how badly the Braves lost and I see that — shock! — it’s 13-13 in the 11th inning.  To the Roku player!  I turn it on and Chipper Jones is batting against Brian Sanches.  This is my chat log with my girlfriend, unedited. Apologies for the language, but it was the heat of the moment:

Me: Holy f**k, what the f**k happened in the Braves game. I started ignoring it when it was 5-0 Phillies. Now it’s 13-13, hahaha
Allison: oh my god  i had no idea??
Me: Looks like the wildest thing ever
Allison: couple of Phillies fans i know havent tweeted much
Me: I’m hoping Chipper hits a walkoff two run homer here
Me: S**t he almost did. Just foul
Allison: haha aw
Allison:  No f*****g way??
Me: I f*****g called that!
Allison: Hahahaha this chat log better make the blog too
Me: Oh yeah

So yeah. I called it. If “hoping” counts as calling it, which I think it does. If not, I at least willed it. Anyway, the Braves’ mostly-dead third baseman is better than your third baseman, so there.

Angels 9, Twins 0: Jered Weaver: no hitter. Drew had the details last night. And yes, it counts even though it came against the Twins.  The best part of it: the lengths to which the Angels broadcasters went to avoid mentioning the fact that he actually had a no-hitter going until the game actually ended. They’re so cute.

Rockies 8, Dodgers 5: Chipper wasn’t the only old man to hit a walkoff homer.  Jason Giambi did too, and his was a three-run job. Carlos Gonzalez hit two homers of his own as Clayton Kershaw was rocked in Denver.

Cardinals 12, Pirates 3: A really nice night for older, often-gimpy players: Carlos Beltran had two homers and seven RBI. Also, there was a kind of beauty in A.J. Burnett’s pitching line. Just the numbers themselves, I mean:  2.2 12 12 12 1 2 2.  I’m assuming Pirates fans feel differently about that.

Cubs 3, Reds 1: You can’t stop Bryan LaHair, you can only hope to contain him. He hit a homer and now sits at .381/.459/.794 on the season with six bombs.

Indians 6, White Sox 3: Johnny Damon lead off, went 0 for 3 and left early with cramping. Didn’t matter, though, because Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana went yard. Adam Dunn hit a homer too.

Rays 5, Mariners 4: James Shields became the first five game winner in the AL, and struck out 11 Mariners. It wasn’t perfect — he gave up four runs in six innings — but he had homers from Sean Rodriguez and Luke Scott backing him. That’s 10 of 11 for the red-hot Rays.

Athletics 4, Red Sox 2: Brandon McCarthy explained after the game how seeing Jarrod Parker tie up the Red Sox the night before helped him visualize success against them last night:

“If anything, it gives you the confidence that you’re not facing a team that scored a bunch of runs,” McCarthy said of watching his teammate’s success the previous game. “When you see someone go out there, throw strike one, with good location, I think it can give you the confidence that it can be done.”

Based on that, I’m taking the hill tonight.  I’ll watch the Parker game three times if I have to. I know I can do it.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4: Ian Desmond hit a walkoff homer. Bryce Harper went 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI and made a barehanded catch in the outfield after he stumbled. More importantly, the Nats snapped a five game losing streak. Exciting stuff going down in the District.

Orioles 5, Yankees 0: OK, seriously Orioles, cut it out. The joke has gone on long enough. That “hee hee, look at at compete” thing is starting to make everyone a little nervous, so whenever you’re ready, please return to being the division doormat, OK?  Anyone?  Folks, I’m not sure that they’re listening. Jake Arrieta, eight innings of shutout ball.

Padres 5, Brewers 0: Jeff Suppan won his first game since 2010, shutting out his old team for five innings. I’d call it “The Revenge of Jeff Suppan,” but I’m not sure that the Brewers did anything that warranted vengeance.

Royals 3, Tigers 2: Hit this up yesterday. The Tigers are gonna wake up soon, right?

Blue Jays 11, Rangers 5: Edwin Encarnacion continues to abuse baseballs. He hit a three-run jack — check out how beautiful it was — and Kelly Johnson hit one too. Just as disaster of a series for Texas.

Astros 8, Mets 1: Chris Johnson: two homers, four hits, six RBI. This is the Astros third baseman, by the way. Not the Chris Johnson I went to GW law school with and who was a former colleague of mine back at the Ohio law firm.  Totally different dude.

Marlins 3, Giants 2 : Carlos Zambrano shut out the Giants for seven. And, amazingly, Barry Zito’s new marriage didn’t cause him to maintain his pitching success. He walked seven dudes in three and two-thirds innings and needed over 90 pitches to get that far. But then the ninth inning came and Heath Bell came in and he, once again, didn’t have it, and the Giants tied it up.  Never fear, though: Giancarlo Stanton had it: homer in the 10th to win it.

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.