Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

Fun facts from the Braves’ 15-13 win over the Phillies


To put it mildly, the Braves and Phillies played a wild one on Wednesday, with Atlanta winning 15-13 on Chipper Jones’ walkoff homer in the 11th. It was the highest-scoring extra-inning game since 2006.

Here are a few things one doesn’t see everyday:

– Roy Halladay gave up eight runs, the most he had allowed since surrendering nine on May 5, 2007 against the Rangers.

– Halladay was working with a 6-0 lead when he gave up six runs in the fifth inning and then two more in the sixth. He was 107-0 in his career in starts in which he was given a four-run lead. The Phillies, though, let him off the hook by rallying in the seventh.

– Brian McCann hit just the fourth grand slam ever given up by Halladay (Evan Longoria hit the last in 2008). He was then poked in the eye by Michael Bourn on an errant high-five after crossing the plate.

– That was the first homer allowed by Halladay in six starts this season.

– Carlos Ruiz knocked in seven runs, besting his previous career high by two. He was the first Phillie to drive in so many runs since Jayson Werth had eight RBI against the Blue Jays on May 16, 2008. The Phillies had previously been 15-0 with Ruiz driving in at least three runs.

– Jones’s walkoff was his first since May 17, 2006 against the Marlins. It was the eighth of his career.

– 2011 NL Rookie of the Year Craig Kimbrel blew his first save in nine chances this season.

– The Phillies lost a game in which they scored 12 runs for the first time since Aug. 3, 1969.

– According to Fangraphs data, the Braves had a 2.3 percent of winning the game at one point in the fifth, saw that jump to 86.9 percent after taking an 8-6 lead in the sixth, dropped all the way back down to 2.7 percent after falling behind 12-8 in the eighth and jumped back up to 87.1 percent after taking a 13-12 lead in the ninth.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.