Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

39 Comments

Braves 7, Marlins 0: Brandon Beachy: the best pitcher you haven’t heard of. He shuts out the Marlins on five hits and ups his record to 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA.

Giants 7, Cardinals 5: Bad Cardinal defense and a little more offense than usual gave the Giants some runs on a day when Matt Cain wasn’t at his best. But let’s not totally blame the D. Adam Wainwright continues to be shaky, walking four and allowing six hits in five and two-thirds.

Pirates 5, Nationals 3: Two solo shots for Andrew McCutchen and a two-run job for Rod Barajas. James McDonald struck out 11 in five and two-thirds. The Nats struck out 14 times overall, adding a nice breeze to what was already a beautiful evening in our nation’s capital.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 1: AP headline said this win gave the Blue Jays the “sweep” over the Yankees. Bull. I don’t recognize anything as a sweep in a series that is less than three games. Just one of my rules. Maybe I’ll call it a “dusting,” but we have to be conservative when it comes to broom metaphors. Anyway: Jose Bautista hit a homer. Yan Gomes went 2 for 3 in his major league debut, making him the all-time Brazilian hits leader. Congratulations, Yan.

Twins 4, Tigers 3: I told people last night that I’d allow one exception to the “no sweeps in a two-game series” rule, and that’s for the Twins, who can claim it. Really, it’s all they have.

Red Sox 5, Rays 3: My friend Jason of DRaysBay posted the cutest little picture of his little daughter on Facebook last night with the caption “getting ready to watch the Rays beat the Red Sox.” Poor girl will now never trust her father. This is why I always tell my children to prepare for inevitable, crippling disappointment and despair. In other news, Bobby Valentine used five relievers to pitch three and a third innings.

Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 7:  Justin Upton hit a two-run homer in the ninth that proved to be the game winner. But the best part of this game was when a bunch of bees swarmed the stadium, taking over a camera bay next to the Rockies’ dugout in the fifth inning necessitating the calling of a beekeeper to vacuum them up.  Which is better than dogs, I guess. And much better than the  dogs with bees in their mouths and when they bark they shoot bees at you.

White Sox 6, Angels 1: Wait, I thought Chris Sale (5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER 7K) was supposed to be closing now or something? Gosh, I’m so confused. In my defense, outside of Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, the White Sox sort of bore me, so I don’t play too close attention. I bet if you go back, Gleeman has done 75% of the White Sox posts on this blog. Sorry, don’t mean to seem mean or biased or anything, just being honest.

Mets 9, Reds 4: Saw this described as “the Mets score nine unanswered runs.”  I’ve never liked that phrase. Such run binges are always answered. Just with lots of expletives and groans as opposed to opposing team runs. Also, saw yesterday a New York writer saying that Bobby Parnell doesn’t have the closer’s mentality. But he does, apparently, know how to win, getting the decision in this one. I wonder if that’s a related skill.

Orioles 5, Royals 3: Just gonna say how much I love that the Orioles are 4.5 up on the fourth place Yankees and 6.5 up on the last place Red Sox. Viva chaos.

Athletics 5, Rangers 4: The A’s won it in extra innings. But they should have had it in regulation. They didn’t thanks to a blown call in the sixth where the ump said that Brandon McCarthy trapped a popup rather than caught it which turned a would-be double play with McCarthy doubling off Craig Gentry at third into Gentry scoring. The AP wrote this in its game story:

Melvin ran from the dugout to argue, gesturing repeatedly at Diaz before he was finally thrown out. Replays were inconclusive.

Every single beat writer who was there and people I knew watching the game live — Texas fans included — thought McCarthy caught the ball. So chalk up Brian Fuentes’ Ryan Cook’s win and everything else that happened in the 10th to the Human Element.

Indians 6, Mariners 5: The M’s lost a 4-0 lead in the seventh and a 5-4 lead in the 11th. Carlos Santana had the walk-off single.

Phillies 8, Cubs 7: Closer than it should have been. When Roy Halladay left, it was a 5-run lead. The Cubs scored four in the ninth of Jacob Diekman, though, to make it at least moderately interesting and to force Jonathan Papelbon to come in for the save. Carlos Ruiz continues to be a beast, going 4 for 5 with three RBI.

Astros 4, Brewers 0: J.A. Happ and the pen combine for a shutout. Jed Lowrie homered and Jose Altuve rapped out three hits.

Dodgers 8, Padres 1: Aaron Harang shut out the Padres for seven innings. A rejuvenated-looking Bobby Abreu had an RBI triple and a double last night. He’s now 11-for-35 (.314) with six extra-base hits in 12 games since signing with the Dodgers.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
17 Comments

In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
4 Comments

In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
18 Comments

MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
4 Comments

MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.