Max Scherzer

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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If I missed something important in one of these it’s because I was less plugged-in than usual yesterday. My daughter Mookie had her dance recital. Both ballet and jazz, which required me to sit through two (2)  separate shows. I kid you not: four hours of sitting in an auditorium to watch eight minutes of my eight year-old daughter dancing. But hey, to make up for it I paid over $1,500 for dance tuition in the past year, plus tickets to both shows at $25 a pop, plus costumes and everything else. I swear, I can’t dance a lick, but I’m tempted to open up a ballet studio, because it’s a license to print money.

Of course, even if it’s not always pretty, I do it anyway because my girl is precious and cute and even as I bitch like crazy about how much I’m gouged for this kind of thing, I still have to fight back proud tears when she does her thing and then hug her tightly and never let go when she’s done.  Let no one doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion.  Anyway:

Tigers 4, Pirates 3: Max Scherzer struck out 15 in seven innings. See, that’s what he does: gets totally killed for a few starts and then pulls something like this from where the sun don’t shine. His stuff is such that, if everything breaks right one year, he’ll put together some crazy Cy Young season. But in the meantime, erraticville.

Brewers 16, Twins 4: Jonathan Lucroy hit cleanup, homered twice and drove in seven. After the game he said he was comfortable as a cleanup hitter. The Brewers should bat everyone fourth, really.

Red Sox 5, Phillies 1: Josh Beckett continues to not poison the Red Sox with his horrible attitude and personal worthlessness. Shocking. I almost feel like someone was peddling a b.s. narrative in the wake of that tempest in a Boston teapot non-story a couple weeks ago.  Seven and two-thirds of one-run ball for Beckett. A three-run homer for Saltalamacchia.

Athletics 6, Giants 2: Tim Lincecum’s disaster season continues unabated. Beat by Bartolo Colon after giving up four runs in four innings and ending it with an ugly collision while covering the plate on his own wild pitch. Where is Timmy’s mojo?

Mariners 6, Rockies 4: The ninth inning was shaky, but the M’s held on to sweep the Rockies. Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak hit back-to-back homers, Blake Beavan struck out seven.

White Sox 6, Cubs 0: And the South Siders own Chicago for now, sweeping the Cubs. Jake Peavy threw six and a third shutout innings. Adam Dunn hit a homer. Peavy and Dunn. After last year, who knew?

Diamondbacks 2, Royals 0: I called Brandon Beachy “the best pitcher you’ve never heard of” the other day. How about Wade Miley?  After seven shutout innings he’s 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA.

Braves 2, Rays 0: Tim Hudson outduels David Price. His sinker was working and he wore out the infield carpet with 14 groundball outs. I never thought I’d think of Tim Hudson as crafty, but he was crafty. The Braves have won 7 of 10.

Rangers 6, Astros 1: Colby Lewis scoffs at the DH. In addition to allowing one run over eight innings, he went 2 for 4 with an RBI single. Texas scored five in the first inning, ending this one before it really began.

Nationals 9, Orioles 3: More DH-disrespecting: Stephen Strasburg struck out eight in five innings and went 2 for 2 with a homer. He left the game early with tightness in his biceps. Bicepts. Anyone miss Bicepts? He’s bugging me on Twitter to let him back in the comments. Said he would only comment in ATH and wouldn’t wade into other threads. I’m kinda skeptical, but you guys can offer your views. It’s not a democracy. I’m gonna make up my own mind on this, but your thoughts are welcome.

Mets 6, Blue Jays 5: Mike Baxter singled, doubled, tripled and drove in a run. Ain’t gonna lie: before this game, if you put Mike Baxter in a lineup I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out. I’d be all like, “I can put you in Queens on the night of the hijacking.” And he’d be like “Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself, Einstein? What, do you got a team of monkeys working around the clock on this?”

Reds 5, Yankees 2: The Yankees have lost five of six and Aroldis Chapman is now the Reds’ closer, which means he’s further ensconced in the bullpen what with the fancy label and all.  Gosh, there are days I wake up and think I don’t understand baseball anymore.

Padres 3, Angels 2: Clayton Richard pinch hit and was running the bases when he scored the winning run in the 13th, but that’s OK because Howie Kendrick was playing left field. No one was doing what they were supposed to do. Least of all the Padres, who were taking two of three from the Angels.

Marlins 5, Indians 3: Josh Johnson allowed one run over seven. Everyone who bought high on Derek Lowe following that shutout he threw last week saw him pitch well but still got the loss. Hey, he’s Derek Lowe, you can only ask so much.

Dodgers 6, Cardinals 5: I’m supposed to be a professional baseball writer with a national focus and I had no idea that Andy Van Slyke’s kid was in the bigs? God, sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Scott Andyson (see what I did there?) hit a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh to snatch victory from what, for much of the evening, looked like the jaws of defeat for the Dodgers.

Jorge Posada highlights 16 one-and-done players on Hall of Fame ballot

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada received only 17 total votes (3.8 percent) on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. Unfortunately, he is one of 16 players who fell short of the five percent vote threshold and is no longer eligible on the ballot. The other players are Magglio Ordonez (three votes, 0.7 percent), Edgar Renteria (two, 0.5 percent), Jason Varitek (two, 0.5 percent), Tim Wakefield (one, 0.2 percent), Casey Blake (zero), Pat Burrell (zero), Orlando Cabrera (zero), Mike Cameron (zero), J.D. Drew (zero), Carlos Guillen (zero), Derrek Lee (zero), Melvin Mora (zero), Arthur Rhodes (zero), Freddy Sanchez (zero), and Matt Stairs (zero).

Posada, 45, helped the Yankees win four World Series championships from 1998-2000 as well as 2009. He made the American League All-Star team five times, won five Silver Sluggers, and had a top-three AL MVP Award finish. Posada also hit 20 or more homers in eight seasons, finished with a career adjusted OPS (a.k.a. OPS+) of 121, and accrued 42.7 Wins Above Replacement in his 17-year career according to Baseball Reference.

While Posada’s OPS+ and WAR are lacking compared to other Hall of Famers — he was 18th of 34 eligible players in JAWS, Jay Jaffe’s WAR-based Hall of Fame metric — catchers simply have not put up the same kind of numbers that players at other positions have. That’s likely because catching is such a physically demanding position and often results in injuries and shortened careers. It is, perhaps, not an adjustment voters have thought to make when considering Posada’s eligibility.

Furthermore, Posada’s quick ouster is somewhat due to the crowded ballot. Most voters had a hard time figuring out which 10 players to vote for. Had Posada been on the ballot in a different era, writers likely would have found it easier to justify voting for him.

Posada joins Kenny Lofton in the “unjustly one-and-done” group.

Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell, Ivan Rodriguez Elected to the Hall of Fame

1990:  Outfielder Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos in action. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
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The 2017 induction class of the Baseball Hall of Fame was announced Wednesday evening and we have three inductees: Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez. Raines and Bagwell had to wait a good long while to get the call. Rodriguez is in on his first year of eligibility. But nowhere on the plaque will it say how long it took. All that matters now is that three of the greatest players of their respective generations finally have a place in Cooperstown.

Players must be named on 75% of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballots to get in. Raines was named on 86% of the ballots. Bagwell was named on 86.2%. Rodriguez was named on 76%. Non-inductees with significant vote totals include Trevor Hoffman at 74% and Vladimir Guerrero at  71.7%. The full results can be seen here.

Others not making the cut but still alive for next year, with vote totals in parenthesis: Edgar Martinez (58.6); Roger Clemens (54.1); Barry Bonds (53.8); Mike Mussina (51.8); Curt Schilling (45.0); Manny Ramirez (23.8); Larry Walker (21.9); Fred McGriff (21.7); Jeff Kent (16.7); Gary Sheffield (13.3%); Billy Wagner (10.2); and Sammy Sosa (8.6). Making his final appearance on the ballot was Lee Smith, who received 34.2% of the vote in his last year of eligibility. He will now be the business of the Veterans Committee.

Players who fell off the ballot due to not having the requisite 5% to stay on: Jorge Posada; Magglio Ordoñez; Edgar Renteria; Jason Varitek; Tim Wakefield; Casey Blake; Pat Burrell; Orlando Cabrera; Mike Cameron; J.D. Drew; Carlos Guillen; Derrek Lee; Melvin Mora; Arthur Rhodes; Freddy Sanchez; and Matt Stairs

We’ll have continued updates on today’s Hall of Fame vote throughout the evening and in the coming days. In the meantime, congratulations to this year’s inductees, Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez!