Kansas City Royals v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 8, Royals 3: Alex Rodriguez would like the New York sporting press to write more career obituaries for him. It seems to suit him nicely (2 for 4, 2 HR, 3 RBI).

Reds 2, Braves 1: Todd Frazier hit a walkoff homer. It came off  Cristhian Martinez because, as everyone knows, Fredi Gonzalez would be drummed out of the managers’ guild if he had actually used his best reliever in a tie game in the ninth inning. The Reds are surging, winners of five straight.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 4: Another walkoff, this one a double from B.J. Upton (a.k.a. “Flash”)  in the 11th.

Mets 3, Pirates 1: Jon Niese allowed one run in 7 and two-thirds, bouncing back from some craptastic starts.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Daniel Nava and Kelly Shoppach hit sixth-inning homers, breaking what had been a 2-2 tie. The Sox are back to .500 and they took two of three from the first place O’s.  Now, if form holds, they’ll cruise into first place for the bulk of the summer and then everyone can write some “will they collapse again?” stories in late August.  Nice to have the summer planned out like that, yes?

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Cole Hamels was on-point, taking a no-hitter into the sixth, shutting out the Nats for eight innings and ending the Phillies losing skid. And no, no one threw at anyone or otherwise acted like a jackwagon.

Cardinals 6, Padres 3: On a night when I watched the Cardinals double-A team beat the Padres double-A team, the Cardinals major league team beat the Padres, well, sure, I suppose we can call them a major league team. They had a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but that was all they’d get. Carlos Beltran hit his 14th home.

Diamondbacks 11, Dodgers 4: If you have to end your winning streak, end it big. The Dbacks had 14 hits. Willie Bloomquist of all people had three. Joe Saunders struck out seven.

White Sox 6, Twins 0: Chris Sale shut ’em out for seven. Paul Konerko hit a homer. Apparently Konerko played for the San Antonio Missions once too back when they were a Dodgers affiliate. I like that the Missions honor their old players who were there when there was a different affiliation. Not ever minor league club does that. The Missions seem to say “MLB teams come and go in these parts; we’ll always be here.”

Astros 5, Cubs 1: That’s nine straight losses for Chicago. This is starting to look like a historic season for the Cubbies.

Rockies 8, Marlins 4: Troy Tulowitzki homered and drove in four. After the game he said this was “a big win for us.” I suppose all wins are big, but I’ll get more excited when the Rockies are less than 13 and a half back.

Indians 4, Tigers 2: After seeing that they loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth and didn’t freaking score, I’m searching for something good to say about the Tigers right now. How about: “well, their streak of not being shutout is still intact.”  Cleveland, on the other hand has lots going for them. Like Jason Kipnis, who had three hits and then bloodied his arm up really good when he slid into home in the eighth inning with the go-ahead run.

Mariners 5, Rangers 3: In what I’m going to take as a sign that no team is going to be a total juggernaut this year, Seattle took two of three from the Rangers. From the game story: “Alex Liddi hit the first major league grand slam by an Italian-born player in a half-century.” OK, then.

Angels 3, Athletics 1: Alberto Callaspo hit a go-ahead two-run double in the 11th. Ernesto Frieri continues his good work.

Brewers 8, Giants 5: Remember a few weeks ago when people were starting up that “Hey, Barry Zito may have finally figured it out!” stuff?  Yeah, let’s just shelve that until he has two or three good starts again next year. The Brewers unloaded on him for eight runs — only four earned — in three innings.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers 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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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.