Norichika Aoki

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Norichika Aoki hit two homers including the walkoff. Overall, he’s kicking some major butt.

Mets 3, Nationals 1: As I said yesterday: Dickey beats Wang. I’m still giggling, by the way.

Pirates 5, Reds 4: Aroldis Chapman finally allowed a run. You see? You see? He’s not a machinehe’s a manhe’s a man!  Someone alert the authorities. Wait, don’t do that. Chapman doesn’t need anymore interaction with the authorities.  It was a an RBI double by Michael McKenry in the 10th which proved to be the game winner.

Giants 8, Padres 3: The Giants stay hot, winning their ninth in 11 tries. Matt Cain struck out nine and withstood some awful San Francisco defense to win his sixth straight start.

Dodgers 8, Phillies 3: The sweep. Aaron Harang won his 100th. And Charlie Manuel is losin’ it:

Asked about his frustration level, manager Charlie Manuel said: “I never put it up to a level. I just feel how hot my face gets.” And it is, he said, “pretty damn hot.”

Nightmare season for Philly thus far.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 0: The Sox finally beat the O’s at home. And do it in impressive fashion. Clay Buchholz with the four-hit shutout.

Athletics 7, Rangers 1: Yu Darvish gets shelled by one of the worst offenses in baseball and walks six on top of that. Brandon McCarthy, meanwhile, allows one run in seven innings. Coco Crisp had a triple a homer and drove in four. The A’s took three of four from Texas, which according to the Rangers fans I follow on Twitter has caused some Texas fans to freak out and think about trading everyone.

Tigers 7, Indians 5: Casey Crosby won his first ever game. Not that it came easy. Detroit was up 7-1 and the Indians started to rally to close it to 7-5 and had the bases loaded in the eighth but couldn’t get one more hit that they needed. It was the first win by the Tigers over the Indians in six tries.

Braves 8, Marlins 2: Jason Heyward had two homers in a game for the first time since 2010 and Mike Minor finally had an effective outing, allowing one run in five innings. The Braves scored all of their runs from the sixth inning on. It was a 4-1 road trip for the Braves and now they get nine straight at home.

Rays 7, Yankees 3: David Price only went five innings but he survived them well, striking out eight and getting out of a one-out bases loaded jam in the fifth by retiring Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.  CC Sabathia struck out 12 over seven innings in a losing effort.

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Orlando Hudson singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Alex Rios drove in three.

Cardinals 14 vs. Astros 2: Two homers and six RBI for David Freese as Lance Lynn joins R.A. Dickey with nine wins. Just as everyone predicted would be the case before the season began.

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.