Elvis Andrus,Robbie Ross,Adrian Beltre,Michael Young,Joe Nathan

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

52 Comments

Rangers 11, Angels 10: Holy schnikes! The Angels jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the fans were booing Yu Darvish and the local nine. Then the comeback. Make that the comebacks. Four runs in the fifth and then single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras. Then, down by three in the tenth, they put up four, capped by a Nelson Cruz homer and Elvis Andrus’ walkoff two-run single. Two homers for Albert Pujols, but in a losing effort. Just when the Angels think they have Texas’ number — bam!

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: The sweep.  Patrick Corbin was called up and allowed two hits and goose eggs for six innings. Mere days after the Dodgers drubbed the Giants 19-3 in a three game series, the Dbacks drop a 19-4 on the Dodgers. The NL West is gonna be exciting for the next two months.

Yankees 12, Orioles 3: The Yanks avoid a sweep by beating the O’s to a pulp with a seven-run third inning. And Joba Chamberlain came back. Which is freaky, because last I checked he had died from trampoline poisoning or something. And my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Joba pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I had thought it was pretty serious, but guess not.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5:  Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches during a five-run fifth inning. The Tigers avoid the sweep. Now a day off for Detroit. And a day on which I travel up to my ancestral homeland of Detroit, Michigan to take in all three games against the Indians in what will be my first ever trip to Comerica Park. Crazy, I know. I suppose more than a decade-old grudge against them for tearing down Tiger Stadium is enough. Oh, and about that ancestral homeland stuff: don’t anybody tell my extended family up there that I’m coming. They’re all still mad that I went to Ohio State and drive a Japanese car. All of which goes into why, despite my roots, I tell everyone I’m from West Virginia. It’s just easier that way.

Pirates 8, Cubs 4: The Pirates were leading 2-1 going into the eighth and then put up a five spot on seven straight hits. Two of three from the Cubbies and now a weekend series against the first place Reds.

Rays 4, Athletics 1: The Rays have allowed 0 or 1 run in four of their last five games. They’re only one and a half back of Oakland now for the second wild card.

Brewers 13, Astros 4: Ryan Braun hit his 29th and the Astros threw the ball all over the field for their 28th loss in 31 games. The Brewers scored 31 runs in the three-game series.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Danks is down and Sale has a dead arm but Peavy keeps humming: 8 IP, 5 H 1 ER, 8K.

Marlins 4, Braves 2: Ben Sheets had the longest outing on his comeback so far, but also his least effective. He gave up 11 hits in six and two-thirds. How only four runs scored is a mystery, but four was enough. Carlos Zambrano got the win in relief. Which is weird.

Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick was 3 for 4 with four driven in. Marshall, Broxton and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. That’s the pattern Dusty is gonna try to ride all the way through October. A friend of mine was at this game and she moved from upper deck seats to seats behind the dugout early in the game. With kids in tow, while photographing it and posting it to Facebook. Pretty ninja stuff right there.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins and one for newbie Nate Schierholtz, who is probably gonna like playing away from AT&T Park a lot.

Royals 5, Indians 2: Luis Mendoza with seven and a third innings of 2-run ball. I mentioned that my kids watched Tuesday’s game in this series. Thinking about it now, I’m sorta wondering if anyone else was. And if so, why.

Mets 2, Giants 1: Jon Niese gave up one run over seven. Hunter Pence in his Giants debut: 0 for 4 and two strikeouts.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Matt Holliday has another huge night: 3 for 5, two homers and five driven in.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3: That’s seven wins in a row for Seattle. And 13 of 17. They have a positive run differential on the year too and are closer to first place than the Brewers, Phillies and Marlins are.

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
16 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
16 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.