Ryan Dempster

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Rangers 15, Angels 9: Ryan Dempster was shelled in his Rangers debut, but it didn’t matter because C.J. Wilson was shelled too. Josh Hamilton drove in four. You have to wonder if Wednesday night’s game was some kind of turning point in this race.

Rockies 8, Cardinals 2: Homers in four straight games for Josh Rutledge, which is kind of neat. Rockies avoid the sweep.

Braves 6, Marlins 1: A rain delay knocked out the starters early, but it didn’t much matter considering the Braves had a 6-0 lead by then. Two runs knocked in a piece for Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman.

Royals 7, Indians 6: The Royals had a 6-0 lead and blew it, and then the Indians blew the comeback when Alcides Escobar singled in the winning run in the 11th. This series seemed like it lasted for a year.

Nationals 3, Phillies 0: Ross Detwiler shuts out the Phillies for seven. Adam LaRoche drove in two and Jayson Werth finally came back and drove in one himself.

Mets 9, Giants 1: Tim Lincecum sort of seems to be back so I guess that Barry Zito has to revert to his normal self as well (4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER). Ronny Cedeno drove in five. The Mets took three of four from the Giants.

Twins 5, Red Sox 0: What Samuel Deduno is doing is not sustainable — you can’t walk four and strike out one and always expect success — but it worked well enough. Ron Gardenhire:

“I know his ball-strike ratio wasn’t the greatest, but sometimes that works,” Gardenhire said. “He was able to make pitches when he had to and that’s all you really care about.”

Wow. Ron Gardenhire knows what a ball/strike ratio is.

Reds 9, Padres 4: Six runs in the second sunk the Padres. Cincy and Pittsburgh now play the most interesting series of the weekend.

Athletics 4, Blue Jays 0: Well, that was the score in the 8th when I went to bed. I’m guessing that holds up because the Blue Jays can’t seem to win baseball games anymore.


Nationals fire reigning Manager of the Year Matt Williams

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

Matt Williams was voted the National League Manager of the Year on November 11, 2014, receiving 18 of 30 first-place votes from Baseball Writers Association of America members.

Today the Nationals fired him following a season full of disappointment, reports of clubhouse discontent, and Jonathan Papelbon choking Bryce Harper in the dugout.

Williams went 179-145 (.552) in two seasons in Washington, which is an excellent winning percentage, but when you take over a stacked team the expectations are extremely high and there was seemingly nothing anyone could point to about his actual managing that suggested he was doing a good job.

His in-game tactics and particularly his rigid bullpen usage patterns infuriated fans. His dealings with the local media became increasingly antagonistic. And even setting aside two players literally fighting in the dugout there’s ample evidence that Williams lost the clubhouse a long time ago.

Williams was far from the only thing wrong with the Nationals this season and he’s hardly the primary person to blame for their disappointing record, but it’s also hard to make a strong case for his sticking around–meaningless, beat writer-voted award or not–and general manager Mike Rizzo predictably acted quickly to move on.

Now we’ll see who gets to take the next crack at managing the Nationals to play up to expectations.

Dan Haren plans to retire after the playoffs are over

Dan Haren
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Dan Haren, who said two months ago that he was leaning toward retiring after the season, reiterated those plans following the Cubs’ regular season finale Sunday.

At age 34 he started 32 games for the Marlins and Cubs with a 3.60 ERA and 132/38 K/BB ratio in 187 innings, so Haren would have no problem finding work and a solid paycheck for 2016.

However, he’s not expected to part of the Cubs’ playoff roster and told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago:

That was it for me. If I have to pitch in the postseason, I’ll be ready for sure. Happy the way the last few starts have gone. Being able to contribute to this amazing team. I’m just thankful to be a part of it. If I don’t pitch in the postseason, that’s it. It’s been fun. Hopefully there’s a lot more games to go. … If my name is called, I’ll be ready.

Injuries has lessened Haren’s overall effectiveness in recent years, but he’s remained a solid mid-rotation starter and has pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues with a 3.75 ERA in 2,419 innings. He made three All-Star teams and earned more than $80 million.