And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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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.

 

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.