New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 7, Yankees 2: Justin Verlander was amazing, striking out 14. I’m not sure why Jim Leyland kept him in there for 132 pitches given that the Tigers had a five run lead by the sixth inning, but I guess the fans liked it. And heck, he was still throwing 100 miles per hour, so I’m willing to allow for the fact that he’s basically a cyborg. Anyway, the Yankees have lost 11 of 17.

Braves 6, Phillies 1: That’s seven straight wins over Philly for Atlanta and eight of ten on the year. Ben Sheets allowed one run over seven and a third without striking out anyone. Which isn’t gonna last, but in the meantime the Braves will take it. Oh, and the Phillies sellout streak ended too. It was the third longest such streak of all time. But sadly the Phillies fans show themselves to be 198 sellouts short of the loyalty of fans of the Cleveland Indians.

Before we get to the other scores, I have a question: When the Braves game ended I popped in “The Dark Knight” because I feel like if I don’t watch it a half dozen times a year I’m slacking. Anyway, just as the Joker crashes the Harvey Dent fundraiser, I realized that Ra’s al Ghul crashed Bruce Wayne’s birthday party in “Batman Begins.” Which makes me wonder: why, given the high probability that they’ll be interrupted by marauding super villains, does anyone ever goes to Bruce Wayne’s dinner parties?  Anyway:

Cardinals 8, Giants 2: Jake Westbrook was solid, Carlos Beltran homered and Jon Jay went 4 for 4 while driving in two.

Brewers 6, Reds 3: Aramis Ramirez, Corey Hart and Martin Maldonado all homered in the sixth inning. The Reds have lost two in a row. Crisis!

White Sox 4, Royals 2: Chris Sale is now 1-0 on nine days rest for his career.

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 0: Erik Bedard bounced back from a horrific outing and was both efficient and effective, allowing two hits and no runs over seven innings without walking a soul. And just for the yuks, go read this game story. It may be the most cliche thing ever. Bedard was “making pitches.” The Pirates won because of “pitching and defense.” The Diamondbacks were “out-executed.” It’s a classic.

Red Sox 9, Rangers 2: With the Red Sox win, the press frenzy to get Bobby Valentine fired has been paused for 24 hours. Let’s all meet back here tomorrow though and see where things are. Oh: Yu Darvish continues to be pretty crappy of late.

Twins 14, Indians 3: Justin Morneau hit two homers and the Indians continue to get their butts beat back to the stone age. Ben Revere has a 20-game hitting streak going.

Orioles 3, Mariners 1: Chris Tillman took a three-hit shutout into the eighth inning, winning his fourth start. It continues a nice string of starting pitching performances for the O’s. The Orioles have won six of eight.

Nationals 5, Astros 4: Houston came back from a 4-1 deficit to force extra innings, but Washington wins in the 11th when first baseman Steve Pearce threw a Kurt Suzuki bunt out into right field, scoring Roger Bernadina. The Astros have lost every conceivable way this season.

Rockies 2, Dodgers 0: There was a reversed call in this one: Dexter Fowler trapped a Shane Victorino liner to center, and Victorino was initially called out. Don Mattingly argued, the umps huddled and they changed the call, saying it was trapped. Jim Tracy then came out and argued like crazy, got ejected and continued to argue for a long time. But we can’t have instant replay, you see, because it would mess up the pace of the game.

Padres 2, Cubs 0: Five Padres pitchers combine for a five-hit shutout. Chicago loses its sixth straight. At this point, though, I suppose the number of people who care about a Padres-Cubs matchup just barely exceeds the number of moms who watch their sons play in them.

Angels 4, Athletics 0: Jered Weaver is better than you: CG SHO, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K. This season he’s better than just about everyone.

Yankees in, Red Sox out on Edwin Encarnacion

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler AustinGreg Bird combo in 2017.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.

Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.

Report: The Nationals are still in on Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning on September 5, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The Nationals are trying to go big this offseason, and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes that they are still in trade talks for White Sox’ left-hander Chris Sale and Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Both players figure to command a big return, as Sale delivered another Cy Young-worthy performance in 2016 and, despite a downturn in his production rate, McCutchen is still one of the more coveted sluggers in the National League.

In 2016, Sale led the league in complete games, with six, and turned in a 3.34 ERA and 5.2 fWAR in 226 2/3 innings. While teams have been sniffing around the White Sox’ ace since the trade deadline, the club is expected to maintain a high asking price — so high, said FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, that it may keep the left-hander in Chicago for the foreseeable future.

According to Heyman, four other teams are reportedly in the mix for Sale, including the Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, and Braves, though parts of Rosenthal’s tweet hinted that the Red Sox were maintaining their interest in hopes of striking a more affordable deal. Should the Nationals pursue a deal for Sale, it’s likely that they’d have to move shortstop/center fielder Trea Turner, which they appear reluctant to do.

McCutchen, meanwhile, is also drawing interest around the league after batting .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs in 675 PA during 2016. He didn’t appear to lose much power in his eighth season with the Pirates, but took considerably fewer walks and struck out at a career-high clip.

The Nationals were said to be in the lead for McCutchen on Thursday, and there was some expectation that the club would wrap up a trade for the center fielder by the non-tender deadline on Friday. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pointed out that the Rangers were also talking to the Pirates, however, and no deal has come to fruition as of yet.