Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 6, Rays 5: Adrian Beltre was last week’s player of the week after hitting for the cycle one night and hitting three bombs on another. He’s off to a good start for that award again, going 3 for 3 with a homer a double and four RBI. David Price had one of his worst outings of the season (4 IP, 10 H, 6 ER).

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: Also continuing his hot streak: Matt Holliday. He hit his 24th homer, breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth. The Pirates have dropped six of their last seven. Are we allowed to talk about them playing to break the streak of sub-.500 seasons yet, or do we still have to act like they’re in the wild card hunt?

Mariners 1, Twins 0: Felix Hernandez is ridiculously good (CG SHO, 5 H, 5K). Later this morning we’ll hear more about how the Yankees should trade for him. His fifth shutout of the year, by the way. Tough luck loss for Liam Hendricks who allowed one run over nine innings.

Athletics 3, Indians 0: Brett Anderson’s return continues to be stellar. He shut the Tribe out over seven, allowing only two hits. Oakland has won 9 of 11.

Padres 3, Braves 0: Casey Kelly’s major league debut: fantasitc (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). He also hit a single. I think it’s now officially safe to say, if it wasn’t already, that the Padres won the first Adrian Gonzalez trade. Yasmani Grandal accounted for all of the Padres’ runs, with a homer and a single. San Diego has won eight straight.

Blue Jays 8, Yankees 7: Colby Rasmus put his hair in some seriously stupid looking cornrows recently. He took them out before this game, however, and hit a three run homer with two outs in the ninth to put the Blue Jays in front. There’s a lesson in there for you kids. Of course, Derek Jeter tied it in the bottom half, so there’s a lesson in there too. Basically, just don’t be a total douche and instead be a professional and good things will happen. In extras, Derek Lowe threw a ball away putting the go-ahead run on third, which eventually scored. Darren Oliver beats Derek Lowe, because it’s 1999 or something. Oh, and Mark Teixeira left with a calf strain and he’s gonna miss a couple of weeks.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: Baltimore wins another one-run game their 13th straight. And Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer. They should be called the Batlimore Oh Reallys?

Red Sox 5, Royals 1: Dice-K with his first win since the Cold War or thereabouts. Forgive me if I assume this had more to do with the Royals bats than Matsuzaka’s skillz.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 0: Josh Beckett’s debut for the Dodgers looked a lot like most of his starts for the Red Sox. Inefficient, deliberate and, while not a total disaster, not particularly effective either. Didn’t matter much, though, given that Jeff Francis and the bullpen didn’t allow a run. And even if they had, the Dodgers’ pen got violated for seven runs in the eighth.

Brewers 15, Cubs 4: Five homers for the Brewers including two from Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Braun had four hits and drove in five.

Reds 3, Diamondbacks 2: Bronson Arroyo pitched well and hit a home run to put the Reds ahead. Sometimes you gotta do everything yourself.

Report: Marlins intent on adding a big-three reliever

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.

As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.

The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.

A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.

Bryan Price likely to use Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen in closer’s role

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias throws in the first inning of their opening day baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:

I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.

This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.

Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.

Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.

Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.