Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 4, Blues Jays 0; Rays 4, Yankees 3:  As mentioned yesterday, this combo brings the Yankees lead over the O’s down to one game in the AL East, with the Rays only two and a half back themselves. I don’t suppose we’re so lucky to have a Yankees collapse come a year after the Red Sox collapse, but it’s a possibility I suppose.

Mariners 4, Red Sox 1: The United States Postal Service lost $5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2012. The Red Sox are mailing it in so thoroughly these days, however, that the third quarter will likely have the USPS turning a profit. Seven straight losses for Boston. They’ve been outscored 58-16 in that span.

Nationals 2, Cubs 1: Washington clinches its first winning season. With that mission accomplished, Mike Rizzo shut down the whole roster.

Indians 3, Tigers 2: I’m not gonna say this game was boring, but my girlfriend — big Tigers fan — is here and was trying to watch this game yesterday. Not just watching it, she was watching the Tigers feed and playing the Rod Allen drinking game. And even with all of that incentive to stay tuned in she was bored out of her gourd. She ended up taking a nap, and that was before she even had a chance to finish more than half a beer.

White Sox 4, Twins 2: Hector Santiago — normally a relief pitcher — actually started this one. And won. And just like that the White Sox are back in first place by a game.

Cardinals 5, Mets 4: The Robot Umps would have gotten this one right. Apparently Carlos Beltran was the guy who told Mike Matheny to appeal the play. I’m sure Mets fans are happy to see Carlos Beltran contributing like that. Wondering why he never did that when he was in New York.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8: From the game story, describing the scene after Marco Scutaro’s game-winning hit:

Marco Scutaro had just rounded first base when the portly Pablo Sandoval caught him by surprise, tugged on his jersey and bear-hugged the second baseman …

It’s a long season even for the AP beat writers.

Astros 5, Pirates 1: Brett Wallace had three hits including a three run homer. The Pirates have lost 10 of 13. They’re lucky to only be two and a half back in the wild card race.

Marlins 7, Brewers 3: Jose Reyes: run producer. He’s hitting in the three spot now and drove in three. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but it’s something to do as the Marlins play out the string.

Angels 8, Athletics 3: The A’s lose, ending their nine-game winning streak. Vernon Wells drew two walks and reached base four times in all. So obviously some sorcery was at work.

Phillies 4, Reds 2: Look at that lazy Jimmy Rollins, barely even running the bases. Oh, wait. He hit a three run homer and that was a trot. Carry on then.

Rangers 8, Royals 4: Yu Darvish retired the first seventeen batters he faced. Should have been eighteen, but what should have been strike three to Johnny Giavotella with two out in the fifth ended up being called ball four, which extended the inning and led to the Royals scoring thrice. The Rangers didn’t get too phased by it all, though. They hit five homers. One of them led to Nelson Cruz being plunked on the hiney, after which Michael Young hit another homer. That’s the best way to deal with that garbage, really.

Braves 6, Rockies 1: Kris Medlen is en fuego.

Dodgers 4, Padres 3: Two walkoff wins in a row, this one courtesy of an A.J. Ellis single in the 11th. And he got his jersey shredded for his troubles. That’s … an interesting tradition they have going there.

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.