Texas Rangers pitcher Darvish reacts after a hit by Houston Astros' Gonzalez goes through his legs in their MLB American League baseball game in Houston

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

39 Comments

Rangers 7, Astros 0: Part of me feels like if the Rangers didn’t score all those runs in the eighth and ninth innings that Darvish would have been fresher and finished this thing off. Part of me feels like if he wasn’t facing the Astros that it would have been over in the sixth. But that’s all silliness. Yu was flat dealing and as the man said: one extra flare — just one gorp. A groundball. A groundball with eyes. A dying quail — just one more dying quail a week… and your perfect game is gone. But it was still friggin’ fantastic.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 1: This game, played indoors, was delayed 25 minutes at the outset. I can only presume this had something to do with Geddy Lee throwing out the first pitch. No doubt he threw the pitch, stepped aside for a 17 minute drum solo then, as the time signature changed three times in two minutes, he launched into some lyrics about a future dystopia. Then the game happened and R.A. Dickey’s knucklers led to J.P. Arencibia to allow about a gajillion passed balls. But relax, Jays fans: it’s only one game. There is not yet any unrest in the forest or trouble with the trees.

Orioles 7, Rays 4: A five-run seventh inning topped off with a three-run homer from Chris Davis kicks the O’s season off in style. This was the O’s first win not led by the bullpen and lady luck since 1970. True story.

Rockies 8, Brewers 4: Bad bullpen work for the second straight day for Milwaukee. It’s like 2012 all over again. Troy Tulowitzki hit a homer and drove in his third and fourth for the year, reminding people that, oh yeah, he’s amazingly good. Ryan Braun hit a homer too. Good thing the Rockies won this one or else Braun’s homer would have led a bunch of self-righteous columnists to call for the game to be vacated.

Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 1: Homers from Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma and Jon Jay. Including one that is totally gonna get this guy dumped.

Giants 3, Dodgers 0: Koufax on Monday, Marichal on Tuesday. Wait, I mean Kershaw and then Bumgarner (8 IP 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 6K).

Mariners 7, Athletics 1: Michael Morse had two homers and drove in four.  I have this theory that Morse is gonna have a big season for Seattle and, though he came there in a trade, will help convince some free agent hitters that it’s OK to sign with the Mariners because your offense won’t totally shrivel up. Granted this was a road game, but I still like my theory.

White Sox reportedly considering Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
1 Comment

Many have speculated on a potential match between the White Sox and Ian Desmond this winter, but we haven’t heard much in the way of legitimate interest. That could be changing with spring training right around the corner, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Chicago is among the teams considering the free agent shortstop.

After turning the page on Alexei Ramirez this offseason, the White Sox currently have Tyler Saladino in line to serve as their starting shortstop in 2016. The 26-year-old is considered a strong defender, but he batted .225/.267/.335 with four homers over 254 plate appearances as a rookie in 2015. Desmond is coming off a nightmare of a walk year and has seen his strikeout rate climb by 8.5 percent since 2012, but he possesses more offensive upside and it’s not hard to imagine a bounceback campaign while calling U.S. Cellular Field home.

Similar to fellow free agents Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler, Desmond is attached to draft pick compensation after turning down a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals. It’s a big reason why a potential deal with the Rays is reported to be a “long shot.” Chicago’s No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft is protected, so they would give up their No. 28 overall pick if they sign a qualifying offer free agent like Desmond.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
Leave a comment

Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
3 Comments

The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
6 Comments

Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.