Jay Bruce

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Reds 1, Phillies 0: CONTINUED FROM TUESDAY NIGHT: Nine minutes, a quick score and then the whole thing was over. About as good a night as you coulda hoped for when you were 17, but for the Phillies this had to be disappointing.

Reds 11, Phillies 2: Well, maybe not as disappointing as this. The Reds complete their first sweep of Philly in 17 years. John Lannan was pummeled. So too was the rest of the Phillies pitchers. Heck, Mike Leake had three hits including a triple. The Phillies only scored four runs in the series.

Royals 1, Braves 0: I was tempted to say that Doug Eddings and Wade Davis combined on a shutout, but that’s just petty I suppose. There were A LOT of bad ball and strike calls, sure. But watching Dan Uggla swing at everything from the dirt to the bill of his cap in the ninth inning made me think, well, some days it’s just not your day. Game’s lone RBI goes to Jeff Francouer. Which I presume will lead to some Francouer fans down in Georgia to start up that “we never shoulda gotten rid of him” chatter they’re prone to down there. Doesn’t matter who’s in the Braves’ outfield. There’s always a group of dead-enders who pine for Jeffy.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 0: A.J. Burnett allowed one hit, taking the no-no into the seventh. He also notched his 2,000th career strikeout.  Not a bad night for Shelby Miller either, but tough luck is part of the game, yo.

Nationals 6, Marlins 1: Bryce Harper went 4 for 5 and Ross Detwiler allowed only one run in seven innings. And the Marlins went back to remembering that they are, in fact, the Marlins.

White Sox 7, Blue Jays 0: Jose Quintana tamed the Jays. Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer. Old friend Alex Rios hit one too.

Rays 6, Orioles 2: Tampa Bay snaps its four-game losing streak. Matt Moore got the win. He has three on the season. The entire Rays team has five.

Red Sox 6, Indians 3: Five straight wins for the Bosox. Alfredo Aceves, pressed into service as a starter, took a shutout into the sixth, but then he hit a wall. After three solid starts Justin Masterson hit a wall of his own, surrendering 11 hits.

Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 3: Down 3-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees tied it up and then Travis Hafner hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth to cap off a four-run rally. New York has won seven of eight, which is really messing with a lot of predictions of doom out there. Pretty inconsiderate, you guys.

Athletics 7, Astros 5: Six runs in the first was a less than gracious homecoming for Marin County’s Bud Norris, but such is life for the Astros. Meanwhile, the A’s have played approximately 193 games against Houston so far this year. I think it’s time they move up a level.

Padres 7, Dodgers 2: Clayton Kershaw gave up three homers in three innings. Because baseball. Even the best ones get rocked on random Wednesday nights.

Tigers 2, Mariners 1: 14 innings. Batters combined for 14 strikeouts. Prince Fielder led the pack with five. The only runs in the game scored on a couple of fielder’s choices and an RBI single. But there was some goodness here in the starting pitching. Indeed, it’s a shame neither starter could win this one, with Max Scherzer striking out 12 while allowing only one run in eight innings and Felix Hernandez striking out 12 while allowing only an unearned run in his eight.

Brewers 4, Giants 3: Pinch hitter Blake Lalli — who has a name that I’d sooner place on some actress in her early 20s who stars in some new show that is decidedly not aimed at my demographic — hit the first pitch he saw for the game-winning single in the ninth. Runners hit second and third just before that thanks to a Brandon Crawford throwing error.

Angels vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Three, four: Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down. Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down. I’ve been working baby oh! so hard. Stayin up in the sky. Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down

Rangers vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain. Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowing through my brain. Signals curling on an open plain, rolling down the track again. See the sky about to rain.

Mets vs. Rockies: POSTPONED: Dreamed I was an eskimo. Frozen wind began to blow. Under my boots and around my toes. The frost that bit the ground below. It was a hundred degrees below zero…

Diamondbacks working on a deal with Tyler Clippard

at Citi Field on July 28, 2015 in Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Last week Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart revealed that he was interested in signing free agent reliever Tyler Clippard and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have “made progress toward a deal.”

Piecoro notes that by trading Aaron Hill and his remaining contract to the Brewers the Diamondbacks created a bit of payroll flexibility that they could use to sign Clippard.

Clippard has a long history of excellent work as both a setup man and closer, but his raw stuff and secondary numbers have declined even though his ERA remained very good at 2.92 last season for the A’s and Mets. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 8.1 per nine innings, which is drop of about 25 percent from 2009-2014.

Two elite Cuban players defect

cuba hat
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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com just reported that Yulieski Gurriel & Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who are brothers, reportedly defected and will be seeking MLB deals. There aren’t any details yet, but Sanchez will be updating with a full story that we’ll link here when he has it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Yulieski is a 31-year old third baseman and, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler he was the No. 1 player remaining in Cuba. He was one of the Cuban players who was permitted to play in Japan recently, and he just put up a .305/.349/.536 season with 11 homers in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars and has continued to rake in Cuba. He is likely major league ready right this instant. He’d be an unrestricted free agent given his age and team’s signing him would not be subject to international bonus pool limits.

Lourdes is only 22 years old. He’s hit .269/.355/.414 in 1036 Serie Nacional plate appearances and Badler thinks he has 20-homer potential in the majors one day. He’s currently a shortstop, but is probably destined for a corner. He is young enough to where he would be subject to bonus pool limits. Several teams have already exceeded those limits for the current signing period, limiting the number of teams who could sign him. If, however, it takes MLB a long time to clear him as a free agent — and with immigration issues and the like, that’s very possible — he may not be eligible to be signed until next year, which could bring some other teams into the fold.

 

Indians close to signing ex-Nationals reliever Craig Stammen

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Right-hander Craig Stammen, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Nationals, is expected to sign with the Indians.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians “hope to finalize a deal” with Stammen today, adding veteran depth to the bullpen. It’ll likely be a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Stammen missed nearly all of last season following elbow surgery and the Nationals non-tendered him, but he’s scheduled to be ready for spring training. After struggling as a starter early in his career he’s posted a 3.02 ERA in 280 innings out of the bullpen, so if healthy it’d be a nice addition for Cleveland.

A Mexican team wins the Caribbean Series for the third time in four years

Mexican players celebrate their victory in the Caribbean Series baseball final against Aragua Tigres of Venezuela, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Designated hitter Jorge Vazquez hit a game-winning home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, lifting Mexico's Venados de Mazatlan to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory and the championship of the Caribbean Series. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
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For those who aren’t familiar, Serie del Caribe, or the Caribbean Series, is the highest club level baseball tournament in Latin America, pitting the champions of the winter leagues in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela against one another in a bacchanalia of baseball that, if there was justice in the world, we’d all be watching instead of football.

This year’s installment ended last night with Mexico’s Mazatlan Venados beating Venezuela’s Aragua Tigres 5-4 in the final game at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jorge Vazquez — who Yankees fans may remember from a few years back — provided the winning margin when he hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning.

This is the third Serie del Caribe title for a Mexican club in the past four years, with Naranjeros de Hermosillo winning in 2014 and Yaquis de Obregón winning in 2013. Pinar del Río from Cuba won it last winter. This is the first time the Venados have won it.

As we noted yesterday, this was longtime MLB starter Freddy Garcia‘s last game. He gave up four hits and allowed two earned runs over five and a third innings for the Tigres, getting a no-decision.