Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 8, Nationals 1: That’s nine straight wins by the Braves over the Nats dating back to last season. Someone should ask Danny Espinosa if he’s impressed by the Braves yet. Tim Hudson notched his 200th career win. In pretty grand style, too: he homered and doubled in addition to pitching seven strong innings.

Indians 14, Phillies 2: Ryan Raburn hit two of the Indians’ seven homers as Cleveland obliterated Roy Halladay and three Philly relievers. Delmon Young came back for the Phillies and homered.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: A two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch for the Marlins. The run before that came in the form of Chris Coghlan, who may very well have been out just before that when he overslid the third base bag. Viva The Human Element. The Mets have dropped six straight. The Marlins have won three in a row, two via walkoff.

Yankees 7, Astros 4: Three RBI singles from Travis Hafner and a bunch of small ball supported Hiroki Kuroda. Phil Humber uncorked four wild pitches. Note: the word “uncorked” is only used in reference to wild pitches, just a “ensuing” is used only in reference to kickoffs. I think that’s in the Chicago style guide.

Padres 13, Cubs 7: Quentin was 3 for 4 with a home run, two doubles and three driven in. The Padres have won five of six. Seven homers were hit in all.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: Man, that first Encarnacion shot was impressive. His second homer but the Jays ahead. Jon Lester, who had been so good so far, had a Number of the Beast line: six runs on six hits in six innings.

Brewers 12, Pirates 8: Rickie Weeks had a three run homer and five RBI. The Brewers have beat the Pirates nine straight times and are 46-7 against them in Miller Park. Milwaukee so thoroughly owns Pittsburgh at home that the Pirates are gonna have to ask permission to leave after today’s game.

Tigers 6, Twins 1: Cabrera and Fielder homered, Verlander was Verlander and the Tigers have won five straight. I have this feeling that they’re not gonna play that derp-around-until-September-before-taking-control-of-the-division game this year like they did last year.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: The redbirds snap their three-game losing streak. Jaime Garcia tossed eight strong, Matt Holliday had a two-run jack.

Rangers 10, White Sox 6: Last time out Yu Darvish got a lot of offense behind him and I called him the recipient of the Run Support Award. That was somewhat misleading because he pitched extremely well that night and didn’t really need that support. Last night he sorta needed it, as he gave up four runs and was in a close one until the Rangers broke out for six in the sixth.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Pablo Sandoval with a two run homer in the ninth. Those two runs were the only ones San Francisco needed as Madison Bumgarner pitched seven shutout innings, besting Trevor Cahill on a pitchery night.

Royals 8, Rays 2: James Shields faces the Royals and scatters two runs and five hits over seven innings. Well, the runs weren’t scattered — they both came on a homer in the first — but that was about all the damage the Rays could do against him. The Royals were stymied by Alex Cobb until the sixth, when they broke through for four runs. By the way: anyone remember Stymie? Whatever happened to him anyway? Totally underrated.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 2: Hanley Ramirez comes back and homers. Hyun-Jin Ryu stuck out 12. Also: Psy was at Dodger Stadium for some reason. Which I liken to M.C. Hammer showing up at your dorm party in 1994. “Sure, we totally remember you, dude. Just … why?” Ryu gave his game-worn jersey to Psy after the game. You’ll probably be able to buy it from Psy in a year or two.

Athletics 10, Angels 6: Yikes the Angels stink.  Yoenis Cespedes drove in four. After the game he said:

“The reason I was so good was because when I got here, I drank (an energy drink),” said Cespedes, who doubled and tripled to pace Oakland’s 10-hit outburst. “I was ready for the game.”

But don’t listen to him. Stimulants players use to wake them up for a game are in no way performance-enhancers. When Mickey Mantle swallowed a handful of greenies after a long night, he was just allowing himself to play at his native ability.

Orioles 7, Mariners 2: Bandon Maurer surrendered four runs in the first and the rest was mere detail. Nate McLouth led off the game with a homer. He’s hitting close to .500 over his past 10 games and has scored 14 runs. Manny Machado has hit in nine straight.

Dodgers sign Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million deal

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.

Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.

Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.

UPDATE: Giants agree to a deal with Mark Melancon

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals reacts after the final out as the Nationals defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 in game three of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.

12:15 PMKen Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.

Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.

The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.

What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.

Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.