St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 6, Brewers 5: Jake Westbrook with career win 100. And get this: dude allowed only one run in six innings and his ERA increased. Which, yes, will happen when you come in at 0.98. It’s now an unsightly 1.10. He talked after the game how 100 was a goal for him. And while, no, it isn’t 300, it represented him being a grinder and sticking around and stuff. I think there’s all kinds of underrated glory in that. 300 game winners are spectacular, but they’re on that far right side of the bell curve with which most folks don’t have a frame of reference. 100 game winners have been around the block and seen a good deal of bad to go with the good and all of that.

Orioles 5, Angels 1: Chris Tillman with eight shutout innings. He’s from Orange County, so maybe it was the home cooking. Unless maybe his mom can’t cook and it was really just like, “hey, awesome, we get to eat at Del Taco!” or something.

Tigers 7, Astros 3: Fourteen innings in Houston, decided when Houston intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to get to Don Kelly. Kelly was up to the challenge and singled in the go-ahead run. Matt Tuiasosopo then doubled in two more followed by a Jhonny Peralta sac fly. Get this: seven shutout innings from the Tiger bullpen. You don’t expect that very often.

Nationals 3, Braves 1: Washington earns the split behind a nice outing from Dan Haren, who was really in need of a nice outing. It was the first time he’d gone past the sixth inning this season. First time he reached the eighth in nearly a year.

White Sox 3, Rangers 1: You know what the real tragedy about all this is? Hector Santiago was not even supposed to be here today! But he was and pitched well (5.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 6K). Then he closed the store to play hockey, went to a wake and tried to win back his ex-girlfriend without even discussing how he felt about his present one.

Phillies 7, Marlins 2: Kyle Kendrick: Phillies ace. He picks up his third win after allowing only two runs over seven innings. Domonic Brown was 3 for 4 with a homer. Ryan Howard had a solo shot. Juan Pierre notched his 600th career steal.

Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 1: The Blue Jays waked a lot of Red Sox. How many times did they walk the Red Sox?

Haha, no, actually it was ten. And David Ortiz even took the day off. Man.

Padres 4, Cubs 2:  Travis Wood deserved better, but bad defense and bad bullpen work did him in.

Rays vs. Royals: POSTPONED: Last time I was here, it was rainin, doesn’t rain here anymore. The streets were drowned, and the water’s waining, all the runes washed to shore. Now I’m here lookin’ through the rubble, tryin’ to find out who we were. Last time I was here, it was rainin, ain’t rainin’ anymore.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.