Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: After the last scene of Don Mattingly’s managerial life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that at many times along the path of his time in Los Angeles, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. Clayton Kershaw then whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” (9 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5K).

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 1: Patrick Corbin continues to roll on, and this time he added some strikeouts to skew dominant. He allowed one run on three hits, striking out ten.

Marlins 5, Phillies 1: The Marlins have 13 wins this season, four of which have come against Philly. That’s gotta make the Phillies angry. Cole Hamels was certainly angry, as he left the clubhouse in something of a huff. Maybe it’s because Charlie Manuel pulled him early for a pinch hitter in an effort to get a run? Maybe it was because the Phillies have only scored 20 runs for him all season? Maybe because he saw Alex Sanabia throwing a spitball?

Indians 10, Mariners 8: Two homers for Yan Gomes as the Indians continue to roll. Winners of 18 of 22 and a team that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere.

Braves 5, Twins 1: Sometimes I wish Gleeman and I were competitive rah-rah fans so when stuff like our teams meeting happens we could talk trash and all that. But we’re not. I suppose if I sent him some “in your face” kind of message after this one he’d respond back with “oh well.” Which is way better for the blood pressure, frankly. A three-run homer for Dan Uggla and a nice outing from Julio Teheran.

Reds 4, Mets 3: Jay Bruce hit a tie-breaking homer in the sixth. Arolids Chapman, who blew his previous two saves, locked this one down. Dusty Baker on his closer:

“Got to get back on the horse, right away,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Otherwise it festers and grows.”

The horse? So confused.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 5: R.A. Dickey is slowly righting the ship, winning his second in a row. You have to right the ship or else it gets all infected and oozes. Or something. Sorry, that Dusty Baker quote is still bugging me.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4: The Orioles are in a flat spin, losers of six straight. People usually say “tailspin” but I liked “Top Gun” a lot when I was a kid and flat spins are far more ominous and scary for me, Goose. With the Yankees down 4-3 in the ninth, Travis Hafner homered off Jim Johnson, who has now blown three straight saves. Vernon Wells and Hafner added RBIs in the 10th to seal the win. Mariano Rivera did not, in contrast, blow the save. Because he is Mariano Rivera.

Athletics 9, Rangers 2: It feels like these two teams have played 15 games against one another in the past couple of weeks. Oh well, too busy to check. Gonna assume that’s right. Anyway, Seth Smith homered and scored three times and Bartolo Colon pitched seven strong innings.

White Sox 6, Reds Sox 4: Sox win.

Padres 4, Cardinals 2: Jason Marquis has won five straight starts and I can’t even. He said after the game that he’s “making better pitches.” Bud Black said after the game that Marquis is “a guy that continues to make pitches when he needs to.”  I guess he’s just making pitches, eh?

Astros 6, Royals 5: Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer. Jason Castro hit a solo shot. Miguel Tejada hit a homer too. It was his first bomb since 2011. Jeremy Guthrie was shelled and has allowed 19 runs and 11 hits in his past two outings. The Royals are now a sub-.500 team.

Giants 8, Nationals 0: Ryan Vogelsong was cruising — tossing five shutout innings — until he broke his throwing hand while fouling off a pitch in the bottom of the fifth. Enter the DH people. Meanwhile, after the game Davey Johnson announced that Ryan Mattheus broke his pitching hand punching a locker in frustration Sunday. Jesus, people.

Shocker: Bruce Bochy tabs Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

Madison Bumgarner
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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You might want to sit down for this news. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has tabbed ace Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day in Milwaukee against the Brewers, CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports. Shocking, I know.

The Giants had a busy offseason, adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to the starting rotation, but neither had a shot at getting the Opening Day nod considering what Bumgarner has done for the Giants over the last five seasons.

Since the start of the 2011 season, the 26-year-old lefty compiled a 3.05 ERA with 1,034 strikeouts and 239 walks across 1,050 innings. Among starters who logged at least 800 innings in that span of time, only Clayton Kershaw, Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, and Felix Hernandez have posted lower ERAs.  And Bumgarner is the only one among them with a championship ring. In fact, he has three.

Tony Clark is not happy so many players remain unsigned

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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We’re almost halfway through February. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training soon. And yet, there are more than a handful of solid free agents that remain unsigned. Among them: Yovani Gallardo, Ian Desmond, and Dexter Fowler. All three have draft pick compensation tied to them, as each rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from his respective former team. That, undoubtedly, is a reason why they haven’t inked a contract yet.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark is unhappy about this reality and expects to discuss potential changes when the next collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. The current CBA expires after the 2016 season. Per the Associated Press, Clark said last week, “I think it’s disappointing when there are as many talented players still without a home. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest to be in a world where very talented players are at home for whatever reason they are there. It will likely be a part of the conversation in bargaining.”

Clark also mentioned, among other things, the possibility of a draft lottery, which would take away the incentive for teams to “tank”, or lose on purpose. The Astros and Phillies have notably done this in recent years, finishing with baseball’s worst record and thus netting the #1 overall draft pick.

These are, however, simply two items of many that will be discussed during the upcoming offseason. It will be interesting to see what solutions are eventually put in place.

Michael Pineda hopes to reach 200-inning mark for first time

New York Yankees' Michael Pineda delivers a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
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It was reported on Friday that Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Opening Day as he makes his way back from arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. His health will be crucial to the Yankees’ chances this season, but the same goes for rotation-mate Michael Pineda, who hopes that this is the year he’ll be able to take on the workload of a frontline starter.

Pineda was on pace for a career-high in innings last season, but he landed on the disabled list in late July with a right flexor forearm muscle strain and missed a month. He struggled upon his return and ended up with 160 2/3 innings, so he fell short of his career-high of 171 innings as a rookie with the Mariners way back in 2011. Now going into his age-27 season, Pineda told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that his goal for 2016 is to reach 200 innings for the first time in his career.

“For me, this year, I’m coming here early to be strong and working hard to pitch 200 innings this year,” Pineda said at the club’s Minor League complex. “I want to throw 200 innings this year. This is my goal, and help my team.”

Pineda had a mediocre 4.37 ERA (90 ERA+) last season despite impressive peripherals with 8.7 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9. Among pitchers with at least 160 innings pitched, only Bartolo Colon of the Mets had a lower walk percentage. Pineda managed to increase his ground ball rate to 48.2 percent and also saw an uptick in velocity from 2014, so there’s reason to believe in improvement if he can stay healthy.

Brewers GM: Acquiring Jacob Nottingham doesn’t change Jonathan Lucroy’s status

Jonathan Lucroy
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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The Brewers acquired prospects Jake Nottingham and Bubba Derby from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for slugging outfielder Khris Davis. The hope is that Nottingham will develop into the Brewers’ catcher of the future, so you could say that the club is planning for life after Jonathan Lucroy. However, Brewers general manager David Stearns said today that the trade doesn’t change Lucroy’s immediate status.

The Brewers are in rebuild-mode and Lucroy is an excellent trade chip if healthy, as his contract includes a $5.25 million club option for 2017. It’s likely just a matter of time before he’s shipped elsewhere, but yesterday’s trade shouldn’t change the timeline for a potential deal. Nottingham doesn’t turn 21 until April and has yet to play in Double-A, so he’s still a ways off from the majors. The Brewers can afford to wait on the right offer for Lucroy, whether it’s in spring training or at the trade deadline or perhaps later.

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Nottingham batted .316/.372/.505 with 17 home runs over 109 games last season between Class A and High-A. He was traded from the Astros to the Athletics as part of the Scott Kazmir deal last July. It’s worth noting that Stearns was the assistant GM for Houston when Nottingham was drafted in the sixth round back in 2013, so he’s clearly a fan.