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.

Brandon Belt signs $6.2 million deal, avoiding arbitration with Giants

Brandon Belt
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In a last-second compromise before a scheduled heading today, first baseman Brandon Belt and the Giants have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $6.2 million deal.

Belt requested $7.5 million and the Giants countered at $5.3 million, so they’ve settled slightly on the team-friendly side of the midpoint. Belt will be arbitration eligible again next season for the final time before hitting the open market as a free agent.

He’s coming off a very good season in which he hit .280 with 18 homers and an .834 OPS in 137 games and Belt has a lifetime .803 OPS through age 27, making him one of MLB’s most underrated all-around first baseman.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

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Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

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Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system in baseball

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Flags fly forever! Hooray for The Process championship!

Ah, sorry. This is about as much rooting as I’ll get to do this year, so cut me some slack.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. The top system: the Atlanta Braves. The bottom: the Los Angeles Angels, about whom Law says “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Enjoy Mike Trout, though, you guys.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone. And though he drives me crazy sometimes, Buster Olney’s daily column/notes thing is also worth the money over the course of the year.