Domonic Brown

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 7, Brewers 5: Dom Brown homered and tripled and drove in four while Cliff Lee struck out 11 in seven and two-thirds. Philly is only one game behind the Nats right now, you guys. Why? Because …

Braves 6, Nationals 3: … the Nats dropped two of three to Atlanta, with B.J. Upton of all people fueling the Braves with a walkoff single on Saturday and a homer on Sunday. It’s really amazing how many dudes on the Braves have sort of sucked — B.J. Upton, Jason Heyward, Dan Uggla and Tim Hudson — yet the Braves are enjoying the biggest lead of any team in baseball. Imagine if some of those dudes actually start contributing.

Giants 4, Cardinals 2: I didn’t think the Giants would stink on the road forever, but I didn’t think Chad Gaudin would be the one to snap them out of their road funk. But good for him. Meanwhile, Yadier Molina was ejected for throwing his helmet on the ground when he was called out at first. Except he said after the game he knew he was out and wasn’t disputing the call, he was just mad at himself.  Seems like a pretty relevant distinction to me. I mean, no, tossing equipment about is not exactly a Profile in Sportsmanship, but I think it’s one thing if you’re doing it as a display of anger at an umpire — let’s call that a Lawrie — vs. just being mad. Oh well.

Twins 10, Mariners 0: Hey, it’s Jeremy Bonderman. Where has he been? [whack!][crack!][bang!][blast!]. Oh, that’s where he’s been.

Orioles 4, Tigers 2: Chris Davis went yard again, Kevin Gausman looked pretty darn sharp, the wheels fell off for Rick Porcello and the Tigers in the seventh inning and the Orioles took two of three from Detroit.

Marlins 11, Mets 6: Mets sweep Yankees. Marlins sweep Mets. Marlins better than Yankees? Isn’t that the transitive theory or something? Marcell Ozuna drove in four. Greg Dobbs drove in three. The Mets bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings. It was the Marlins’ first three-game sweep of the year.

Rays 11, Indians 3: Evan Longoria and Yunel Escobar each hit two-run homers — Longoria drove in three in all — and James Loney had a two-run double. Terry Francona got ejected. I feel like veteran managers get ejected during Sunday day games more than any other games. Especially when they’re at home. They’re probably dragging a bit for the day games after night games and would like some time on their couch.

Rangers 3, Royals 1: Seven shutout innings for Yu Darvish and a tie-breaking homer for Jurickson Profar in the eighth. And to this day I still get people asking me how the Rangers win games without Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson.

Pirates 5, Reds 4: Of course you stretch one of your lesser relievers to three innings rather than go to your best reliever when you’re in a tough spot in extra innings. I mean, what would you have Dusty Baker do? Use Aroldis Chapman in a non-save situation? That’s crazy talk. On the bright side for the Reds: Chapman is REALLY well rested for tonight’s game.

Diamondbacks 8, Cubs 4: Patrick Corbin wins his ninth game. Edwin Jackson, meanwhile, falls to 1-8. Carlos Marmol walked the ballpark again and got booed. Remember when he was supposed to be a trade chit at the deadline? Yeah.

Astros 5, Angels 4: If you think the Marlins winning three straight is a big deal, know that the Astros have won five straight. Jordan Lyles continues to be impressive, allowing two runs in five and two-thirds and striking out five.

Rockies 7, Dodgers 2: Matty McGill/he stood on the hill/pitched like he was drunk and looked like some roadkill, so … he went way … back to Triple-A … people down there/really like to get it ON … get it ON!

Athletics 2, White Sox 0: Chris Sale’s scoreless innings streak stops at 28 and Jarrod Parker tossed six and a third scoreless himself. The A’s are winners of 14 of 16.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 0: one hour and 58 minutes of game time, two hours seven minutes of rain delays. And a complete game shutout that lasted five innings for Clay Buchholz. Homers for Jose Iglesias and David Ortiz. Seven losses in eight games for the Yankees.

Blue Jays 7, Padres 4: Mark DeRose hit a two-run homer in the 11th and the Jays bullpenallowed just two hits and no runs in nine innings of work after Ramon Ortiz left the game with an apparent elbow injury. An elbow injury that, in his case, may very well be career-ending. In other news, does anyone know why they were playing a night game on a Sunday getaway day that wasn’t an ESPN game?

Report: Tigers and J.D. Martinez agree to a two-year, $18.5 million deal

J.D. Martinez
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
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UPDATE: Jason Beck of MLB.com confirms that it’s a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

8:00 p.m. ET: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with outfielder J.D. Martinez by agreeing to a two-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved, but Robert Murray of Baseball Essential reported earlier today that he was hearing rumblings about a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

Martinez filed for $8 million and was offered $6 million by the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. There has been some talk about a long-term extension, but we heard last week that the two sides were discussing both one- and two-year deals. This new deal will buy out Martinez’s final two years of arbitration, so as of now, he’s still on track to go into free agency after 2017.

After a breakout 2014, Martinez batted .282 with 38 home runs and an .879 OPS over 158 games last season.

Free agent reliever Eric O’Flaherty weighing interest from four teams

New York Mets pitcher Eric O'Flaherty throws against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Miami, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. The Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 8-6. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
AP Photo/Joe Skipper
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Veteran reliever Eric O'Flaherty is coming off the worst season of his career, but there’s still plenty of interest in a bounceback, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that he’s deciding between four teams and “should sign a deal by the weekend.”

You really can’t sugarcoat O’Flaherty’s 2015. The 31-year-old was flat-out bad, posting an 8.41 ERA and 21/18 K/BB ratio over 30 innings of work between the Athletics and Mets. Opposing batters hit .343/.427/.482 against him. I keep going back to check if that’s a misprint, but nope, it’s real. He also missed some time with shoulder inflammation. On the bright side, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported last month that O’Flaherty feels healthy and believes that he has fixed his mechanics.

O’Flaherty’s career has veered off track since Tommy John surgery in 2013, but he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past and throws from the left side. He’s the kind of guy who will continue to get chances.

Mets sign outfielder Roger Bernadina

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks
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Veteran outfielder Roger Bernadina has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets that includes an invitation to spring training.

Bernadina was a semi-regular for the Nationals from 2010-2012, but never developed as much as hoped offensively and didn’t play in the majors at all last season.

At age 32 he’s a career .236 hitter with a .661 OPS in 548 games as a big leaguer and given the Mets’ outfield depth–they already have Alejandro De Aza and Juan Lagares in bench/part-time roles–Bernadina seems likely to begin the season in the minors.

J.R. Graham is in The Best Shape of his Life

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.R. Graham celebrates after the final out as the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 12-2 in  a baseball game, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 12-2. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Twins reliever J.R. Graham has lost “roughly 30-40 pounds this offseason.” It’s not a result of workouts, though. Just a change in diet. Bollinger says that Graham cut out sugar, alcohol and foods heavy in carbs and focused on a high-protein diet with lots of salads, meats and vegetables.

That’s an awful lot of weight to lose in four months, but the dude is only 26 and guys in their 20s lose weight just by thinking about it. Which is so very annoying to those of us who aren’t guys in their 20s.

The real test, of course, will come when he is working out far more strenuously once spring training starts and gets into the season. Normal schmos like me can keep up that kind of diet without much of a hitch as long as we have the willpower. An athlete’s energy requirements are far greater and far more specialized, so he’ll need more fuel than he’s probably been getting this offseason. Word is, however, that professional sports teams have people on staff that, you know, have made monitoring that kind of thing their life’s work.

In the meantime:

“I can just feel the change,” Graham said. “The energy. Everything. I feel great. I’m excited to see how it’ll translate into spring. I know I shouldn’t have any problems because I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster. All that. So it’s really exciting.”

It’s very exciting indeed. Because, with that, Graham becomes the latest baseball player to be . . . In The Best Shape of His Life.