Carlos Gonzalez

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 12, Reds 4: The Colorado Wrecking Crew: Carlos Gonzalez hit three home runs and drove in six. Troy Tulowitzki hit two of his own. Pedro Villarreal had no idea what hit him.

White Sox 7, Mariners 5: You figure if you score five runs in the top of an extra inning that you’re gonna win that extra inning game. The White Sox did that in the top of the 14th inning of this one, but then immediately coughed up that five run lead in the bottom half, thanks to a Kyle Seager grand slam and an Endy Chavez RBI single of Addison Reed. Robin Ventura stuck with Reed for some reason after that, however. Well, probably for the reason of “who the hell else are we gonna pitch in a 16-inning game?” It paid off as Reed settled down in the 15th and 16th and the Sox pulled it out in the end. Whew.

Blue Jays 4, Giants 0: The Giants couldn’t do Dickey against R.A. Dickey. The knuckler tossed eight and a third two-hit shutout innings. He also doubled in the Jays’ first run of the game. I think that if a pitcher has what turns out to be the game-winning RBI and gets the win that we should call it a “Baseball Bugs.”

Rays 3, Tigers 0: Started watching this one, got bored, then decided to switch to that Liberace movie, “Beyond the Candelabra.” Rob Lowe’s drugged out, plastic surgery addicted plastic surgeon should have his own spinoff. It was LITERALLY the BEST performance I have EVER seen. Oh, Alex Cobb pitched seven and two-thirds of shuout ball. Doug Fister matched him into the ninth but then ran out of gas as the Rays put up three in the ninth.

Braves 5, Pirates 0: Julio Teheran was four outs from a no-hitter before Brandon Inge — who should be summarily suspended by Bud Selig for 100 games and his contract voided — broke it up. Still, eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts for the Braves’ breakout pitcher of 2013.

Mets 10, Nationals 1: Marlon Byrd had two homers and three RBI, Anthony Recker had three RBI of his own and Dillon Gee pitched seven solid. The Nats — this and many other writers’ pick in the NL East and as the best team in baseball back in March — stink on ice.

Phillies 6, Marlins 1: And because the Nats stink on ice, they have allowed the Phillies to slide into second place. Philly brings their record to 30-30 — their first time at .500 since they were 6-6 — thanks in part to finally scoring Cole Hamels some runs. Their ace struck out 11 and won his first game in a dog’s age. Ryan Howard hit a triple. You don’t see that every day. You do seem to see Domonic Brown hitting home runs every day, however. He hit his 10th in 12 games and leads the NL with 18 overall.

Yankees 6, Indians 4: CC Sabathia went the distance after being staked to a 6-0 lead by the end of the second inning. I suppose this is what pitching to the score looks like?

Athletics 6, Brewers 1: Guess the A’s decided that they just weren’t going to lose anymore. Neat trick if you can pull it off. Bartolo Colon is 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA and he’s only walked six guys in 77.1 innings. He turned 40 two weeks ago.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: A day after the Red Sox got 13 extra base hits and scored 17 runs, five Rangers pitchers combined to limit them to two runs on five hits. Alexi Ogando came back off the DL for the start and was solid. The Rangers have the best record in the AL and their best record through 58 games in franchise history.

Cubs 8, Angels 6: Two homers for Mark Trumbo, including one to tie it in the eighth and force extras, but he can’t do it alone. A three-run double for Anthony Rizzo in the tenth was enough to put Chicago over.

Royals 4, Twins 1: Three runs in the first and a nice combo performance by Jeremy Guthrie and four relievers help the Royals snap their 11-game home losing streak.

Diamondbacks 10, Cardinals 3: Paul Goldschmidt is a friggin’ beast. He hit his second grand slam in five days and ups his season line to .336/.417/.608 and is on pace for 36 homers and 146 RBI. Arizona has won four of five. It was the first time the Cards lost back-to-back games since the end of April.

Astros 11, Orioles 7: Houston launches six homers and wins its seventh game in its last eight. Jason Castro, Carlos Pena and J.D. Martinez had two-run homers, Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez and Marwin Gonzalez had solo shots. I hope the three slackers in the lineup who didn’t go yard have to pay fines in kangaroo court today or something.

Padres 6, Dodgers 2: Jason Marquis’ deal with the devil continues as he takes a no-hitter into the sixth and notches his seventh win of the year. My daughter will be thrilled. Marquis tied up the Rangers in the first major league game she ever went to last season and now she thinks he’s really good. Maybe this is all about one child’s willingness to believe or some hokey crap like that. [music swells].

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.