Ed Hickox, weather

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 10, Blue Jays 6: “The fog comes on little cat feet. It sits looking over harbor and city on silent haunches and then moves on.” Carl Sandburg said that about fog. “It was worse than when it rains. With the lights, it made it really really bright. It was weird.” Adam Dunn said that about fog. Which may not be as good as what Sandburg said, but Dunn hit two homers so he has that going for him, which is nice.

Reds 6, Cubs 2: Fog on the north side too, but this time it didn’t inspire any poetry that we know of. It did feature Brandon Phillips driving in six runs, though, and the way some people love RBIs I’m sure they’re composing some epic verse about Phillips’ clutchiness or what have you. The Reds have beaten the Cubs 17 of the past 20 times they’ve faced them and ten straight times at Wrigley Field.

Red Sox 10, Rays 8: Fisticuffsmanship! Well, more like a violence-free, bench-clearing shuffle no one’s heart was really in after John Lackey drilled Matt Joyce in the back for flipping his bat after he thought he had hit a second home run off the Boston starter (it was foul). Boston won this one despite blowing a 6-0, an 8-7 lead and a 9-8 lead, the first of those it enjoyed in the first inning, the second and third of which it enjoyed in extras. This one was over in a crisp five hours, twenty-four minutes.

Brewers 6, Marlins 1: [CTRL-V]: [Pitcher] tossed [number] shutout innings against the Marlins. [highlight, CTRL-V: “Yovani Gallardo”] [highlight, CTRL-V: “eight”].

Orioles 4, Angels 3: The O’s got two runs in the sixth before the game was halted due to monsoons and such for two hours and change. That was all the scoring that would happen, though. I sorta feel like Mother Nature didn’t want a lot of baseball played last night. Maybe She had some TV to catch up on.

Rangers 6, Indians 3: Welp, those Indians sure are doing what they can to derail Terry Francona’s Manager of the Year campaign. Eight straight losses in a row for The Tribe, who are now tied with the Royals for second place in the AL Central. Eighteen days ago they were in first place.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 4: This was not one for fans of stellar bullpen work. Brandon League was handed a 3-1 lead in the ninth and surrendered four runs, all on singles, two of the infield variety. Heath Bell came in to close it out for Arizona, and ultimately did, but not before allowing a homer and allowing the Dodgers to get runners on the corner with nobody out. He still got the save, though, and someone will one day say that Bell knows what it takes to lock down games in the ninth inning or some such.

Padres 7, Braves 6: A late rally falls short for Atlanta. San Diego beat up Julio Teheran and Jason Marquis stymied his old mates. Well, not his old mates since he last played for Atlanta a decade ago, but you know what I mean. Jason Heyward was 13 then. He hit two homers last night. Will Venable drove in three.

Royals 3, Tigers 2: Break up the Royals. Kansas City wins its sixth in a row, as Tigers hitters not named Miguel Cabrera could do nothing against Jeremy Guthrie and four Royal relievers. Doug Fister pitched a complete game loss. You don’t see a ton of those these days.

Mariners 3, Astros 2: Hisashi Iwakuma continues to roll right along, upping his record to 7-1 lowering his ERA to 1.79 after seven innings in which he allowed only one unearned run. Indeed, he hasn’t allowed an earned run since May 26.

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.