New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 8, Phillies 0: Matt Harvey blanks the Phillies on two hits for six innings and David Wright went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a triple and a homer. I know the Mets have problems, but man, when it goes right for them it’s really pretty. Something about the purity of an ace and a superstar doing what they’re supposed to do that makes a win all the more satisfying to see.

Rays 3, Yankees 1: Chris Archer gave up one run over six innings and James Loney hit a two-run single in the seventh. The two runs allowed in the seventh really were a team effort. Both of the runners who scored — Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist — reached when Ivan Nova hit them with pitches. Then Shawn Kelley walked Evan Longoria to move the runners up, then Boone Logan came in to give up the single. There’s no “I” in team. There’s no “I” in “meltdown” either.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Kind of a mess of a game, with the Tigers down late and Justin Verlander not looking all that hot. But then Boston got sloppy, with Andrews Miller and Bailey combining to let a run in the seventh — with said run scoring on a hit-by-pitch — and then Miller and Daniel Nava got all errory in the eighth as three Tigers runs scored.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 5: Call it 11 in a row for the Jays as Edwin Encarnacion drove in four and Jose Bautista knocked in three. The Jays now have a seven-game road trip which takes them through Tampa Bay and Boston. They begin the trip only five games back. The AL East is wild, man. Wild.

Twins 5, Indians 3: Emergency starter Pedro Hernandez — which is a lot like a name off-brand video games use when they don’t have the right to use actual ballplayers’ names — gave up two runs over five innings as the Twinkies avoid the sweep. Nick Swisher came back for the Indians and dropped an 0 for 5.

Rockies 7, Nationals 6: Michael Cuddyer homered and went 3 for 4 overall to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. He’s reached base in 40 straight games overall. The Rockies were staked to a 7-0 lead and held on.

Braves 7, Brewers 4: A first inning grand slam for Brian McCann wasn’t all the Braves would need to win, but it was all they needed to not lose. Does that make sense? I sorta feel like it makes sense. Then again, as I’m writing this it’s Sunday afternoon and it’s hot and my brain doesn’t function nearly as well when it’s hot as it does when it’s cooler. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

Cubs 14, Astros 6: Ryan Sweeney drove in six, Anthony Rizzo drove in four and that was more run support than Jeff Samardzija truly needed. 20 runs and 29 hits in this one and it lasted three hours and fifteen minutes. I feel like that’s fast for a game with this much carnage.

Royals 7, White Sox 6: Kinda like the Tigers-Red Sox game as relief pitcher fecklessness/bad defense gave this to the other team. All three of the runs Jesse Crain allowed in the eighth were unearned — keeping his streak of innings without allowing any earned runs intact — but since Crain’s own error led the them being unearned he’s sorta, kinda definitely responsible.

Marlins 7, Giants 2: Two homers for Justin Ruggiano as the Marlins win their tenth in eleven games at AT&T Park. As the defending world champs — who have been better at home than on the road — drop three of four to the freakin’ fish. What is this world?

Dodgers 3, Padres 1: Back-to-back homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in the ninth break a 1-1 tie and then put the Dodgers up 3-1.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 2: Mat Latos struck out 13 and allowed a run on six hits with one walk in seven and two-thirds, breaking the Dbacks’ four-game winning streak.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3: Kendrys Morales with a walkoff three-run homer in the 10th and he didn’t get hurt celebrating. Raul Ibanez had two homers of his own. Oakland has lost four of five.

Pirates 10, Angels 9: Oh man, Angels. Three in the ninth, four in the tenth for the Buccos in what can only be described as bullpencrapapalooza. Homers in four straight games for Pedro Alvarez.

Rangers 2, Cardinals 1: A three hour rain delay on a Sunday night because the unbalanced schedule makes it nearly impossible for teams to make up games when they don’t see each other in a given city any more. Just dumb. The Rangers are probably OK with it, though, as they get the sweep. It’s the first time anyone has swept the Cardinals this year.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7 million

Jake Arrieta
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.

Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.

Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Giants sign Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Conor Gillaspie is unable to hold on to the ball after catching a grounder hit by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
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Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.

Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.

The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Joe Nathan plans to pitch in 2016

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan throws against the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”

Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.

Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.