Carlos Gomez

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Brewers 4, Reds 3: Holy moly that was a crazy game-ending catch for Carlos Gomez, robbing Joey Votto of the go-ahead home run:

Incredible.

Rays 7, Twins 4: The Rays continue to roll, winning their ninth in ten chances. Joe Maddon talked about his team going ten games over .500:

“The thing I like is that we’re 10 games over,” Maddon said. “You’ve got to go to 10, then you’ve got to go to 15, etc., etc. The major takeaway from tonight is the fact that we’re 10 games over.”

That’s the baseball version of the “this one goes to 11” thing from “This is Spinal Tap.”

Rangers 8, Orioles 5: Scott Feldman’s second start for the Orioles was not as good as his first as his old mates from Texas pounded him for seven runs, chasing him in the middle of their six-run sixth inning. Ian Kinsler had four RBI including a bases-clearing double. Baltimore stranded ten runners and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring condition.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: John Lannan had a way better against-his-former-mates performance than Feldman did as the Phillies continue to take it to the guys in front of them in the NL East. Dan Haren, meanwhile, looked better than he had following a couple of weeks on the disabled list but was outdueled. If he had won it would have given him a win against every MLB team in his career. Oh well, maybe next time.

Athletics 2, Pirates 1: Bartolo Colon keeps on rolling along, allowing one run in seven innings and improving to 12-3 with a 2.69 ERA. Jeff Locke — another surprise ace this year — lost for the first time since his first start of the season. Coco Crisp had a cool diving catch to record the last out while Colon was in the game.

Tigers 4, Indians 2: Victor Martinez’s two-run double in the tenth helps Detroit wrap up the series by taking its third of four from the upstart Tribe. Max Scherzer’s no decision keeps his loss-free record intact. It was the first Indians loss in extra innings this year.

Braves 7, Marlins 1: When a game goes 14 innings you don’t expect it to end with a six-run spread, but this one did. Chris Hatcher came in for the Marlins in the top of that inning and gave up a two-run double to Justin Upton, a two-run single and a single to Gerald Laird which led to an error allowing in the unearned final run.

Royals 5, Yankees 1: Jeremy Guthrie came back despite an hour rain delay and pitched into the seventh. Alex Gordon, David Lough and Johnny Giavotella had RBI doubles, Alcides Escobar had an RBI triple. The Yankees lineup may have been the most anonymous one they’ve fielded since the first Bush administration.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1: Zack Greinke tossed seven shutout innings allowing only two hits — one less hit than he himself had at the plate — as the Dodgers end the Dbacks’ winning streak and pull to within three and a half. The white-hot Hanley Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 19 games. No brawls to report.

Cubs 8, White Sox 2: Matt Garza continues to build his trade value, allowing one earned run over seven innings. Alfonso Soriano is a perpetual trade candidate and that ship may have already sailed, but he added three hits — including a homer — four runs and a steal. The battle of Chicago has zero playoff significance, but I’m sure people in Chicago enjoy it. Maybe. I dunno.

Rockies 4, Padres 2:  Tyler Chatwood took a comebacker off his leg, stayed in the game and still took a shutout into the seventh. The Padres dropped their tenth in a row. In other news, yesterday I bought tickets to a Padres game in late September which I am now realizing will have very little significance in the grand scheme of things. But hey, I’ll be on a weekend trip to California and that’s it’s own reward.

Mariners 11, Red Sox 4: King Felix allowed two runs over seven and got a bunch of run support, including a home run from Raul Ibanez, who is giving me some hope as I sit here, five days away from my 40th birthday. Jon Lester’s one-run performance against San Diego last Wednesday now looks like a mere blip on an otherwise craptacular stretch of pitching.

Mets 4, Giants 3: A sixteen-inning, five-hour, twenty-six minute game in which the winning run scored on an error? Sounds absolutely riveting. Nine shutout innings from the Mets pen and nine earned run-free innings from the Giants pen is pretty impressive though. This was the fourth 15-inning (or more) game the Mets had played this year and their first win in said contests.

Marlins still searching for starting pitching depth

Aaron Harang
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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The Marlins would like to add “another pitcher or two” before pitchers and catchers report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Among starting pitchers available, Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang, and Alfredo Simon are candidates for the Marlins, but they may hold out for the possibility of inking a major league contract. Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are other potential candidates, per Frisaro.

This offseason, the Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million deal and Edwin Jackson for the major league minimum. The back of the rotation, though, is still a question mark as Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino will compete with Jackson for two spots. David Phelps is dealing with an elbow injury and may or not be ready by Opening Day, but he could function in a swingman capacity as well.

Shocker: Bruce Bochy tabs Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

Madison Bumgarner
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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You might want to sit down for this news. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has tabbed ace Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day in Milwaukee against the Brewers, CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports. Shocking, I know.

The Giants had a busy offseason, adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to the starting rotation, but neither had a shot at getting the Opening Day nod considering what Bumgarner has done for the Giants over the last five seasons.

Since the start of the 2011 season, the 26-year-old lefty compiled a 3.05 ERA with 1,034 strikeouts and 239 walks across 1,050 innings. Among starters who logged at least 800 innings in that span of time, only Clayton Kershaw, Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, and Felix Hernandez have posted lower ERAs.  And Bumgarner is the only one among them with a championship ring. In fact, he has three.

Tony Clark is not happy so many players remain unsigned

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
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We’re almost halfway through February. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training soon. And yet, there are more than a handful of solid free agents that remain unsigned. Among them: Yovani Gallardo, Ian Desmond, and Dexter Fowler. All three have draft pick compensation tied to them, as each rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from his respective former team. That, undoubtedly, is a reason why they haven’t inked a contract yet.

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark is unhappy about this reality and expects to discuss potential changes when the next collective bargaining agreement is negotiated. The current CBA expires after the 2016 season. Per the Associated Press, Clark said last week, “I think it’s disappointing when there are as many talented players still without a home. I don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest to be in a world where very talented players are at home for whatever reason they are there. It will likely be a part of the conversation in bargaining.”

Clark also mentioned, among other things, the possibility of a draft lottery, which would take away the incentive for teams to “tank”, or lose on purpose. The Astros and Phillies have notably done this in recent years, finishing with baseball’s worst record and thus netting the #1 overall draft pick.

These are, however, simply two items of many that will be discussed during the upcoming offseason. It will be interesting to see what solutions are eventually put in place.

Michael Pineda hopes to reach 200-inning mark for first time

New York Yankees' Michael Pineda delivers a pitch during the third inning of a baseball game against the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
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It was reported on Friday that Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka isn’t sure if he’ll be ready for Opening Day as he makes his way back from arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. His health will be crucial to the Yankees’ chances this season, but the same goes for rotation-mate Michael Pineda, who hopes that this is the year he’ll be able to take on the workload of a frontline starter.

Pineda was on pace for a career-high in innings last season, but he landed on the disabled list in late July with a right flexor forearm muscle strain and missed a month. He struggled upon his return and ended up with 160 2/3 innings, so he fell short of his career-high of 171 innings as a rookie with the Mariners way back in 2011. Now going into his age-27 season, Pineda told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that his goal for 2016 is to reach 200 innings for the first time in his career.

“For me, this year, I’m coming here early to be strong and working hard to pitch 200 innings this year,” Pineda said at the club’s Minor League complex. “I want to throw 200 innings this year. This is my goal, and help my team.”

Pineda had a mediocre 4.37 ERA (90 ERA+) last season despite impressive peripherals with 8.7 K/9 and 1.2 BB/9. Among pitchers with at least 160 innings pitched, only Bartolo Colon of the Mets had a lower walk percentage. Pineda managed to increase his ground ball rate to 48.2 percent and also saw an uptick in velocity from 2014, so there’s reason to believe in improvement if he can stay healthy.