Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Phillies 0: It’s getting close to the time for us to break out all of that “we are all witnesses” kind of hyperbole for Matt Harvey. Not that it’s really hyperbole. He’s simply toying with hitters at this point, throwing ungodly stuff in just about every count. Seven innings, three hits, ten strikeouts, no walks and if it wasn’t for the heat he wouldn’t have broken a sweat.

Brewers 1, Marlins 0: Caleb Gindl with the walkoff homer in the 13th. Not gonna lie: never heard of that dude before I clicked this box score. If you had asked me who Caleb Gindel was yesterday afternoon I would’ve guessed that he was lawful-good ranger in some D&D campaign involving some high school kids which has been going on for about a year or so. The kid who plays the ranger isn’t that into it, but he’s crushing hard on the girl who plays the halfling magic user so he plays every week. Sad part for poor Caleb is that no matter how much he tries to protect her, she’s really into the DM. You know, that kid who just got big into Society for Creative Anachronism and is making his own armor and stuff? And the worst part is, that kid sees all of this and tailors the campaign in such a way as to make Caleb look like a yutz at every turn. And he’s not even into the halfling! He’s just being a dick. All I’m saying is that it’s complicated. And that, um, I have no experience with anything like this whatsoever. Nope. Anyway: it’s now been 11 days since I’ve written an ATH in which I had to put a number next to the Marlins score. OK, that’s a bit misleading as they did score runs during the weekend before the All-Star break, but man, they are rolling 1s and 2s when attacking and are missing all of their saving throws.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 3: A three game sweep for the Rays whose roll was not disrupted by the All-Star break one bit. Homers for Luke Scott, Evan Longoria and Kelly Johnson. Tampa Bay has won 13 of 14 and now face the Sox with first place in the AL East on the line.

White Sox 3, Braves 1: Lots of leather here. Casper Wells robbed Reed Johnson of a homer in the eighth. Jeff Keppinger had a diving stop. Johnson smacked a liner that was snagged by Alexi Ramirez, who doubled off Brian McCann. Tons of missed chances and stranded runners for the Braves. Tons of nice plays for the Sox, who took two of three.

Pirates 3, Reds 2: Weird aggregate pitching lines: Pirates pitchers allowed only three hits but they walked seven. Meanwhile Homer Bailey struck out 12 in six and a third yet got the loss. It’s the last time the Reds and Pirates meet until September. They finish the year playing six of their last nine against each other.

Tigers 4, Royals 1: I watched Miguel Cabrera hit his first inning homer off James Shields. It’s cute how pitchers think they can bust him inside. But you know what? You really can’t. He just pulls his hands in and jacks that mother. There’s really no one like him in that regard in the game right now. Tigers avoid the sweep.

Dodgers 9, Nationals 2: Matt Kemp came back off the DL, kicked some butt, hitting a homer, a double and driving in three, got hurt on the base paths and my guess is that he’ll go back on the DL. I imagine 50 years from now they’ll be calling that “pulling a Matt Kemp.” Dodgers sweep the Nats.

Indians 7, Twins 1: Justin Masterson took a no-hitter into the seventh, having faced the minimum (his one baserunner was a hit batsmaen who was then caught stealing). A bloop single broke it up but such is the way of the world.

Mariners 12, Astros 5: The M’s are hot, having won six in a row. Nick Franklin hit a grand slam and Felix Hernandez did Felix Hernandez things (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7K).

Cardinals 3, Padres 2: Adam Wainwright went eight innings and picked up his 13th win. I looked at the box score for this game and noticed that the lineup Mike Matheny used yesterday had OBP’s of .399, .384, .376, .346, .359 in the 1-5 slots.

Athletics 6, Angels 0: Per ESPN: Bartolo Colon is the first pitcher over the age of 40 to have more than one shutout in a season since Randy Johnson did it in 2004. Per a Twitter search for “Bartlo Colon steroids” people on Twitter aren’t all that impressed. No matter: dude is on pace for 21 wins and 225 innings pitched.

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 1: The Dbacks avoid the sweep — holding off an error-and-infield-single-driven would-be ninth inning rally by the Giants — and just barely hold on to their lead in the NL West.

Rockies 4, Cubs 3: Tyler Chatwood tossed six decent innings. Nolan Arenado drove in the go-ahead run on a sixth inning single and an insurance run scored on the same play via a throwing error.

Orioles 4 vs. Rangers 2: I talked to Chris Tillman for a bit at the All-Star Game. No other media member was talking to him. I asked him if he was cool with more or less being ignored. He said “Yep, that’s good for me. I like it that way just fine.” Here he allowed two runs in eight innings and got the win. And probably had to answer questions about that from the press, the poor sod.

Red Sox 8, Yankees 7: Mike Napoli with a walkoff homer in the 11th. It was bookended with his three-run shot in the third. The Yankees can take a moral victory away having scored seven runs, right? No? Eh, well, OK. But it was something seeing them score seven runs.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.