Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 3, Red Sox 0: Matt Moore throws his first career shutout and it came in the first game of what, so far this year, is the Rays biggest series. Two hits allowed, one walk four strikeouts as the Rays cut a game off the Sox’ division lead, now sitting a half game back.

Reds 11, Giants 0: Bronson Arroyo’s 100th win as a Red comes on a shutout in which he scattered seven hits. It was his sixth shutout all-time. Tim Lincecum had eight days to rest his arm after his 148-pitch no-hitter. Didn’t help much, as he was roughed up to the tune of eight runs on nine hits in three and two-thirds.

Rangers 3, Yankees 0: The third shutout of the night, though this one was a team effort. Yu Darvish brought it into the seventh and then three relievers took it from there. Nelson Cruz homered to help the Rangers to victory. If yesterday’s big news is a harbinger — and it’s hard to see how it isn’t — don’t get used to Cruz helping you out for the rest of this season, Texas fans.

Pirates 6, Nationals 5: The Pirates win, yes, and Andrew McCutchen had two homers, but all anyone wants to talk about is how they’ve lost Jason Grilli to what, by appearances, is a serious arm injury. The Nationals, meanwhile, are a hot mess. Or a cold mess. Whichever mess is the worst.

Dodgers 14, Blues Jays 5: Can’t stop the Dodgers. Oh, wait, I’m sorry: can’t stop the first place L.A. Dodgers. Who were nine and a half games back on June 22nd. A.J. Ellis drove in five. Skip Schumaker hit a three run bomb. Then dropped some bombs after the game.

Braves 2, Mets 1: Jason Heyward does not always play center field. But when he does, he makes game-saving catches. Stay frustrated, my Mets friends.

Padres 5, Brewers 3: The Brewers lost with Ryan Braun this season and they can lose without him too, so in that regard nothing has changed. Not having Corey Hart all year has been just as big a problem. Nightmare year for Milwaukee.

Tigers 7, White Sox 3: Max Scherzer won his 14th game, but Miguel Cabrera left with a sore hip flexor. Unless I’m missing a stint at one time with Florida, I don’t believe he’s ever been on the disabled list. Chris Sale struck out 11 and allowed only two earned runs, but the White Sox allowed five unearned overall. Bad defense aside, Adam Dunn did make one really nice play at first which caused me to almost do a spit take.

Marlins 3, Rockies 1: Miami finally ends their scoreless streak at 37 innings when Giancarlo Stanton hit an RBI double in the first. After the game Logan Morrison made a funny when he said that you know the Marlins are clean given how crappy their offense is.

Orioles 9, Royals 2: Tampa Bay is on the verge of overtaking Boston, but don’t sleep on Baltimore. The O’s are now 2.5 back after taking their fifth game in a row. Three RBI a piece from All-Stars Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy.

Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 2: Arizona surrenders first place as emergency starter Chris Rusin — called on to replace the just-traded Matt Garza — held the Dbacks scoreless until the sixth inning. Love that Garza trade for Chicago, by the way.

Athletics 4, Astros 3: A two-run homer for Josh Reddick and a solo shot for Chris Young. The A’s are taking extreme advantage of their new division mates, upping their record to 10-0 against the Astros this year.

Twins 4, Angels 3: Player of the game Clete Thomas. Homer, RBI double and a nice grab on what would have been a go-ahead homer by Chris Iannetta.

Mariners 2, Indians 1: The Mariners — playing this one without Eric Wedge — won their seventh in a row. Kendrys Morales and Mike Zunino each homered and Aaron Harang pitched seven strong innings. Not that I feel like they’re competitive, but the M’s did tie the Angels in the standings.

Former MLB player Andy Marte also killed in car accident

GOODYEAR , AZ - MARCH 06:  Andy Marte #15 of the Cleveland Indians looks on from the dugout during the spring training game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Goodyear Ballpark on March 6, 2009 in Goodyear, Arizona. The Brewers defeated the Indians 17-7.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Compounding the tragic news of Yordano Ventura‘s passing is a report that fellow Dominican and former MLB infielder Andy Marte was also killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic early Sunday morning. The report was confirmed by Marte’s agency, J.M.G. Baseball, as well as Marte’s former MLB clubs. No further details have been released so far.

Marte, 33, appeared for the Braves, Indians and Diamondbacks from 2005 through 2014. He was ranked in the top 10 MLB prospects by MLB.com in 2005 and held a career .218/.276/.358 batting line, 21 home runs and a .634 OPS over seven seasons in the majors. He signed with the KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization after the 2014 season, slashing .312 with 42 home runs in 206 games.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marte’s family and teammates during this terrible time.

Yordano Ventura and Jose Fernandez were two of the most promising arms in MLB

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 3: Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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Baseball lost two incredible pitchers in the last four months, both to horrible and unforeseen tragedies. Jose Fernandez and Yordano Ventura were among the most talented and promising pitchers in MLB, two young arms that drew both accolades and criticism for their performance on the mound.

Ventura signed with the Royals in 2008, blazing through several tiers of their farm system before he was called up to replace an injured Danny Duffy in late 2013. He secured his rotation spot the following spring and finished a solid 2014 campaign with a 14-10 record, 3.20 ERA and 2.4 fWAR in 32 starts for the club. During the Royals’ World Series run later that year, Ventura dedicated his performance in Game 6 to Cardinals’ prospect Oscar Taveras, who was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic just two days earlier.

In four years with the Royals, Ventura pitched to a 38-31 record, 3.89 ERA and 6.5 fWAR. While his command and overall production rate waned, bottoming out in 2016 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.85 SO/BB rate, his dynamic pitch repertoire still kept him front and center in the Royals’ pitching staff. He brandished an electric fastball that, at its lowest point, hovered around 96.6 m.p.h. and, at its best, topped out around 102.6 m.p.h.

Like Ventura, Fernandez made an instant impression in the major league circuit. He earned Rookie of the Year distinctions in 2013 after delivering a 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA and 4.1 fWAR with the Marlins. Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in his sophomore year, he recovered to take on a full workload in 2016 and stunned the league with a 16-8 record, 2.89 ERA, career-high 253 strikeouts and 6.1 fWAR.

Ventura developed a reputation for brushing back hitters, which escalated in some cases to volatile bench-clearing brawls. In 2015, he was ejected for three altercations in three consecutive games and served a seven-game suspension. Halfway through the 2016 season, he earned another eight-game suspension after plunking the Orioles’ Manny Machado in the back with a 99 m.p.h. heater. Some speculated that his aggressive behavior on the mound was excused — or, at least, made more palatable — by his talent and track record, while others called for a more heavy-handed approach from the league.

Fernandez, too, found himself at the center of speculation after reports emerged that painted the 24-year-old as a “clubhouse difficulty,” citing attitude problems that damaged relationships between the pitcher and Marlins players and staff. On the field, he was occasionally chastised for failing to adhere to some of baseball’s unwritten rules, most notably when he showed his elation after hitting his first career home run off of the Braves’ Mike Minor in 2013.

It’s impossible to predict where Fernandez and Ventura’s careers would have taken them. We mourn them not for their actions on the mound or their potential as star pitchers, however, but for their inherent value as people who were loved and respected by their families and teams. Major League Baseball will be worse off for their loss.