Miami Marlins v Pittsburgh Pirates

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

90 Comments

Pirates 4, Marlins 3: A walkoff homer for Josh Harrison — the utility infielder if you didn’t know — gave this one to Pittsburgh, as the Pirates show no inclination to give up first place. Andrew McCutchen had a fantastic diving catch to save at least one run in the seventh when the game was tied and the Marlins were threatening. My anticipation to go see this team play a week from Saturday is at about an 11 on a ten-point scale.

Braves 2, Nationals 1: The 12th straight win for Atlanta who are tied with the Red Sox for the most wins in baseball. Costly, though, as the recently-hot Jason Heyward left in the first inning with a neck strain. Also: there was attempted fisticuffsmanship when Julio Teheran plunked Bryce Harper. The Braves said it wasn’t on purpose, but Harper had hit a home run the at bat before, so hmmm. Still, given the lack of overall threat the Nats represent these days, the Braves should no more be throwing at them than they should throwing at their mamas.

Tigers 5, Indians 1: Ten in a row for the Tigers as Verlander beats Masterson in the Battle of the Justins. A gimpy Miguel Cabrera broke the 100-RBI barrier and the Indians are revealing themselves to not be much of a direct threat to Detroit. If the Tigers sweep this series and give themselves a nice cushion they should maybe consider DL-ing Cabrera — or at least resting him a ton — so that he’s not so gimpy come playoff times.

Phillies 9, Cubs 8: Darin Ruf played right field for the first time ever but it was his bat that helped out the most. He homered and doubled and extended his streak of games in which he reached base to 33, which is the longest in the majors at the moment and longest Phillies streak since 2009. His move to right field likely spells the end of Delmon Young’s time in Philly. Chase Utley had three hits.

White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Chris Sale outduels Hiroki Kuroda in the Battle of the Lone Bright Spots. If you care, A-Rod went 1 for 2 with a walk.

Twins 7, Royals 0: Andrew Albers makes his major league debut and all he does is pitch eight and a third shutout innings, allowing only four hits. In other news, it was very considerate of the Twins and Royals to trade embarrassing losses like this.

Reds 3, Athletics 1: The A’s have lost five of six and the offense is sputtering. The Reds needed to face a team like that given how things have been going for them. Here Mat Latos struggled with his stuff, but it didn’t matter as he still tossed seven and a third shutout innings. Jay Bruce homered and had a nice running catch.

Red Sox 15, Astros 10: The Bosox were down 5-0 after two inning, thanks in part to four — four! — passed balls from Ryan Lavarnway, who was trying to catch knuckler Steven Wright. But just when John Farrell was about to call Doug Mirabelli, Wright came out of the game and the Sox’ bats came alive. Including Lavarnway’s, who had a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning which ended up being the turning point. This was Boston’s 69th win. They had 69 wins all of last season.

Mets 3, Rockies 2: The Eric Young Jr. show, as he made a fantastic diving catch to save runs and then later scored from second on an infield single. Wheels, baby. Wheels.

Rangers 8, Angels 3: The Rangers pull to within one of the A’s. Eight runs without the benefit of an extra base hit. Struggling to think of the last small ball Rangers team. Failing.

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 1: And thus endeth the Dodgers road wins streak. Carlos Beltran and Matt Adams homered in the eighth off Brandon League and the Cardinals bullpen tossed three and two thirds scoreless innings to back up Joe Kelly.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2: Toronto’s bats didn’t hail to the King: Hernandez is touched for six runs — three earned — in five innings. Jose Reyes homered on the first pitch of the game and added an RBI single.

Diamondbacks 6, Rays 1: Wade Miley allowed five hits in seven one-run innings. Cody Ross hit a three-run homer off Jeremy Hellickson. Ross is 14 for his last 31.

Orioles 4, Padres 1: Adam Jones must love the San Diego home cooking. He had four hits including a homer and scored twice in front of a crowd that skewed Baltimorian (Baltimorite? Baltimorish?) despite the game being at Petco.

Brewers 3, Giants 1:  The Giants offense continues to sputter despite a nice outing from Matt Cain. This is not a repeat from every season apart from 2012.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
Leave a comment

Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
2 Comments

The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
5 Comments

Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 1.47.18 PM
5 Comments

It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.