Baltimore Orioles v Arizona Diamondbacks

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Diamondbacks 4, Orioles 3: Paul Goldschmidt homered to tie it in the ninth, homered to win it in the 11th. It’s perhaps too late for this, but memo to Buck Showalter: maybe don’t pitch to Paul Goldschmidt. Two walkoff wins in a row for the Dbacks. Their ninth walkoff win of the year.

Yankees 14, Angels 7: Another two-homer performance, this one from Alfonso Soriano, who drove in six. As we’ve said a couple of times this week: nice career, Alfonso Soriano.

Mariners 5, Rays 4: A two-homer leadoff hitter show as the Mariners leadoff guy Brad Miller hit two homers as did the Rays leadoff hitter Ben Zobrist. After the game their managers each made them do pushups, Willie Mays Hayes-style, for hitting the ball in the air.

Brewers 5, Rangers 1: Another two-homer performance, this one from Scooter Gennett, whose bombs happened to be the first and second of his career. His teammates gave him the now ubiquitous “silent treatment” for his first homer, pretending not to acknowledge it for some time after he returned to the dugout. I think this is played out and teams need to go to the next level with this first-home-run hazing. How about this: they treat him as usual, giving him high-fives, then, after the game, the GM sends him down to Triple-A. He keeps up the joke until the player packs his bags, gets a flight to Nashville, plays in multiple minor league games and the starts to question whether or not he should go back home and start working for dad’s plumbing business. A couple of years later, as he finally locks up all of his baseball memorabilia in a closet he will never open again due to the overwhelming emotion such objects of his failed past bring, the GM calls him back and says “Haha, got ya!”

Nationals 4, Giants 2: Four wins in a row for Washington, which is nice. Not that it’s (a) getting them any closer to a playoff spot; or (b) making everyone in the dugout all happy.

Braves 3, Phillies 1: Kris Medlen hasn’t been anywhere close to as good this year as he was last year, but he’s turning it around. He notched his fourth straight win and is now 10-10 on the season. Phillies starter Ethan Martin has three major league starts under his belt. Two of them have been losses to Kris Medlen and the Braves. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson keeps hitting. He hit a two-run homer and leads the NL with a .337 average.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2: A come-from-behind win with Shane Victorino knocking in two in the 11th inning. He also gunned down a runner at the plate earlier in the game. For a guy whose contract caused a lot of people to mock the Red Sox in the offseason, he’s been pretty darn useful for the Red Sox.

Reds 6, Cubs 4: Yet another extra-innings game. There were six in all last night.  Shin-Soo Choo did what Shane Victorino did — he hit a tiebreaking two-run single in the 11th inning — and Reds reliever J.J. Hoover shut out the Cubs on one hit in two and a third innings of work. He has a scoreless innings streak of 24 and two-thirds.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: A fourteen-inning tilt for the two best teams in the NL Central, with Adron Chambers singling home the winning run for St. Louis just before this game hit the five-hour mark. Thirteen pitchers and twenty-six position players were used in the game between both teams.

Padres 7, Rockies 5: Down 4-1 after the first inning the Padres didn’t fold. Nick Hundley homered and drove in two runs, Will Venable had three hits and San Diego put up four runs of their own in the second to give them a rare win over the Rockies.

White Sox 4, Tigers 3: Detroit is slumping. Recent ex-Tiger Avisail Garcia had two hits, drove in two and scored the winning run on Alejandro De Aza’s bases-loaded single in the 11th inning to give the pale hose a walkoff win.

Marlins 1, Royals 0: Jose Fernandez and Bruce Chen matched each other with seven, three-hit, six-strikeout scoreless innings. The Royals bullpen cracked first, however, although not until the tenth when Kelvin Herrera hit Jake Marisnick with a pitch, allowed him to steal second and then gave up the go-ahead RBI single to Christian Yelich.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: Even Matt Harvey can’t stop the Los Angeles juggernaut. They win their seventh straight behind seven innings of one-run ball from Hyun-Jin Ryu. Dodgers starters are 13-1 with a 1.72 ERA in their last 18 games.

Indians 5, Twins 2: A much-needed win for the Tribe, which had lost seven of eight coming in. Zach Mcallister allowed on earned run in six, the bullpen held firm and Ryan Raburn hit a homer.

Astros 5, Athletics 4: Another bad outing for Bartolo Colon, who could be running out of gas at an inopportune time for Oakland. The Astros hit him up for five runs on seven hits in four innings. Meanwhile, Jordon Lyles allowed one run in seven.

The Yankees are paying $86 million for a one-inning reliever

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OXON HILL, MD — The Yankees signing of Aroldis Chapman late Wednesday night came as something of a surprise. And the money — $86 million — was something of a shock. Yes, we knew that Chapman was going to break the bank and likely set a record as the highest paid relief pitcher in history, but seeing it in black and white like that is still rather jarring.

In the coming days, many people who attempt to analyze and contextualize this signing will do so by pointing to the 2016 playoffs and the unconventional use of relievers by Terry Francona and the Indians and Joe Maddon of the Cubs. They’ll talk about how the paradigm of bullpen use has shifted and how relief pitchers have taken on a new importance in today’s game. Chapman’s astronomical salary, therefore, will be described as somehow more reasonable and somewhat less shocking than it first seems.

Don’t buy that jive for a second.

Yes, Andrew Miller and, to some extent, Chapman himself were used unconventionally in the 2016 playoffs, but not long into the 2017 season we will see that as an exception, not the rule. And not just because Chapman showed himself unable to hold up to that level of use in the playoffs. It will be the exception because the Yankees have shown no inclination whatsoever to deviate from traditional bullpen usage in the past and there is no reason to expect that they will do so with Chapman in the future.

As you no doubt remember, the Yankees had Chapman, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller for the first half of 2016. Such an imposing back end of a bullpen has rarely been seen in recent history. All of them, however, were used, more or less, as one-inning-a-piece guys and no real effort was ever made to break any bullpen usage paradigms or to shorten games the way many applauded Terry Francona for doing in the playoffs.

Miller pitched 44 games for the Yankees, totaling 45.1 innings. He pitched more than a single inning on only three occasions. Chapman pitched 31 games for the Yankees, amassing 31.1 innings. He was used for more than one inning only twice. Betances worked in 73 games, totaling 73 innings. On 11 occasions he pitched more than one inning.  It was unconventional for a team to have three relievers that good, but they were not, in any way, used unconventionally. Nor is there any reason to expect Chapman to be used unconventionally in 2017, especially given that Miller is not around and Chapman has shown no real ability to be stretched for multiple innings for a sustained period.

None of which is to say that having Chapman around is a bad thing or that he is any less of a closer than his reputation suggests. It’s merely to say that the Yankees paying Chapman unprecedented money for a closer should not be justified by the alleged new importance of relief pitchers or that changing role for them we heard so much about in the playoffs. Indeed, I suspect that that changing role applies only to pitcher use in the playoffs. And I do not suspect that this transaction alone pushes the Yankees into serious playoff contention, making that temporary unconventionality something of a moot point in New York for the foreseeable future.

It is almost certain that the Yankees are paying $86 million for the same one-inning closer Aroldis Chapman has been for his entire seven-year career. His contract may or may not prove to be a good one for New York based on how he performs, but don’t let anyone tell you now, in Decemeber 2016, that it’s better than you think because Chapman will somehow transform into a 1970s-style relief ace or something.

Report: Yankees sign Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million deal

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Update (12:02 AM EST): Rosenthal adds that Chapman’s contract includes an opt-out clause after three seasons, a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract, and a limited no-trade clause for the final two years.

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees have signed closer Aroldis Chapman to a five-year, $86 million contract. Mark Melancon recently set the record for a contract earned by a reliever at $62 million over four years. Chapman blew that out of the water and many are surprised he didn’t fetch more.

Chapman, 28, began the 2016 season with the Yankees but he was traded to the Cubs near the end of July in exchange for four prospects. The Cubs, of course, would go on to win the World Series in large part due to Chapman. The lefty finished the regular season with a 1.55 ERA, 36 saves, and a 90/18 K/BB ratio in 58 innings between the two teams.

Chapman was the best reliever on the free agent market and, because he was traded midseason, he didn’t have draft pick compensation attached to him.

The Yankees don’t seem to be deterred by Chapman’s domestic violence issue from last offseason, resulting in a 30-game suspension to begin the 2016 regular season.