1995 World Series

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 2, Indians 0: Tom Glavine with eight shutout innings and David Justice with a big homer. Wait, sorry. Having flashbacks. The real amazing thing here is that if you would have told me before the season that the Braves would have a game in late August where Elliot Johnson got a start and tripled in the Braves only runs — and one of those runners was Joey Terdoslavich — I would have assumed that they were 12 games out of a playoff slot.

Red Sox 13, Orioles 2: Two homers for Shane Victorino in this laugher. You know, when Victorino was signed many — including yours truly — mocked the signing. Not so much because of the player himself, but because of the multi-year deal coming off of the season he had and what many suspected was the beginning of a steep decline. The jury is still out on whether Victorino will be worth his contract over its entire course, but there is no denying the fact that he has been a great pickup for Boston this year, contributing on both offense and defense and looking, at the moment as one of the best free agent signings of the winter.

Mets 5, Phillies 0: Jon Niese was like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in “Omega Man.” You ever see it? Beauty. A three-hit shutout, a three-RBI double and a run scored on a hustle play, blowing through the third base coach’s stop sign. Teammates? Who needs teammates?

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 1: Four RBI on two homers for Alfonso Soriano, including his 400th career shot. Pettitte tossed seven shutout innings. Robinson Cano was hit on the hand in a manner which often leads to broken bones but thank goodness for the Yankees he only suffered a contusion.

Nationals 2, Marlins 1: Three hits for Ian Desmond. Five effective innings for Ross Ohlendorf and his old-timey windup. The pen took it from there.

Brewers 7, Pirates 6: Aramis Ramirez had a mini-Soriano night. Instead of 400, he hit his 350th career homer. Drove in four as well. Three straight losses for the Pirates.

Athletics 6, Tigers 3: Pretty spiffy when you can pitch five innings and get credited with a complete game, but Tommy Milone did it. Brandon Moss had a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in this rain-shortened game.

Angels 6, Rays 5: Another four-RBI night for someone, this time Erick Aybar. Jose Molina had three hits and three RBIs. The Angels were down four entering the seventh and rallied. Fernando Rodney blew yet another save. Just a bullpen disaster for the Rays.

Cardinals 6, Reds 1: We might be looking at the best team in baseball here. I mean, if the Cardinals were ever going to let up, it was going to be when Yadier Molina was out. The bent a bit then but didn’t break and now they’re running over everyone. The seventh straight game in which Matt Holliday had an RBI. Six wins in seven for the Cards, including two straight from the Reds. Cardinals moved one and a half games ahead of Pittsburgh and four and a half up on Cincinnati.

White Sox 4, Astros 3: Three hits for Jordan Danks. The Chisox’s ninth win in 11 games.

Giants 5, Rockies 3: Hunter Pence hit a homer over the left field bleachers, measured at 457 feet but thought by some to be much farther. Pablo Sandoval hit a homer right after that and Brandon Belt had four hits.  Yusmeiro Petit got the win. His first in four years.

Royals 6, Twins 1: Solid outing for James Shields. Alex Gordon had three RBIs as Kansas City scored five runs in the eighth inning.

Diamondbacks 10, Padres 9: Not exactly a pitching duel. Aaron Hill hit a walkoff single in the tenth.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3: Not a walkoff balk as the losers were playing at home, but the winning run did score on a Danny Farquhar balk in the tenth inning which, you know, dramatic. CB Bucknor called it. He’s one of the worst and if anyone is gonna launch an ump show it’s him, but Farquhar admitted after the game he gave “the slightest flinch.” Well, OK, if you’re not gonna fight the battle we won’t either.

Cubs 3, Dodgers 2: Travis Wood outpitched Clayton Kershaw. This is not a typo. Wood allowed one unearned run in seven innings, Kershaw allowed one unearned and one earned in five and two-thirds. With the way Kershaw has been going lately that’s, like, putting up a five-spot against mere mortals.

Report: Tigers and J.D. Martinez agree to a two-year, $18.5 million deal

J.D. Martinez
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images
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UPDATE: Jason Beck of MLB.com confirms that it’s a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

8:00 p.m. ET: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the Tigers have avoided arbitration with outfielder J.D. Martinez by agreeing to a two-year contract. No word yet on the terms involved, but Robert Murray of Baseball Essential reported earlier today that he was hearing rumblings about a two-year, $18.5 million deal.

Martinez filed for $8 million and was offered $6 million by the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. There has been some talk about a long-term extension, but we heard last week that the two sides were discussing both one- and two-year deals. This new deal will buy out Martinez’s final two years of arbitration, so as of now, he’s still on track to go into free agency after 2017.

After a breakout 2014, Martinez batted .282 with 38 home runs and an .879 OPS over 158 games last season.

Free agent reliever Eric O’Flaherty weighing interest from four teams

New York Mets pitcher Eric O'Flaherty throws against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Miami, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. The Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 8-6. (AP Photo/Joe Skipper)
AP Photo/Joe Skipper
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Veteran reliever Eric O'Flaherty is coming off the worst season of his career, but there’s still plenty of interest in a bounceback, as ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that he’s deciding between four teams and “should sign a deal by the weekend.”

You really can’t sugarcoat O’Flaherty’s 2015. The 31-year-old was flat-out bad, posting an 8.41 ERA and 21/18 K/BB ratio over 30 innings of work between the Athletics and Mets. Opposing batters hit .343/.427/.482 against him. I keep going back to check if that’s a misprint, but nope, it’s real. He also missed some time with shoulder inflammation. On the bright side, Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports reported last month that O’Flaherty feels healthy and believes that he has fixed his mechanics.

O’Flaherty’s career has veered off track since Tommy John surgery in 2013, but he has enjoyed plenty of success in the past and throws from the left side. He’s the kind of guy who will continue to get chances.

Mets sign outfielder Roger Bernadina

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Veteran outfielder Roger Bernadina has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Mets that includes an invitation to spring training.

Bernadina was a semi-regular for the Nationals from 2010-2012, but never developed as much as hoped offensively and didn’t play in the majors at all last season.

At age 32 he’s a career .236 hitter with a .661 OPS in 548 games as a big leaguer and given the Mets’ outfield depth–they already have Alejandro De Aza and Juan Lagares in bench/part-time roles–Bernadina seems likely to begin the season in the minors.

J.R. Graham is in The Best Shape of his Life

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher J.R. Graham celebrates after the final out as the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 12-2 in  a baseball game, Thursday, April 30, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 12-2. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
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Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Twins reliever J.R. Graham has lost “roughly 30-40 pounds this offseason.” It’s not a result of workouts, though. Just a change in diet. Bollinger says that Graham cut out sugar, alcohol and foods heavy in carbs and focused on a high-protein diet with lots of salads, meats and vegetables.

That’s an awful lot of weight to lose in four months, but the dude is only 26 and guys in their 20s lose weight just by thinking about it. Which is so very annoying to those of us who aren’t guys in their 20s.

The real test, of course, will come when he is working out far more strenuously once spring training starts and gets into the season. Normal schmos like me can keep up that kind of diet without much of a hitch as long as we have the willpower. An athlete’s energy requirements are far greater and far more specialized, so he’ll need more fuel than he’s probably been getting this offseason. Word is, however, that professional sports teams have people on staff that, you know, have made monitoring that kind of thing their life’s work.

In the meantime:

“I can just feel the change,” Graham said. “The energy. Everything. I feel great. I’m excited to see how it’ll translate into spring. I know I shouldn’t have any problems because I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. I’m faster. All that. So it’s really exciting.”

It’s very exciting indeed. Because, with that, Graham becomes the latest baseball player to be . . . In The Best Shape of His Life.