Brandon Moss

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 14, Tigers 4: We had this game on for a bit, got bored and decided to watch some random stuff we had recorded. When the show ended we went back to the game to see the A’s up 14-1. Allison let’s out a big “oh for f***’s sake!” and quickly turns on the “Awesom-O” episode of “South Park.” So what I’m saying is, she salvaged the evening for herself a little bit.  Brandon Moss with two homers. Brett Anderson comes back and gets a save because he pitched three innings, coming in to protect a 13-run lead. Saves are the best, you guys.

Dodgers 4, Cubs 0: The story here is all Puig-Puig-Puig, but the better story is Ricky Nolasco, who tossed eight shutout innings while striking out 11. He has given up just four runs over his last 25.1 innings, spanning four starts. He’s 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA since the break. Kershaw, Greinke, Nolasco is no one you want to see in games 1-3 of the NLDS.

Rangers 12, Mariners 4: You’re not gonna see Felix Hernandex give up nine runs (eight earned) in three innings while allowing 11 hits very often. Even the best ones have their bad days.

Nationals 4, Marlins 3: The Nats are playing their best ball of the season, having won seven of eight. Do they have a shot at the wild card? Maybe. Seven games is hard to make up — and the’d have to jump over the Dbacks too — but their schedule is insanely weak right now. They are in a stretch where they’ve beaten the Cubs, Royals and Marlins. Then, in order, they have series against the Mets-Phillies-Marlins-Mets-Phillies. After that they still have yet ANOTHER series against the Marlins and one head-to-head against the Dbacks. It’s doable.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 3: A pinch-hit bloop single in the bottom of the eighth by Mike Carp gave the Sox the winning margin. Victorino got another RBI. Chris Davis hit his 47th homer.

Pirates 7, Brewers 1: Welcome to the club, Marlon Byrd. The Pirates’ newest player hits a three-run homer. Give him a second t-shirt night.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 2: The Jays leapt out to a seven-run lead after three with help from an Edwin Encarnacion homer and a passed ball/throwing error combo by Yankees catcher Chris Stewart. Hiroki Kuroda was the best starter the Yankees had going for most of the year but now he’s lost four of five. Mark Reynolds got an emergency start at second base and managed to not make any errors. I haven’t seen game highlights yet, but given how these things usually go, the guy we all mocked when he was penciled in at second probably probably had three web gems or whatever.

Braves 3, Indians 2: A walkoff single for Chris Johnson and a nice night from leadoff man Jordan Schafer (3 for 4, BB, 2 RBI) who singled and stole second to set up Johnson’s heroics. Cleveland is now four back in the wild card race.

Phillies 6, Mets 2: Cole Hamel in a helped-his-own-cause special. Seven strong innings and a two-run single for the Phillies starter. Daisuke Matsuzaka was in vintage Dice-K form: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 ER, 5K and contributed greatly to the game’s three and a half hour running time.

Rays 4, Angels 1: With a losing streak afoot and the Rays coming off a dispiriting late-inning loss, Chris Archer played stopper. He allowed one run in seven innings while the offense scored on singles, sacrifices and an error.

Reds 10, Cardinals 0: Brandon Philips started the day with a rather unfortunate rant at a reporter who criticized his on-base skills. He then managed to get on base twice which totally killed all the snark I had saved up for him. Oh well. The Reds romp behind Jay Bruce’s five-RBI night and Homer Bailey’s solid outing.

White Sox 6, Astros 1: Chris Sale’s fantastic year continues. He struck out 12 in eight innings and allowed just the one run. Avisail Garcia launched a three-run homer.

Rockies 5, Giants 4:  Jhoulys Chacin pitched six and two-thirds no-hit innings and struck out nine. It coulda been a no-decision, what with the Giants staging a rally in the eighth, but it fell just short.

Royals 8, Twins 1: Two homers for Sal Perez. Danny Duffy comes up and takes over Wade Davis’ rotation spot and showed just why he was the better choice, throwing six and two-thirds shutout innings while striking out seven.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 1: Three driven in for Will Venable, including a two-run homer to help the Padres avoid the sweep.

Dodgers sign Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million deal

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Rich Hill #44 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have signed lefty Rich Hill to a three-year, $48 million contract.The deal was reported to be imminent over the weekend, but was finalized today following Hill’s physical.

Hill missed a good deal of time in 2016 with blister issues — and he’ll be 37-years-old on Opening Day — but when he was healthy he was fantastic, posting the best season in his 12-year career. He had a a 2.12 ERA and 129 strikeouts in 110.1 innings between the Athletics and Dodgers.

Along with a healthy Clayton Kershaw a maturing Julio Urias and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers rotation looks to be a strength in 2017.

UPDATE: Giants agree to a deal with Mark Melancon

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10:  Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals reacts after the final out as the Nationals defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 in game three of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Buster Olney reports that a deal is in place pending a physical. The financial terms are not yet known. UPDATE: Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears it’s in the four-year, $62 million range. That will make him, temporarily at least, the highest-paid closer in baseball history.

12:15 PMKen Rosenthal reports that the San Francisco Giants are close to a deal with closer Mark Melancon.

Melancon had an outstanding 2016, posting a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and a 5.42 K/BB rate in 71.1 innings while saving 47 games for the Pirates and Nationals. You may recall that the Giants had a strong interest in Melancon last summer. It was a well-founded interest given the bullpen woes which waylaid San Francisco in the second half of last season and continued on into the playoffs.

The terms of the apparently impeding deal will be known soon enough, but Rosenthal reported yesterday that Melancon was fielding offers in the four-years, $60 million range. That’s a lot for a closer, but it’ll probably look like a bargain compared to the deals signed with the other two top closers on the market, Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen. Some have speculated that Chapman could get a deal closer to $100 million than $50 million, though that seems optimistic.

What the past couple of seasons have shown, however, is that having a top bullpen will get you very, very far in Major League Baseball. Champan may have been gassed at the end of Game 7, but he was essential to the Cubs’ World Series title. Powerful bullpens gave the Royals a title in 2015 and the Indians an AL pennant this past year. A weak one was, obviously, the Giants’ achilles heel.

Their great need at the back end of the pen, according to Rosenthal’s report, is apparently about to be filled.