Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

32 Comments

Twins 10, Astros 6: Rookie and independent league veteran Chris Colabello homered twice including a grand slam to break a 6-6 tie in the ninth. Entering Sunday he was on an 0 for 23 skid and now here he is having the best day of his life. Probably the best day he’ll ever have at a ballpark.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Coco Crisp broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the fifth and now the AL West is tied. I feel like it’s going to go down to the last day once again.

Blue Jays 4, Diamondbacks 1: Esmil Rogers pitched six and a third innings of one-hit ball, winning his first game since June 18. The Dbacks hit into four double plays, including twin killings that ended the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: Clayton Kershaw didn’t have a great day, allowing five runs on 11 hits in five innings. And Yasiel Puig left with a strained knee. Still, the Dodgers won because the Dodgers always seem to win. Well, that and because the Rockies are pretty bad. Andre Eithier homered, doubled and drove in three.

Padres 4, Giants 1: For the first time in 12 starts against NL West opponents this year, Ian Kennedy got the win. Not exactly what you’d expect for a guy who won 20 for an NL West team just two years ago, but the Padres will take it. Barry Zito lost his eighth straight decision as he winds down his career in San Francisco.

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Justin Masterson left early with a sore side and the Indians wild card chances feel like they’re leaving with him. Nate McLouth homers and had three RBI. Bud Norris allowed only one run in seven, improving to 4-1 as an O. The Orioles are one and a half back in the wild card.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Henderson Alvarez hit his first career home run, helping his own cause as he pitched six innings allowing three runs. He also pulled his hamstring so, yeah, kind of a mixed bag day.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Pittsburgh regains sole possession of first with this win — thanks to a solid effort from Charlie Morton — and the Cardinals’ loss. This was win number 80 for the Pirates. One more to break the string of losing seasons, two more to have their first winning season since 1992.

Royals 4, Mariners 1: Felix Hernandez loses his fourth straight start and left the game with a sore back in the seventh. Royals starter Danny Duffy wasn’t any great shakes either, but he was relieved by Will Smith who struck out eight in four and a third innings of relief. Five of Smith’s strikeouts came on three pitches so, hey, great effort Seattle.

Reds 7, Cardinals 2: An awful day for the Cards as Yadier Molina left early due to a sore left wrist and Adam Wainwright got shelled by the Reds for the second straight start. Meanwhile Mat Latos was sharp. The Cards fall a game behind Pittsburgh. The Reds are 3.5 out.

Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: So Miguel Cabrera? No problem. At least once the seventh inning started and the Tigers were finally able to get to John Lackey a bit. No Red Sox bat got to Doug Fister, who tossed seven shutout innings.

Braves 13, Mets 5: Freddie Freeman hit a homer and had five RBI. Daisuke Matsuzaka was shelled and was his usual slow, frustrating inefficient self. You have to wonder if this wasn’t his last major league start.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Man the White Sox look awful. Derek Jeter had a couple of RBI singles and the Yankees scored eight in the fourth inning. Bad defense by the Sox, lots of rain, lots of overall sloppy play. This looked like Tampa in February, not New York in September.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Hamels beats Strasburg despite a sore back and a crappy bullpen session, allowing only two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. The Nats little surge toward the wild card seems to have been somewhat illusory.

Angels 11, Rays 2: Erick Aybar drove in four and the entire Angels lineup had a nice night roughing up the heretofore reliable Chris Archer. Not that Garrett Richards was much better for the Angels. He walked seven dudes, but the Rays couldn’t take advantage and now find themselves the losers of five straight.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

Leave a comment

Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

3 Comments

Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system in baseball

Braves 2
Associated Press
11 Comments

Flags fly forever! Hooray for The Process championship!

Ah, sorry. This is about as much rooting as I’ll get to do this year, so cut me some slack.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. The top system: the Atlanta Braves. The bottom: the Los Angeles Angels, about whom Law says “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Enjoy Mike Trout, though, you guys.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone. And though he drives me crazy sometimes, Buster Olney’s daily column/notes thing is also worth the money over the course of the year.

Some Mets fans are not happy that Beyonce is playing at Citi Field

Beyoncé performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Associated Press
40 Comments

The funny thing about that “stick to sports” stuff I was going on about the other day is that, in reality, a whole lot of the people who say “stick to sports” don’t really want to just stick to sports. They’re totally cool going on about political, social or cultural stuff as long as it fits their world view. It’s not “stick to sports.” It’s “don’t talk about the social implications of sports-related stuff in ways that upset me.” If sports and culture come together in other ways, however, they’re completely fine in grinding their axe.

For example, Beyonce is playing a concert a Citi Field this summer. The show is so popular that they added a second date. The Mets’ Twitter feed just announced that tickets will go on sale for the new show soon:

A while lotta Mets fans responded to that negatively. For political/social/cultural reasons that they are willingly bringing in to a conversation about a pop singer and a baseball stadium that will double as a concert venue:

And they go on and on.

How much do you want to bet that a whole lotta these respondents would tell you to “stick to baseball” if you wanted to bring up how race affects the sport or how, if instead of Beyonce, this was announcing a Kid Rock/Ted Nugent-headlined festival and you mused whether that was a case of the Mets somehow endorsing their messages?