Yoenis Cespedes, Sam Fuld, Josh Reddick

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

61 Comments

Athletics 8, Twins 3: These guys just wear you out. Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, Derek Norris, Jed Lowrie. Just no real breaks and they all just grind on you. Kind of like those 90s Yankees teams in a lot of ways. Not the big-bopping bombers of the A-Rod years, but the Bernie/Tino Martinez/Scott Brosius Yankees. When you look at them and say “OK, I should be able to get these guys out,” but you just can’t because no one in the lineup is an easy out.

Angels 9, Astros 1: Child’s play for C.J. Wilson, who gave up one run in eight innings. Raul Ibanez drove in three. Basically, he and LaTroy Hawkins have to keep on doing what they’re doing, because they’re older than me and as long as there are dudes older than me still making it work as major leaguers I won’t be old yet. I tell myself.

Yankees 4, Orioles 2: Hiroki Kuroda was sharp. Jeter loafed, but he’s Jeter, so we’ll let that slide.

Cardinals 5, Reds 3: A good outing from Michael Wacha and a three-run double from Yadier Molina in the first made for a good home opener. Not to pick on him because there were many failures by the Reds here, but it’s worth noting that Billy Hamilton: leadoff man is not getting off to a great start for the Reds. He’s got an OBP of .111 so far. He can steal second and third at will, but he can’t steal first.

Red Sox 5, Rangers 1: This “John Lackey is a good pitcher” thing is lasting into another season, apparently. Good for him. One unearned run was all he allowed while Jackie Bradley, Jr. Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each had three hits. Both of these teams are 3-4. I had them down as my ALCS matchup, so really guys, get on the stick.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 4, Rays 2: Jason Vargas: one run over eight. That one run came in the ninth, though, as he gave up a homer to Ben Zobrist to lead things off and then was quickly replaced by Greg Holland. Who gave up a run of his own, actually, which is crazy given that he throws freakin’ napalm.

Rockies 8, White Sox 1: Jordan Lyles went 3 for 3 with a couple of RBIs. Oh, and he pitched a little too, allowing one run in six and two-thirds. The rest of the Rockies didn’t really need to show up.

Padres vs. Indians: POSTPONED; Brewers v. Phillies: POSTPONED:  Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the release of my favorite movie of all time. Like, favorite by a long shot and it ain’t even close. In honor of that — and in honor of two rainouts — I provide you with a picture of its protagonist wearing a raincoat:

source:

Report: Extension talks between Mets, Neil Walker are “probably dead”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
Leave a comment

On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.

Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.

The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a start to deal with the yips

9 Apr 2000: Rick Ankiel #66 of the St. Louis Cardinals winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Brweers at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport
Getty Images
21 Comments

The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.

It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:

On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:

“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”

Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.