Ryan Braun

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Brewers 10, Phillies 4: Wouldn’t you know it? Ryan Braun picks yesterday to go back on steroids! Or at least that’s what I assume Phillies fans are thinking this morning. Three homers and seven RBI for a guy a lot of people think didn’t know how to play baseball before taking PEDs but, you know, clearly did. In other news, Braun was booed lustily while Marlon Byrd was treated just fine by the hometown crowd. But sure, let’s pretend that people booing Braun is all about morality and not blind team loyalty.

Dodgers 3, Tigers 2: Carl Crawford with the RBI double to win it in the 10th. I think Brad Ausmus is learning that maybe the Joba Chamberlain-Phil Coke bullpen combo is not his best go-to option in extra innings when the game is on the line. Also, a rough game for Torii Hunter. He leaves the game with a knee contusion AND he has Vin Scully talk about his dad being a crack addict during one of his at bats.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3: Tim Hudson allowed two earned runs over eight in his Giants home debut and Brandon Belt looked amazingly like Barry Bonds with his first inning homer.

Rangers 10, Red Sox 7: The Sox outhit the Rangers 14-13, but they also grounded into five double plays. Which kind of kills your momentum.

Orioles 14, Yankees 5: Twenty hits, including homers from Delmon Young, Adam Jones and Matt Weiters. The stadium was half empty. Half of the starters were gone towards the end of the game. There’s nothing sadder in Yankee Stadium than apathy.

Nationals 5, Marlins 0: Gio Gonzalez and four relievers toss the shutout. Anthony Rendon had an RBI single and an RBI double.

Blue Jays 5, Astros 2: Melky Cabrera has homered in four straight games. That’s another player that, you know, actually knows how to play baseball despite the “he’s a PED creation” narrative.

Mets 4, Braves 0: The Braves celebrated the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run by getting their butts shut the hell out by Bartolo Colon, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde. I hope Hank shot some seriously disapproving looks down from his luxury box as the evening wore on. It would have been better had he taken a bat and showed these jackwagons how to hit. In other news, this is my new spirit animal.

Indians 8, Padres 6:  David Murphy hit a three-run homer and had four RBI. When were one of you guys going to tell me David Murphy played for the Indians? Jeez, dudes, I thought we were friends here.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday’s evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

White Sox 15, Rockies 3: Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia each hit two homers and the White Sox hit six in all. Nineteen total hits. Just another day in Denver.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Lance Lynn spotted the Reds four early runs but the Cards got ’em right back. Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead RBI double. Yadier Molina homered and Peter Bourjos had three hits and an RBI of his own. The Reds are certainly digging quite a hole for themselves early.

Mariners 5, Angels 3: Corey Hart hit two homer in his home debut for the Mariners. With that, every single team has now played a home game. So this is the last of the lining up on the foul lines for introductions until the All-Star Game, I reckon.

Pirates 7, Cubs 6: Quite a lot of two-homer days for players yesterday, with Starlin Castro doing it too. But the Pirates ended up on the winning side of this see-saw battle. They blew leads of of 4-0 and 6-4 before prevailing on a Russell Martin sac fly in the eighth. Which is the equivalent of being the low kid on the see-saw and then getting off to let the other kid slam their butt on the ground.

Rays 1, Royals 0: Chris Archer and Yordano Ventura provided a nice young pitchers duel, shutting out the opposition for seven and six innings, respectively. James Loney’s RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth provided the game’s only score. In other news, someone please tell me how a 1-0 game can go three hours and thirteen minutes.

Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren will compete for No. 5 spot in Cubs’ rotation

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the New York Mets Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.

Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.

The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.

One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to limit David Wright to 130 or fewer games

David Wright
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Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.

As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”

Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.

When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

Marlins still searching for starting pitching depth

Aaron Harang
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The Marlins would like to add “another pitcher or two” before pitchers and catchers report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Among starting pitchers available, Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang, and Alfredo Simon are candidates for the Marlins, but they may hold out for the possibility of inking a major league contract. Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are other potential candidates, per Frisaro.

This offseason, the Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million deal and Edwin Jackson for the major league minimum. The back of the rotation, though, is still a question mark as Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino will compete with Jackson for two spots. David Phelps is dealing with an elbow injury and may or not be ready by Opening Day, but he could function in a swingman capacity as well.

Shocker: Bruce Bochy tabs Madison Bumgarner to start Opening Day

Madison Bumgarner
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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You might want to sit down for this news. Giants manager Bruce Bochy has tabbed ace Madison Bumgarner to start on Opening Day in Milwaukee against the Brewers, CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports. Shocking, I know.

The Giants had a busy offseason, adding Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija to the starting rotation, but neither had a shot at getting the Opening Day nod considering what Bumgarner has done for the Giants over the last five seasons.

Since the start of the 2011 season, the 26-year-old lefty compiled a 3.05 ERA with 1,034 strikeouts and 239 walks across 1,050 innings. Among starters who logged at least 800 innings in that span of time, only Clayton Kershaw, Cueto, Zack Greinke, David Price, and Felix Hernandez have posted lower ERAs.  And Bumgarner is the only one among them with a championship ring. In fact, he has three.