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.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.

The Dodgers asked the Tigers about Justin Verlander this offseason

DETROIT, MI - MAY 18: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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File this under “man, that would’ve been cool.” Or, if you’re a Tigers fan, file it under “man, that would’ve signaled several years of misery.” However you fall on the matter, however, know that, according to Jon Heyman, the Dodgers inquired about trading for Justin Verlander over the winter.

It never went anywhere, but it’s not like it was silliness for the Dodgers to ask. As you may recall, the Tigers were reported to be willing to listen to offers on any and all players back in November, as GM Al Avila contemplated a tear-down. That never came to pass — the Tigers had a quiet offseason and are keeping the team together to make another run at the playoffs with the Verlander/Miguel Cabrera core — but it couldn’t hurt to ask.

Verlander, who is coming off a resurgent season which saw him return to form as one of baseball’s best pitchers, has 10-5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade. He’s married to an actress/model, however, owns a home in L.A., and the Dodgers are a clear contender, so there’s a good chance he would’ve allowed such a trade to happen. Heck, dude even loves pitchers batting, so a chance to do it all the time would be right up his alley.

The bigger issue likely would’ve been Verlander’s $28 million salary. The Dodgers already pay the luxury tax so taking on that commitment would cost them more than the sticker price. And, of course, if the Tigers are going to ever give up one of the best players in franchise history, it would take the motherlode of prospects to do it.

So, no, a Verlander-to-L.A. trade wasn’t ever a strong possibility. But even the slight possibility seems exciting in hindsight. It was a boring as hell offseason.