Dan Uggla

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 9, Phillies 6: This one was gonzo. A pitchers duel for seven innings, with Ervin Santana striking out 11 in six and Roberto Hernandez only allowing two himself. Then all hell broke loose. The Braves hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the eighth to go up 5-1, the Phillies socked back at ’em for five runs in the bottom of the inning to go up 6-5 and then the Braves scoring four more on a Dan Uggla grand slam in the ninth to win it. Two homers for Uggla. Two for Evan Gattis. No-shows from Jonathan Papelbon, who has pitched a lot lately, and Craig Kimbrel, who hasn’t, but had a sore shoulder. A leadoff four-pitch walk to B.J. Upton in the ninth, which I’m pretty sure is classified as a crime against humanity. Really, if gamblers were orchestrating this game it wouldn’t have gone off any less crazy than it did. Man, baseball is fun.

Oh, almost forgot. Check out the line of the pitcher who got the win for the Braves:

source:

Yeah, baby. Wins!

Cardinals 4, Brewers 0:  Jhonny Peralta with a solo shot and Jon Jay with a three-run bomb. Some of my correspondents told me that the Cardinals broadcasters (a) criticized Carlos Gomez for “swinging too hard” in the early innings, as if that were some sort of Cardinals-special unwritten rules violation; and (b) were getting on Ryan Braun’s case for PEDs while Peralta sat there in Cardinal red hitting bombs with no criticism whatsoever. I need confirmation on this, folks. Because if it’s true, the Cardinals have gone way beyond self-parody.

Nationals 9, Marlins 2: Two doubles and an RBI for Bryce Harper and Jordan Zimmerman rebounded from a bad start against Miami last week. The Marlins have dropped eight straight, which sorta kills that “the Marlins are frisky!” storyline I and many others were partial to in the early going.

Orioles 7, Rays 1: Wei-Yin Chen allowed one run in six and a third and the O’s teed off on Chris Archer. Matt Wieters and J.J. Hardy each had three hits. The O’s built a 6-0 lead early and had 13 hits total, including five doubles.

Pirates 7, Reds 7: SUSPENDED: Following a metric butt-ton of rain and soggy conditions, they’ll pick this one up at 5:30 PM today before the scheduled game this evening. As it stand now, ten homers have been hit in this incomplete game, including two by Gaby Sanchez and two by Neil Walker.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $8,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Mariners 7, Rangers 1: Colby Lewis ran out of gas in the sixth and then once he was gone his defense ran out of skillz. Seattle scored six runs on six hits and three errors that inning and that was all she wrote.

Athletics 3, Angels 2: John Jaso hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri. He has done this sort of thing against the Angels before. I’d call him an “Angel killer” but that seems so dark and evil. Here’s what he said after the game:

“Donaldson hit that ball hard to start off the inning, and it kind of started there,” Jaso said. “I think Cespy just missed a pitch, too, so we definitely had some good swings going and some good momentum against Frieri.

Wait, he calles Yoenis Cespedes “Cespy?” OK, he’s even more evil than an Angel killer. That’s just the worst.

Mets 7, Diamondbacks 3: A win, but a costly one as both Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares left the game with injuries. Lagares’ is more serious — a hamstring — while Granderson just banged his forearm against the wall. In brighter news, the Mets rattled off 13 hits against the Dbacks, who have been just awful so far this year.

Padres 5, Rockies 4: The second time in less than a week we’ve had a game decided by a wild pitch/bad throw back to the pitcher covering home/two runs score play. This happened in the eighth, with Rockies pitcher Rex Brothers on the mound. Best part: he walked the bases loaded with two outs first to set up the clown shoes ending. So no, not the best night for that guy.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.