Dan Uggla

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


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:


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.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero
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Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.

Marlins announcer Tommy Hutton was let go because he was “too negative”

marlins logo wide

We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”

Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.

“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”

After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.

So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).

He said the question was met with silence by both executives.

“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.

Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.

To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.

Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?