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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Brewers 3, Pirates 2: FISTICUFFSMANSHIP! No one distinguishes themselves here, but this much is true: if Gerrit Cole simply takes the ball and goes back to the mound without jawing at Gomez, (a) Gomez looks like a guy who misjudged his hit and almost got thrown out foolishly; and (b) no brawl happens. But in baseball it’s not enough to let someone look a bit silly and take the high road. No, you must tell the other guy that his looking silly somehow offended your honor or some crazy crap and you must escalate things because, well, that’s how it’s done. “How dare you think that ball you just hit 399 feet was about to go 400 feet?!” you must exclaim. “You are a bad person for doing that!” I wish Gomez didn’t respond to Cole’s provocation with dumbass hostility of his own (and he’s gonna get righteously suspended or fined for throwing his helmet).But how awesome would it have been if he had simply smiled and said “yeah, I shouldn’t have assumed that triple I just smoked off of your crappy pitch was a home run. How WRONG of me,” and then blown Cole a kiss? He didn’t do that, of course, but the fact remains that no fight happens if Cole doesn’t decide to start hurling F-bombs at Gomez because Honor and Rules and bullcrap like that which doesn’t belong in 21st century sports.

Reds 8, Cubs 2: Hope you all had a happy Easter. Or, as we refer to it at our house, Spring Thanksgiving. That’s not an attempt to secularize it for anyone else. I get how important Easter is to Christians and don’t mean to denigrate their faith. It’s just an acknowledgment that my family isn’t religious so we basically just treat Easter as a family meal and coming together thing. Oh, it’s also the one time every year my mom tells the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke, which is her absolute favorite joke ever. Kinda odd because, really, my mom is the only one of us who still considers herself a Catholic and goes to mass and stuff. I guess you have more of a right to be sacrilegious if it’s actually your religion than someone else does. Anyway, in a major shocker, my mom did not tell the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke this year. Guess she forgot. Kind of a surprise. Not a surprise? The Reds taking two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley, where they’ve won 17 of the last 19.

Giants 4, Padres 3: San Francisco only had three hits — and none after the second inning — but that’s all they needed because one was a two-run homer and the other a two-run single. Tim Lincecum got his first win of the year.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Puig hit a three-run homer and threw Miguel Montero the heck OUT at second base when he tried to stretch for a double. Which, to be fair, would be a double against most right fielders, but like I said, he got thrown the heck OUT. Note: Puig did not hit the cutoff man in throwing Montero. He threw it right over him. Because, in this case, hitting the cutoff man would’ve slowed things down. But if anyone wants to lecture Puig about it, go ahead. I’ll be over here rolling my eyes and doing that wanking motion thing.

Athletics 4, Astros 1: The sweep. Josh Donaldson homered and doubled twice. The A’s have won 11 of 13. The Astros have lost seven in a row. None of this is particularly surprising.

White Sox 16, Rangers 2: Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each hit two homers and the Sox win in a laugher. That ends the Rangers’ five-game winning streak.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 3, Cardinals 2Mets 4, Braves 3: The Nationals won on a walkoff sac fly, the Braves lost on a walkoff sac fly. This is important. This means something. [Craig sculpts things out of his mashed potatoes]. In the Nats-Cards game, Denard Span hit the sac fly against the Cardinals’ five-man infield. Span:

“I counted: one, two, three, four, five,” Span said. “Right there I told myself a groundball probably not going to do it. Try to get the ball in the air somehow.”

That he counted so quickly is proof positive that activating him from the seven-day concussion DL was the right call. If he saw ten infielders they would’ve put him back on there.

Twins 8, Royals 3: Phil Hughes got a win. It’s the first time that’s happened since last July. Which means Phil Hughes’ wins have the same frequency as, like, Christmas.

Marlins 3, Mariners 2: The Marlins sweep Seattle. Christian Yelich hit a double and scored the tying run in the eighth, which was official only replay overturned the initial out call. That brings Yelich’s hitting streak to 14 games. The double, I mean. He’d still have the hitting streak even if he was out at home. That’s a baseball rule. 

Yankees 5, Rays 1: Two five inning starts and some solid bullpen work from each team had this one tied at one in the 12th. Then Dean Anna walked with the bases loaded to put the Yankees ahead. The Rays are “The Extra 2%” team. In that instance the had a 25% surplus of walks and/or base runners. Subsequent RBI singles from Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann took the math out of the equation. Wait, if you take math out of the equation, is it still an equation? I think I just blew my mind thinking about this. Probably shouldn’t write game recaps on 4/20.

Tigers 2, Angels 1: Clown shoes defense by the Angels and heads-up base running by Ian Kinsler gave the Tigers their first run. A second error by Hank Conger led to the Tigers’ second run. Remember back when Mike Scioscia teams used to be lauded for being fundamentally sound and all that? That was cool. Feels like a million years ago, but it was cool.

Indians 6, Blues Jays 4: The Indians avoid a sweep. The AP gamer credits a pep talk by Terry Francona for the win. If there was anything to that I’d totally give pep talks before every game, dude.

Phillies 10, Rockies 9: Jimmy Rollins hit a homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth. This was a pretty significant offensive outburst for a team which had gone four games without an extra base hit.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: On a day when dumb defense impacted a couple of games dumb defense decided this one. Here, Dustin Pedroia scored the winning run on a David Lough throwing error. Lough caught a liner, Pedoria tagged from third but then headed back realizing Lough would likely nail him at the plate. Then Lough sailed one home. The O’s gave this game away in a lot of ways, and not just by virtue of blowing a five-run lead. Pedoria was able to advance to third in the first place thanks to a wild pitch.

Mariners trying to trade Mark Trumbo by Wednesday

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Seattle making Mark Trumbo available has been known for a while now, but Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that the Mariners are trying to trade the first baseman/outfielder before Wednesday.

That’s the deadline to tender 2016 contracts to arbitration eligible players and with Trumbo set to make around $9 million via that process the Mariners would rather move on before any decision needs to be made. In other words: They don’t want to be stuck with him.

Trumbo has elite power, averaging 30 homers per 160 games for his career, but that power comes with a .250 batting average, poor plate discipline and a .299 on-base percentage, and sub par defense. Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has already traded Trumbo once, dealing him to the Diamondbacks back when he was the Angels’ general manager, and now he’s working hard to part ways again.

Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Rockies are among the interested teams.

UPDATE: Red Sox sign outfielder Chris Young to a two-year, $13 million deal

Chris Young Getty

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that Young will receive a two-year, $13 million contract from the Red Sox.

Monday, 1:47 PM: Veteran outfielder Chris Young thrived in a platoon role for the Yankees this past season and now he’s headed to the rival Red Sox to fill a similar role, signing a multi-year deal with Boston according to Ken Rosenthal of

Young was once an everyday center fielder for the Diamondbacks, making the All-Star team in 2010 at age 26, but for the past 3-4 years he’s gotten 300-350 plate appearances in a part-time role facing mostly left-handed pitching. He hit .252 with 14 homers and a .773 OPS for the Yankees, but prior to that failed to top a .700 OPS in 2013 or 2014.

Given the Red Sox’s outfield depth–Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Brock Holt even with Hanley Ramirez back in the infield–Young is unlikely to work his way into everyday playing time at age 32, but he should get another 300 or so plate appearances while also providing a veteran fallback option. And it’s possible his arrival clears the way for a trade.

Marlins hire Juan Nieves as pitching coach

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This is not a terribly big deal compared to the rumors of who the Marlins want to hire as their hitting coach, but it’s news all the same: Miami has hired Juan Nieves as their pitching coach.

Nieves replaces Chuck Hernandez who was let go immediately after the season ended. Under Hernandez Marlins pitchers allowed 4.19 runs a game and had an ERA of 4.02, striking out 1152 batters and walking 508 in 1,427 innings. As far as runs per game go, that was around middle of the pack in the National League, just a hair better than league average. The strikeout/walk ratio, however, was third to last in the NL.

Nieves, a former Brewers hurler who once tossed a no-hitter, was most recently the Red Sox’ pitching coach, serving from the beginning of the 2013 season until his dismissal in May of this year.

In baseball, if you lose the World Series you still get a ring

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 3:  Detail view of the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Ring at Busch Stadium on April 3, 2007 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Scott Rovak/Getty Images)

“Second place is first loser” — some jerk, probably.

The funny thing about “winning is everything” culture in sports is that it’s revered, primarily, by people with the least amount of skin in the game. Self-proclaimed “Super Fans” and talk radio hosts and guys like that. People who may claim to live and breathe sports but who, for the most part, have other things in their lives. Jobs and families and hobbies and stuff. Winning is everything for them on the weekend at, like, Buffalo Wild Wings or in their man cave.

Athletes — whose actual job is to play sports — like to win too. They’re certainly more focused and committed to winning than Joe Super Fan is, what with it being their actual lives and such. But you see far less “winning is everything” sentiment from them. In interviews they talk about how they hate to lose but, with a little bit of distance, they almost always talk about appreciating efforts in a well-played loss. They rarely talk about big losses — even championship losses — as failures or choke jobs or disgraces of one stripe or another.

All of which makes this story by Tim Rohan in the New York Times fun and interesting. It’s about championship rings for the non-championship winners. The 2014 Royals — winners of the A.L. pennant but losers of the World Series — are featured, and the story of rings for World Series losers is told. Mike Stanton, who played on a ton of pennant and World Series-winning teams with the Yankees and Braves, talks about his various rings and how, even though the Braves lost in the World Series that year, 1991 is his favorite.

Also mentioned: George Steinbrenner’s thoughts about rings for World Series losers. You will likely not be surprised about his sentiments on the matter.