And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 6, Yankees 3: Robinson Cano made his return to Yankee Stadium and got booed, which is no biggie. This is hilarious, though. From the AP gamer:

Cano got a mock cheer when he struck out to end the inning, then was met with chants of “You sold out!” from the Bleacher Creatures when he took his spot at second base.

Yankee Bleacher Creatures ripping someone for selling out while they do the silly roll calls thing or whatever it is to Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and any number of other dudes the Yankees have bought over the years is very, very special. But then again, the world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self-awareness.

Athletics 9, Rangers 3: Martin Perez’s scoreless innings/shutout streak ended pretty abruptly as Derek Norris hit a two-run double in the first and the A’s never trailed. Norris had another RBI double later. Perez allowed eight runs he had only allowed six total through his first five starts. Mama said there’d be days like this.

Red Sox 7, Rays 4: A five-run rally in the sixth put this one away. Shane Victorino went 4 for 4 and drove in two. Five games into this road trip, the Rays are 1-4.

Mets 6, Phillies 1: The Mets have won seven of nine. An hour and a half rain delay and then temperatures in the low 40s made this one unpleasant otherwise. Certainly for Cole Hamels, who said he was “truly embarrassed” after the game for not giving his team a chance. Jon Niese helped with that of course, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings.

Tigers 4, White Sox 3: Bryan Holaday’s RBI bunt single in the top of the ninth won it for Detroit. He went 2 for 4 overall. Jose Quintana struck out 10 in six innings, but got the no-decision. Effing Quintana. That creep can roll, man. 

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 4, Astros 3: Adam LaRoche hit the game-tying double in the eighth inning and the go-ahead single in the ninth. LaRoche his hitting .312 with four homers, 17 RBI and 16 walks so far this year. Not bad for a guy who is traditionally a slow starter.

Marlins 9, Braves 0: The Braves got shellacked, but my man-crush Jose Fernandez tossed eight shutout innings Thus:

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Royals 10, Blue Jays 5: Sal Perez homered and drove in four. The Royals sent 10 men to the plate in the eighth. The Jays’ pen gave up seven runs in two innings after Dustin McGowan left with a lead.

Reds 3, Cubs 2: Billy Hamilton was 3 for 4 with a homer, two infield singles and a walk. He also stole a base and made a diving catch in center. Sort of the platonic ideal of a Billy Hamilton game.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4: Two games against the Cards, two extra innings wins for the Brewers. Khris Davis hit an RBI triple and started the winning rally in the 12th with a leadoff double. He came home on Lyle Overbay’s RBI single. An RBI single he hit after failing four times to get a bunt down to move Davis over. This should be taken as a lesson from the cosmos that bunting is bad. Well, unless you’re Bryan Holaday in that Tigers game, but that’s just an instance of the cosmos testing our faith. 

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: The Diamondbacks have lost 22 games. A couple of teams in the majors have only played 22 so far this year. Just a tire fire.

Giants 6, Padres 0Matt Cain was scratched after cutting his right index finger on a kitchen knife in the Giants clubhouse before the game. Yusmeiro Petit took the mound instead and if you think he couldn’t cut it, well, you’re wrong, as he tossed six shutout innings. Really carved the Padres up. God, please help me.

Angels 6, Indians 4: Howie Kendrick — leading off for the first time this year — had a two-run single. Chris Iannetta hit a pair of RBI singles. The Indians have lost five straight.

Pirates vs. Orioles; Dodgers vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Sadly we don’t get to see the 1965, 1971 and 1979 World Series rematches thanks to rain. But then again: Rain is grace; rain is the sky condescending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life.

Bryce Harper will not be discussing his impending free agency with the media

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Bryce Harper is entering his walk year and it is widely expected that the Scott Boras client will, indeed, test out free agency next fall rather than engage in any substantial way with the Washington Nationals about a contract extension. There were some “casual conversations” between the parties in the early fall of 2017, but the Nats came away from that, quite reasonably, believing that Harper, who stands to land the largest contract in baseball history, will shop around.

For his part, Harper met the media on his first day of spring training workouts and let everyone know that, no, he does not plan to answer questions about his potential free agency every day between now and November. From MASN:

“Just want to let you guys know I will not be discussing anything relative to 2019, at all,” said Harper. “I’m focused on this year. I’m focused on winning and playing hard, like every single year. So if you guys have any questions about anything after 2018, you can call Scott and he can answer you guys.”

Makes sense. The alternative would be for Harper to give the same canned “I’m only focused on our next game” responses in front of his locker 150 times this summer, and that doesn’t serve anyone.

Thinking back to any other impending free agent’s comments about his free agency, I can’t remember a story along those lines which was worth much of anything. The genre generally consists of headlines which oversell an innocuous or offhand comment from a player as a means of guessing where his head is at with respect to his current team. I can’t think of any story in which a player, during his walk year, said something that concretely and definitively signaled his intensions in free agency one way or the other.

Reporters covering the Nationals who are curious as to how Harper feels about his current team at any given time would be better served just observing and inferring, with particular attention paid to how Harper and his teammates view the Nats’ competitive position as the season goes on, how they react to trades and stuff like that. There’s a lot of guesswork in all of that, but it sure beats trying to get a media savvy player like Harper to admit, after going 1-for-4 against the Phillies, where he plans to spend the next seven to ten years of his professional life.