Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 6.51.51 AM

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

79 Comments

Dodgers 6, Twins 4: Zack Greinke struck out six and allowed no earned runs in six innings. He’s on a run of 18 straight starts in which he has gone five innings while allowing two runs or fewer and no one has done that since 1914.I would have bet my life that Bob Gibson or Greg Maddux or someone had done that before, but nope. This was the Dodgers’ 10,000th win as a franchise. Although, obviously many of those wins came before they moved to Los Angeles. Before that they were known as the Minneapolis Dodgers. George Mikan, coincidentally enough, was the guy who sit that five innings/two runs record back in 1914. True story.

Nationals 7, Astros 0: Anthony Rendon had four hits and was a triple short of the cycle. He’s from Houston and thus had a bunch of friends in the crowd, most of whom were his classmates at Rushmore Academy before he was expelled for attempting to break ground on an aquarium without the school’s approval and was forced to attend Grover Cleveland High. Also a true story.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4: Miguel Montero with the walkoff homer in the tenth. He then spent 20 minutes after the game talking smack about the ball he hit and saying that, really, no one on the Diamondbacks was all that impressed with the ball before it was pitched. Open secret, really, and everyone is now better of that it’s gone. OK, in all seriousness? Montero DID slide into home on his walkoff bomb. Which seems like the sort of thing he’d complain about former teammates doing. Doesn’t seem very gritty and businesslike.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 3: The Cardinals avoid the sweep by winning this one in a laugher. Allen Craig homered, drove in three and had four hits and Matt Adams had a three-run bomb. Brewers catcher Martin Moldanado pitched the eighth inning, allowing only one hit, so good for him. Of course, back in the original days of the franchise — when they were known as the Ominowakiing Beermakers, then taking on the original Ojibwe Indian name for the area — catchers used to pitch to themselves and routinely had shutout performances. It was a very different game for a very different time. Once again, true story.

Cubs 9, Reds 4: Anthony Rizzo had a two-run homer and walked four times, helping pace the Cubs’ offensive output. I wonder if all the people who get on Joey Votto’s case watched Rizzo take all of those walks and admit to themselves that, hmm, maybe that kind of thing helps the team some?

Athletics 12, Rangers 1: The sweep. Which answers the Rangers’ sweep of Oakland last week. Four errors for the Rangers including two by Elvis Andrus. Jesse Chavez allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings and struck out eight. The A’s are 6-0 when he starts.

Giants 3, Padres 2: Tim Hudson was on point, carrying a shutout into the ninth. Indeed, he had a Maddux going (a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches) only to give up a two-run homer to Yasmani Grandal on his 89th and final pitch of the game. Sergio Romo came in and got the last out on five pitches.

Royals 4, Blue Jays 2: Alcides Escobar is a glove man, but he had a two-run double in the seventh here to put the Royals ahead to stay. Eric Hosmer drove in the other two and Yordano Ventura pitched five shutout innings.

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

Tigers 5, White Sox 1: Max Scherzer tossed six scoreless, winning his third start in a row. He then got into a feud with reporters for calling him “Max Scherzer” in the game story when he was specifically promised they would call him by his full first name of Maxwell.

Marlins 9, Braves 3: Aaron Harang entered the game with a 0.85 ERA. He left it with a 2.97 ERA after giving up nine runs on ten hits. He couldn’t make it through five innings. It’s the second straight night the Marlins have battered heretofore dominant Braves starters. It’s almost as if that deadball era pace they had been keeping wasn’t sustainable. Meanwhile, Atlanta has managed only five hits in the past two games, facing Nate Eovaldi and Jose Fernandez.

Angels 7, Indians 1: C.J. Wilson pitched two-hit ball over eight innings, striking out eight, walking one and retiring his last 18 batters. That’s six straight losses for the Indians. They seemed to concede this one pretty early too.

Mariners vs. Yankees; Pirates vs. Orioles; Rays vs. Red Sox; Mets vs. Phillies: POSTPONED:

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the roof-tree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder

Cubs expected to host an All-Star Game in the near future

A general view of Wrigley Field and the newly renovated bleachers during the second inning of a baseball game between the the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds Thursday, June 11, 2015,  in Chicago. Chicago won 6-3. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
7 Comments

The 2016-18 All-Star Games are spoken for, but the Cubs could play host not long thereafter according to commissioner Rob Manfred, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.

The Padres are hosting at Petco Park this year, the Marlins will host at Marlins Park next season, and the Nationals will host in 2018 at Nationals Park. That will make four consecutive National League hosts and five if the Cubs get it in 2019. In the past, the National and American Leagues have alternated hosting privileges. That is sort of important now since the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series.

The Cubs last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990 and have hosted a total of three times (1962 and 1947 being the other years) since its inception in 1933.

Wrigley Field has been undergoing renovations which are expected to be completed by the 2019 season. Manfred said that the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game “will provide the Cubs and Ricketts family a chance to showcase the unbelievable renovation they are in the midst of doing for Wrigley field.”

Update: Here’s a table showing the last time each team hosted the All-Star Game.

Team Park Last Hosted Yrs Since Notes
Dodgers Dodger Stadum 1980 35
Nationals Olympic Stadium (Expos) 1982 33 2018 host
Athletics Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 1987 28
Cubs Wrigley Field 1990 25
Blue Jays SkyDome 1991 24
Padres Jack Murphy Stadium 1992 23 2016 host
Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards 1993 22
Rangers The Ballpark in Arlington 1995 20
Phillies Veterans Stadium 1996 19
Indians Jacobs Field 1997 18
Rockies Coors Field 1998 17
Red Sox Fenway Park 1999 16
Braves Turner Field 2000 15
Mariners Safeco Field 2001 14
Brewers Miller Park 2002 13
White Sox U.S. Cellular Field 2003 12
Astros Minute Maid Park 2004 11
Tigers Comerica Park 2005 10
Pirates PNC Park 2006 9
Giants AT&T Park 2007 8
Yankees Yankee Stadium 2008 7
Cardinals Busch Stadium 2009 6
Angels Angels Stadium of Anaheim 2010 5
D’Backs Chase Field 2011 4
Royals Kauffman Stadium 2012 3
Mets Citi Field 2013 2
Twins Target Field 2014 1
Reds Great American Ball Park 2015 0
Marlins Never Hosted 2017 host
Rays Never Hosted

Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren will compete for No. 5 spot in Cubs’ rotation

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the New York Mets Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
2 Comments

Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.

Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.

The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.

One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to limit David Wright to 130 or fewer games

David Wright
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Leave a comment

Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.

As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”

Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.

When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

Marlins still searching for starting pitching depth

Aaron Harang
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
1 Comment

The Marlins would like to add “another pitcher or two” before pitchers and catchers report to Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Among starting pitchers available, Kyle Lohse, Aaron Harang, and Alfredo Simon are candidates for the Marlins, but they may hold out for the possibility of inking a major league contract. Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee are other potential candidates, per Frisaro.

This offseason, the Marlins signed Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year, $80 million deal and Edwin Jackson for the major league minimum. The back of the rotation, though, is still a question mark as Jarred Cosart, Adam Conley, and Justin Nicolino will compete with Jackson for two spots. David Phelps is dealing with an elbow injury and may or not be ready by Opening Day, but he could function in a swingman capacity as well.