Jacoby Ellsbury

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


For those who care, I had an excellent weekend at the Kentucky Derby. Well, in terms of fun and mint julep drinking anyway. My gambling didn’t go so hot. I tried to find baseball-related bets wherever I could find them. The Derby itself had two that caught my eye: General A Rod which, for cryin’ out loud, if I’m not betting on that horse I’m not betting at all. Also: Commanding Curve, which I bet on for Clayton Kershaw reasons. A Rod was, not surprisingly, history’s greatest monster, finishing 11th. Commanding Curve placed, but I bet on him to win. I also threw a karma bet to Vicar’s In Trouble because I liked that he had a woman jockey. He finished 19th out of 19 so, well, blah.

I won with the bourbon every single time, however. I also looked absolutely effing amazing in my Derby finery, so it was a successful weekend. If you want to read my extended thoughts on the Derby and my weekend there, feel free to head over to this writeup at my personal blog. Now, on to the baseball:

Rays 5, Yankees 1: A standup, three-run inside-the-park home run for Wil Myers. Which, hey, great for him. But can someone tell me where the heck Carlos Beltran was as that play was unfolding and why it took him so long to get to the ball after Ellsbury missed it? I know we don’t call errors when fielders some nowhere near the ball — and even if we did, it’s not like any reasonable system would actually charge Beltran with an error here such that Myers was deprived of his homer — but there is no way on Earth that play goes down like that if Beltran is properly playing his position. Guess it doesn’t matter, though given that the Yankees could only muster one run off Erik Bedard and the Rays’ pen. And that CC Sabathia gave up ten hits and couldn’t even make it out of the fourth.

White Sox 4, Indians 3: With the Tribe leading 3-1 in the ninth, Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off John Axford. That’s a big ol’ “WELP” for the home crowd. Up to that point Corey Kluber had allowed only one run on three hits in eight innings while striking out 13, including one point where he struck out seven White Sox in a row. That and 50 cents gets him a bag of chips. Hell, may not even get him a bag of chips these days. I haven’t worked in an office with vending machines for a long time. What do chips cost?

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in three and Jeff Baker hit the game-winning single to help the Marlins walk off in the ninth. The ball ricocheted off the wall and hit Yasiel Puig in the face as he went up to try to make the grab. He needed help getting off the field. Jose Fernandez was said to be lacking his normal command yesterday but still struck out ten dudes and was in line for the win until the pen blew it.

Giants 4, Braves 1: A week ago yesterday the Braves won a 1-0 game in ten innings and baseball scribes looking for something to write settled on “The Braves are surging and their rotation is frickin’ awesome,” or words to that effect. They haven’t won a game since. Brandon Crawford’s two home runs and Madison Bumgarner’s six strong innings sent the Braves down to their six straight defeat. They’ve scored ten runs in those six losses. Meanwhile, the Giants have won five straight and nine of ten.

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 2: A Colby Rasmus grand slam in the second and a Melky Cabrera two-run homer in the fifth made this one a laugher. Rasmus doubled and singled too, putting him [altogether now] a triple short of the cycle. With it the Blue Jays prevent the Pirates from sweeping, but they’ve still lost nine of thirteen.

Twins 5, Orioles 2: The Twins take two of three from Baltimore with the help of a bases-loaded walk and a two-run triple from Kurt Suzuki and six and two-thirds surprisingly good innings from Phil Hughes. Joe Mauer left the game with back spasms. He’s day-to-day.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded single in the 10th helping the A’s avert a sweep. Jim Johnson saved it in the tenth with the help from a sweet play by Daric Barton to gun down Will Middlebrooks at third base and then from a game-ending double play to squelch the would-be rally.

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

Mets 5, Rockies 1: Gee. No, GTE. No, Gee, you old man who remembers more 1980s and 90s TV commercials than he does stuff someone told him an hour ago. Dillon Gee with six shutout innings. Which I originally wrote as “shoutout innings,” which would have been cool too.

Mariners 8, Astros 7: Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each drove in two, helping Collin McHugh to is first major league humbling in this three-start season (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER).

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Padres avoid the sweep. Even in the loss, though, the Dbacks have to be pretty encouraged by their weekend.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Tenth inning, score tied at 3 with two outs. Chris Heisey draws a four-pitch walk from Tyler Thornburgh and Todd Frazier follows with the game-winning double. Three of four for the Reds. If the Brewers have another series or two like this no one will be asking all of those “are the Brewers for real?” questions.

Tigers 9, Royals 4: Justin Verlander had a no-hitter into the sixth and was staked to a 7-0 lead before he faltered. So, no, this one was not in doubt. Torii Hunter drove in three with a couple of RBI singles.

Phillies 1, Nationals 0: Seven and a third shutout innings for Fauxsto Carmona, besting Gio Gonzalez in a pitchers’ duel. A Chase Utley RBI single in the first was all of the scoring in this one.

Rangers 14, Angels 3: Two RBI doubles for Prince Fielder and four RBI including a three-run homer for Michael Choice to lead the Rangers’ hit parade. Not the prettiest outing ever for Yu Darvish but with that kind of run support he could afford it. Ugly all around for the Halos.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Too exhausted to do anything put put up the score. I’ll update the specifics in the morning.


Tigers agree to deal with starter Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.

Video: Statcast’s 10 longest home runs from 2015

Giancarlo Stanton
AP Photo/Joe Skipper

Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.

It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

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.