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.


Alex Rodriguez credits Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein with Cubs’ turnaround

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13:  Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates after the Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series to win the NLDS 3-1 at Wrigley Field on October 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals with a score of 6 to 4.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It isn’t difficult to see the fingerprints left by Cubs’ president Tom Ricketts and general manager Theo Epstein on the club’s remarkable 2016 season. In a piece for FOXSports.com, former Yankee Alex Rodriguez highlighted the duo’s effectiveness in liberating the Cubs from a five-year losing streak and six-year postseason drought, citing both the unrelenting work ethic and passion that Ricketts and Epstein brought to the club as major factors in their success.

Rodriguez’s first brush with sabermetric savant and all-around baseball wizard Theo Epstein came in 2003, when the then- 27-year-old All-Star was eyeing a deal with the Red Sox. The Major League Baseball Players Association eventually nixed the trade, and the Rangers’ young shortstop was sent to the Yankees shortly thereafter, but not before Rodriguez glimpsed the inner workings of Epstein’s mind.

What I remember best about that time was watching Theo furiously scribbling out the Red Sox lineup for the upcoming season on a room-service napkin. That’s when I saw Theo’s baseball mind at work. I saw he had a passion for the game, a depth of knowledge, and a thirst to be great. Theo’s passion was contagious. We were three 20-somethings convinced we were about to turn baseball upside down together. Though I never got a chance to work with Theo, I knew then that he was going to be a force.

A-Rod also referenced Ricketts’ thorough approach to rebuilding the organization. Ricketts, who purchased the franchise for $875 million in 2009, first made it his mission to transform Wrigley Field into a comfortable and enticing playing environment, then targeted top-tier management to run the show behind the scenes. With Ricketts fully backing Epstein’s transformative approaches — including an overhaul of the Cubs’ farm system, investments in international player development, and a comprehensive understanding and practical application of sabermetric advances — the Cubs’ path to a 97-win season in 2015 seemed a natural consequence of the pair’s hard work.

This year, the attention has been even more intensely focused on the Cubs’ elusive third World Series title. Rodriguez, however, believes that winning a championship is secondary to the strides Ricketts and Epstein have taken with the club.

Together, Ricketts and Epstein have built one of the greatest franchises in baseball and transformed 1060 W. Addison St. It’s a task that no one could quite get right for a hundred years. While four more wins would put a giant exclamation point on five years of focused work and determination, I won’t worry if this team doesn’t win the World Series in the next nine days.

Mets expected to pick up 2017 option for Jose Reyes

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a game tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets are expected to pick up the 2017 option for Reyes, but they haven’t done it yet. The option will be worth the major league minimum salary ($507,500), as the Rockies will continue to pay down the remainder of Reyes’ $41 million remaining on his contract.

The Mets signed Reyes after the Rockies released him in June. He had a .659 OPS in Colorado but improved to a .769 OPS in 279 plate appearances with the Mets, mostly playing third base in place of the injured David Wright. Bringing Reyes back next season will provide them more insurance at the hot corner.

Reyes, 33, served a 51-game suspension due to an offseason domestic violence incident while on vacation in Hawaii with his wife. As a result, he didn’t make his season debut until July 5, having spent some additional time in the minor leagues to get into game shape.