Twins Celebrate

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Twins 1, Indians 0: Our season-long tribute to 1968 continued last night with four games in which the losing team was shut out. Here both teams posted goose eggs for nine innings and Eduardo Escobar’s 10th inning homer was the only offense.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 0: A three hour-plus rain delay chased Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. Five Nats relievers finished what Zimmermann started, however, completing the shutout. Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa two-run homers bookended the scoring here.

Tigers 2, Astros 0: Max Scherzer gambled by not taking what was reported to be a huge long term contract offer from the Tigers this past offseason, but so far the gamble is looking pretty good. He’s 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA after shutting down the Astros for eight innings on three hits while striking out nine. Anthony Bass pitched an inning for the Astros. He’s from the Detroit area and pitched at Wayne State. His mom was in the stands and the Fox Sports Detroit crew interviewed her and had the camera trained on her. Then he gave up a homer to Victor Martinez. So that was an uncomfortable bit of narrative building gone awry.

Blue Jays 3, Phillies 0: Old friend J.A. Happ shut out the Phillies for five and the bullpen carried it home. Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs in the first two innings. A costly win for the Jays, as they lost Brett Lawrie with a hamstring injury.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3: Lucky number seven losses in a row for Atlanta. This one despite Fredi Gonzalez’s tribute to Tony La Russa via batting the pitcher eighth. Ninth hitter Ramiro Pena went 2 for 4 and homered so I guess that sorta worked, but Gonzalez can manage the hell out of a game and it’s all for naught if the Uptons and Chris Johnson go a collective 0 for 11 and you spot the opposition a 5-0 lead. In other news, on April 10, Freddie Freeman said “pitchers got nothin’ to get me out with.” He went 2 for 4 last night but since then he’s batting .258. In the past ten days he’s batting .225. Guess those pitchers found something.

Angels 4, Yankees 1: Jered Weaver allowed one run over eight and Ernesto Frieri, apparently restored to closing duties by Mike Scioscia, handled the ninth. Joe Girardi and Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley were ejected in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes. I wonder if we’ll have a lot more of those this year. Managers can’t argue anything else anymore now that replay is here, so they have to channel that stuff someplace else, right?

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Stefen Romero’s first major league homer broke the tie in the fifth and put Seattle up for good. Chris Young allowed two hits over six strong innings to win his second straight start

Marlins 4, Mets 3: The Mets took a 3-0 lead into the eighth but the Fish rallied for three that inning and walked off in the ninth on a Casey McGehee RBI single. That eighth inning rally came while Dice-K was pitching for the Mets, ruining a Jon Niese gem, so I assume that bullpen experiment with him is nearing an end.

Giants 11, Pirates 10: If the shutouts were an homage to 1968 this one was an homage to 1999: a long game with crappy pitching which ended on a bad defensive play. Of course that run scored on a bunt by one pitcher to the opposing pitcher, so there was some element of small-ball at play here. The Giants win their sixth straight after being down by six runs after five innings. In other news, one of the Pirates’ pleasant surprises last year — Jeff Locke — made his first big league start of the season here and looked terrible. Then again the Pirates as a whole, at 12-20, are reminding us all that it’s not 2013 again.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1: Baseball used to pump up these big city crosstown interleague rivalries with P.R. and weekend starts. Guess we don’t do that anymore, because I didn’t hear a peep about this one until I looked at the scores before bed last night. Anyway, Jose Quintana freakin’ rolled, allowing only one hit and a sac fly over seven innings and Marcus Semien hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the top of the 12th. Jeff Samardzija deserved a better fate: he went nine, allowing only an unearned run on a sac fly in the first inning, but got no decision.

Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 3: Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer, walked three times, singled and drove in three. A lot of people say Gomez doesn’t respect the game. Who cares if he can play it this well. He’s at .291/.360/.567 on the season and is probably the best defensive center fielder in baseball. The game should respect him.

Rockies 8, Rangers 2: Troy Tulowitzki won the April Player of the Month Award yesterday then went out and hit two homers and drove in four. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles improved to 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA so, despite the guff the Rockies took for dealing Dexter Fowler, that trade is working out for Colorado so far.

Padres 6, Royals 5: Another 12-inning game, this one ending on a Will Venable two-run single. It was the second walkoff in a row for the Padres. And that wasn’t the only drama: Jedd Gyorko’s ninth inning homer forced extras.

Marlins announcer Tommy Hutton was let go because he was “too negative”

marlins logo wide

We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”

Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.

“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”

After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.

So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).

He said the question was met with silence by both executives.

“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.

Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.

To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.

Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?

Report: Indians have been in touch with Shane Victorino

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01:  Shane Victorino #18 of the Los Angeles Angels makes a catch for an out against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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Outfield is a glaring need for the Indians, but they aren’t expected to shop for any of the big names on the free agent market. Instead, they are looking at potential bargains on short-term deals. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Shane Victorino falls under this classification and that the veteran outfielder is among many names the Indians have contacted.

Victorino, who turns 35 on Monday, has been limited to just 101 games over the past two seasons due to injury. Coming off back surgery, he batted just .230/.308/.292 with one home run and seven RBI over 204 plate appearances this past season between the Red Sox and Angels while battling calf and hamstring injuries. It’s hard to see the upside at this point, but the Indians could promise him regular at-bats, especially with Michael Brantley likely to miss the start of the 2016 season following shoulder surgery.

The Indians have also reportedly discussed trading either Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco for a bat, which represents their best chance of adding a big name to their outfield this winter.

Korean slugger Byung-ho Park is reportedly traveling to Minnesota

Byung-ho Park

Could the Twins and Korean slugger Byung-ho Park be close to finalizing a contract?

According to Naver Sports (via a translated report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), Park is scheduled to travel to the United States on Sunday. The 29-year-old is expected to make a quick stop in Chicago to meet with his agent, Alan Nero, before coming to Minnesota to see Twins officials and take a physical exam. If all goes well, a contract could be finalized as soon as next week.

The Twins bid $12.85 million last month to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Park. The deadline to complete a deal is December 8. If a deal is not worked out, Park would remain with the Nexen Heroes in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) and the Twins would not have to pay the posting fee.

Right now, it’s unclear how far along the two sides are in negotiations. However, Berardino hears that a guarantee in the range of $20-30 million is reasonable to expect.

Park, a two-time MVP in the KBO, has amassed 105 home runs in 268 games over the past two seasons. It’s hard to tell how those numbers will translate, even after the success of Jung Ho Kang this season, but the Twins are hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order force.

Miami Police Department considers Yasiel Puig case closed

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig waits to bat during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.

While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.

TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”

Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.