And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Mets 0: A three-game sweep and an 8-1 homestand for Miami. Three of the Marlins past four games have been walkoff wins, including this one, which was won on a walkoff sac fly. Tom Kohler and Steve Cishek combined for a two-hit shutout.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Mike Aviles with a walkoff single. The Twins carry a eight-man bullpen and Joe Mauer is hurt, but not on the DL. That means they have 11 position players available, which means that shortstop Eduardo Escobar played left field. The Indians’ ninth inning rally kicked off when Escobar got turned around on a fly ball and it ended up landing on the track for a double. Maybe — and this is just a suggestion — teams don’t need eight-man bullpens.

Pirates 4, Giants 3: Pittsburgh takes two of three as Gerrit Cole pitches a nice game. Overall the Pirates have won 4 of 6 following a bad slide before that. Meanwhile, the Giants’ hot run has been cooled off a bit. If this is where their season turns south, let’s all claim it was because of that walkoff reply from Tuesday night. We can call it “The Curse of Technology” or something.

Mariners 6, Athletics 4; Athletics 2, Mariners 0: Felix Hernandez was no great shakes in the opener, but the M’s won. Erasmo Ramirez was pretty good in the nightcap but the M’s lost. Jim Johnson saved that one. While his Tuesday performance was pretty gross — two hits, two walks and four unearned runs — Johnson hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 9.

Nationals 3, Dodgers 2: A shaky first inning for Stephen Strasburg but after that he cruised, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing only those two first inning runs. That’s sort of been his m.o. this year, but that pattern — shaky at first then settling in and going deep into the game — is probably preferable to the old Strasburg who would kick everyone’s butt but be gone by the sixth, either because he was gassed or because everyone was babying him.

Blue Jays 10, Phillies 0: A swell pitchers’ duel until the Jays put up a nine-spot in the seventh. Mark Buehrle cruised, winning his sixth game and setting a pace that had this one over in less than two and a half hours. Cliff Lee summed it up best afterward: “They flat out beat us in every way. Shut us out and scored 10 runs. That’s a pretty good beating right there.” Yup. Jays have won four straight.

Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 2: Signs of life for Arizona, as the Snakes have won five of seven. Bronson Arroyo has turned it around personally too, notching his third straight solid start after a horrific April.

Red Sox 4, Reds 3: The Sox climb back to .500 with a sweep of the Reds. The Reds have lost 11 one-run games this year, which is the sort of thing that has to just gnaw at a team.

Royals 8, Padres 0: James Shields wasn’t terribly sharp, but he did manage seven shutout innings all the same. Eric Hosmer drove in four. Andrew Cashner was beat around. After the game he said “we’re kinda in a team-wide funk.” Which would be cool if he meant, like, a Bootsy Collins funk, but that’s not what he means.

Orioles 4, Rays 3: Two homers for Adam Jones and a two-run homer for Jonathan Schoop to break a 2-2- tie.

Cardinals 7, Braves 1: Adam Wainwright shut ’em down and Mike Minor looked awful yet again. The Braves’ offense looked worse. Of course they’ve had a ton of practice looking terrible. Wainwright had two hits and scored twice too and is hitting .400 on the season.

Tigers 3, Astros 2: Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers continue their hot streaks. Cabrera and Victor Martinez homered and the Tigers won their eighth in a row.

White Sox 8, Cubs 3: Gordon Beckham homered for the second straight game, Jose Abreu had two doubles and Paul Konerko shook off the rust and hit a three-run double. Four wins in a row for the Chisox.

Rockies 9, Rangers 2: Nolan Arenado extends his hitting streak to 27 games, tying the Rockies’ all-time mark. Three straight easy wins for the Rockies over the listless looking Rangers.

Yankees 9, Angels 2: Derek Jeter with his first homer of the year. People have been suggesting that maybe he needs a break or something, but he’s had slow starts like this in the past and came around to be perfectly Jeterian for the rest of the year. While, sure, he’s more likely to break down at 40 than he was at 30, there’s no reason to think he can’t be his old self at the plate for long stretches this season.

The Marlins made an empty threat. Giancarlo Stanton made an empty promise.

Associated Press
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I covered the main press conference about Giancarlo Stanton earlier, but afterward he and his agents fanned out to various TV shows, radio shows and reporter scrums from which some new, fun things have spun out. Part of what they’ve talked about is silly and meaningless, part of it just meaningless.

Here’s the silly and meaningless, from a Marlins official, apparently, trying to bully Stanton into accepting either the Giants or the Cardinals trades despite the fact that he told them beforehand that he was not willing to go to either of those teams:

This is silly because it comes off like a threat. Like the worst possible thing that can happen to a guy is to stay with the very team that is making the threat. It’s like telling your wife that if she does not leave you, she’s stuck with you forever.

It’s meaningless too, in that Stanton has an opt-out clause after 2020. If the Marlins could not make a trade Stanton would approve, he’d simply collect close to $90 million and then leave at age 30. Oooh, don’t throw me into that briar patch, Mr. Jeter!

Not that Stanton’s people are offering statements of serious gravitas. His agent was asked about Stanton’s opt-out rights, which he retains even though he’s now with the Yankees:

That may very well be true! He just got here and everything is going great so far. It’s totally empty, of course, because anything can happen between now and the fall of 2020. If the big time free agents of the next two years sign for the sort of money that makes Stanton look underpaid, he’ll certainly opt-out, even if he wants to stay with the Yankees. Ask Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia how that works. The opt-out clause is pure, unadulterated leverage for a player and unless he totally craters over the next three seasons he’ll most certainly use it, regardless of present desires.

Which, hey, that’s how things work when a big trade or free agent signing happens. Everyone who has lost looks bad and everyone who won sounds happy. Then, later, the baseball happens.