Dallas Keuchel

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Astros 8, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel tossed a seven-hit shutout. I’m obligated by The Guild to say he scattered those hits. L.J. Hoes drove in three. Meanwhile, Matt Harrison left the game with back stiffness early.

Angels 4, Phillies 3: There was an awful lot of Philly-based press about Mike Trout yesterday, seeing as though he’s from nearby Millville, New Jersey. It was like a kid from nearby coming to play a game in May was Philly’s World Series or something. As it was, Trout’s slump continued and he was a non-factor here. Defense was a factor, as in Cody Asche committing not one, but two errors in the sixth inning allowing all four of Anaheim’s runs to score and all of them to be unearned.

Tigers 4, Orioles 1: A 1-0 lead in the ninth and Tommy Hunter on the hill was not enough here. Hunter surrendered back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and — bam! — that was that. Really, it sounded like “bam!” when the home runs were hit. That’s not me trying to add color here.

Padres 2, Reds 1: That stuff I said on Monday about Aroldis Chapman being the Terminator or whatever? Well, anyway. Chapman surrendered a ninth inning homer to Chase Headley after entering a tied game. That was only the third hit of the game for the Padres, but it was enough to give them their fourth straight win.

Mets 12, Yankees 7: Being in Yankee Stadium sure has cured the Mets’ offensive woes. Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer in the first and Daniel Murphy hit one in the fifth. This game fell two minutes shy of four hours, so it was good an agonizing for masochistic Yankees fans, who now root for a .500 ballclub.

Brewers 5, Pirates 2: Gerrit Cole hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the third inning because of course he did. No ill-will sprung from it, however and everyone moved on. Gomez came around to score, so viva the unwritten rules. Cole sure showed Gomez. Marco Estrada didn’t have any grudges to deal with. All he did was win the game with six serviceable innings.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: R.A. Dickey won for the third time in four starts. Juan Francisco hit a homer. Melky Cabrera gunned the would-be tying run down at the plate in the eighth, but I suppose we’re not supposed to mention that because he tested positive for drugs a couple of years ago and now “questions have arisen” in bored and suspicious people’s minds.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: A 12th inning walkoff plunking, as Justin Grimm hit Greg Garcia with the bases loaded in the 12th of a 3-3 game. Rough inning for Grimm as he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before the game-ender. Kinda deflating for Chicago, which had rallied off Trevor Rosenthal to tie it in the ninth.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s only $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 5, Rockies 1: James Shields allowed one run over seven while striking out eight. One of those eight was his 1,500th career strikeout.

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1: “I have a Strasburg.” “Oh yeah, well we have an Arroyo.” I dunno, just trying to dramatic that all up. A one run complete game for Bronson Arroyo. A two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth put Arizona up for good.

Twins 8, Red Sox 6: Two homers for David Ortiz but a walkoff homer for Chris Parmalee was better. Had to feel good for Parmalee, who has spent part of the season in the minors.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1: Josh Beckett gets his first win since 2012 and it comes against his old team. Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Miami has lost five in a row.

Braves 5, Giants 0: Mike Minor pitched shutout baseball into the seventh. Ryan Vogelsong  . . . didn’t. Two RBI for Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ three-run sixth was keyed by Jason Heyward who tagged up to take second base on one play and managed to duck under a tag at home to score even though the ball beat him there by ten feet.

Athletics 11, White Sox 0: Drew Pomeranz and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss hit homers — two for Moss, actually. The A’s are tied for the most wins in baseball and lead everyone in baseball in run differential with a +73.

Rays 2, Mariners 1: As in the Orioles-Tigers game, a 1-0 lead wasn’t enough as Fernando Rodney blew the save by allowing all of the opponents’ runs in the ninth. That (and some pretty awesome pitching) allowed David Price to get the win. Price went the distance and struck out 12. Hisashi Iwakuma had eight shutout innings flushed down the toilet.

Breaking Down the Today’s Game Hall of Fame Ballot: Lou Piniella

TORONTO - JULY 9:  Manager Lou Pinella of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during batting practice prior to the1991 All-Star Game at the Toronto Sky Dome on July 9, 1991 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
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On Monday, December 5, the Today’s Game committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame — the replacement for the Veterans Committee which covers the years 1988-2016 — will vote on candidates for the 2017 induction class. This week we are looking at the ten candidates, one-by-one, to assess their Hall worthiness. Next up: Lou Piniella

The case for his induction:

He notched 1,835 wins, made seven postseason appearances, a won a World Series as a manager. That win total is good for 14th all time. Of the 13 men ahead of him, 12 are already in the Hall. The only who isn’t is Gene Mauch, who was under .500 for his career. Connie Mack and Bucky Harris are in that crowd and they were under .500 too, but Mack is kind of a special case as the all-time wins leader and Harris, well, I dunno, he hung around forever and the Veterans Committee was a different beast back in the 1970s. Point is, if you have Piniella’s win total and you’re over .500, as Piniella is, you’re probably getting in, at least eventually.

A lot of those wins came in some good places and at some good times, adding some psychological weight to that record. Taking the 1990 Reds to the World Series and beating the heavily favored A’s was a great story and, as the Reds’ last title for 26 years and counting, stands as a more memorable accomplishment than doing it someplace else. Likewise, his next job, in Seattle, coincided with the franchise’s best seasons thanks to the emergence of Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Randy Johnson and Edgar Martinez under Piniella’s command. Mariners’ history fundamentally changed during the Piniella era and he will always be associated with that. Oh, and his 2001 team set the single season record for wins with 116. He made two playoff appearances with the Cubs too. That’s been eclipsed by the 2016 team’s exploits, but it was a pretty big deal at the time.

It’s also worth noting that Piniella likewise had a very fine playing career, with 18 seasons of 109 OPS+ hitting, a Rookie of the Year Award and a couple of World Series rings on his resume. That’s not enough by itself to get him in the Hall, but he presents a nice total package as a Baseball Man Supreme who has been thought highly of for close to 50 years now.

Oh, one other thing: he was colorful. He had a temper and a repuatation as kind of a red ass, with a good number of on-the-field incidents which stick in people’s minds. That sort of thing doesn’t necessarily make someone a good manager or a good person, but Piniella has been seen as a guy who mellowed with age and, at various times in his career, showed that he had a sense of humor about all of that stuff which makes it play a heck of a lot better. For Hall of Fame purposes, it certainly plays a heck of a lot more memorably.

The case against his induction:

His years in Tampa Bay weren’t all that great and, by the time his days in Chicago were over there was a sense that he was sort of running on fumes and padding that win total to get him into that top 14. In both places Joe Maddon eventually came along and did better things and, in some cases, undoing some bad things Piniella did. Some believe he should’ve won another pennant or two and, yes, some of those Mariners teams disappointed in the postseason. Some people look less amusingly on his temper tantrums over the years and, I suppose, one could characterize them a bit more sinisterly than I did above without being too dramatic.

Would I vote for him?

I think so. As I mentioned in the George Steinbrenner entry, when it comes to managers and executives, I put a lot of weight on whether one could tell the story of baseball in a guy’s era without mentioning his name. Piniella is no Joe Torre, Bobby Cox of Tony La Russa in that regard, but he’s pretty close to that group in terms of the figure he cut in the game and, as I mentioned, he’s critical to the story of a couple of franchises. Certainly the Mariners but also the 1970s Yankees as a player and, possibly, the 1990 Reds. I tend to be a softer Hall of Fame touch than a lot of people, so I get that people may disagree, but I’d put him in.

Will the Committee vote for him?

Hard to say. On the one hand, Piniella feels like the sort of baseball man that gets rewarded by the Veterans Committee. On the other hand, the Veterans Committee took ages to vote in some other notable managers such as Whitey Herzog, suggesting that maybe Piniella will have to wait. This is the first year for the new composition of the Veterans Committe, however, so it’s hard to say if they’ll be tougher or easier graders. He may be the hardest call of all of the guys on this year’s ballot.

Twins hire James Rowson as their hitting coach

BOSTON, MA - June 4: The Minnesota Twins logo is seen during the fifth inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 4, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
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The Minnesota Twins have announced that they have hired James Rowson as their hitting coach.

Rowson was the minor league hitting coordinator for the New York Yankees for seven of the last nine seasons, interrupted by a short stint with the Chicago Cubs as minor league hitting coordinator. He also worked at the minor league levels with the Los Angeles Angels. He played in the minors for the Seattle Mariners and Yankees.

Rowson replacesTom Brunansky, who was hitting coach for the past four seasons.