Masahiro Tanaka

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 4, Mets 0: Remember how when the season started Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees’ fourth starter? Haha, yeah, he’s so totally the ace right now that it’s not even funny. Like, he’s the ace by leaps, bounds, mile and parsecs. The man who simply won’t lose tossed a shutout, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out eight.

Rays 2, Mariners 0: Tampa Bay wins but they lose Ben Zobrist to a dislocated thumb, so that sucks. Both Rays scored in anti-climatic fashion: a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch.

White Sox 4, Athletics 2: A three-run homer by Jose Abreu n the eighth was the big blow. That gives him 15 on the year. “On pace” stuff is usually lame, but if you’re into that sort of thing Abreu is on pace for 58 homers and 158 RBI. The fact that he’s also only on pace for 39 walks is good evidence that those previous on pace numbers aren’t likely to hold. But it’s fun for now.

Giants 10, Braves 4: It’s pretty crazy what some changes in the weather will do to a park. I mean, the Giants win this game regardless because they simply hit better and pitched better than the Braves, but AT&T Park is a rather different place when it’s an uncharacteristic 90 degrees and there’s no wind. The ball flies all over that joint when it’s like it was yesterday afternoon. Just one to put in the back of one’s mind when that ice shelf in the Antarctic melts and we’re all living in some shorefront Otisburg in Ohio or Nevada or whatever.

Royals 3, Rockies 2: It’s amazing what a few days of saying a guy is a bum and we should send him to Omaha does to someone. Mike Moustakas went 2 for 3 and drove in all three of the Royals’ runs.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 1: Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each hit two-run singles off Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning. The Nats take two of three from Arizona.

Tigers 7, Orioles 5: Justin Verlander didn’t have his best day but the offense picked him up and the Tigers notched the sweep. Detroit is just cruising through 2014. They’re on pace for, like, a 108-win season.

Angels 3, Phillies 0: Garrett Richards shut out Philly for seven innings with eight strikeouts and five hits. The Angels have won five of six. The Phillies fall to four games below .500. They have the same record through 38 games in 2014 as they had in 2013 so, like, progress.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Indians 15, Blue Jays 4: Well, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Especially toward the end. David Murphy drove in five. Neil Wagner ended up wearing this one for the Jays, which is pretty noble. Really, if someone said “you can play one major league game only” and then disappear into oblivion, I would be tempted for that one game to be me wearing a blowout for the benefit of my team and my bullpen. To go out there and give up a bunch of runs and accept it with equanimity. Granted, in this masochistic fantasy I’m doing it for, like, four innings. But you see what I’m getting at. 

Astros 5, Rangers 4: Texas had a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth but then Houston chipped away and won it on a Matt Dominguez RBI single in the ninth. The Astros took two of three from the Rangers, winning their first series against their cross-state rival after dropping the last 15 against them. Fifteen series, that is. Not games.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4: David Ortiz homered twice for the second straight night. He’s 28 for 53 in 13 career games at Target Field. In 56 career games against the Twins he’s 75 for 214 with 19 homers and 49 RBI.

Pirates 4, Brewers 1: Chris Stewart and Starlin Marte combined to drive in three in the ninth off Francisco Rodriguez who, after getting the first out in a tie game gave up four consecutive hits. Not the sort of thing he’s done much of this year.

Marlins 13, Dodgers 3: Anthony DeSclafani was making his big league debut for the Marlins. He’ll not get run support like this one very often, especially considering he drove in two of Miami’s 13 runs himself. Reed Johnson had a two run homer and Jeff Mathis smacked a three run bomb. Randy Wolf, just signed by Miami, got a three-inning save. Saves are totally important when you come into the game with an 11-run lead.

Padres vs. Reds; Cubs vs. Cardinals: POSTPONEDI know we can walk through rain, But I don’t want to end up drowned again. Too much dancing in bad weather. Makes it hard to stay together 

The Tigers will listen to trade offers on anybody

Miguel Cabrera
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Earlier this week Tigers GM Al Avila said that his club was going to get “lean” and “efficient” and that their days of spending big money are over. Later in the week Avila said that they would not likely offer a long term contract to outfielder J.D. Martinez, who will become a free agent after the 2017 season.

None of those comments necessarily suggested that the Tigers would be conducting a fire sale or anything, and it’s certainly possible to get leaner while still competing. One would assume that the Tigers could cut fat in the middle but still head into battle with their superstars. But that may not be the plan. Buster Olney:

. . . the message being received from the rest of the industry is a dramatic shift for one of baseball’s oldest franchises: They will listen to trade offers on everybody.

Miguel Cabrera. Justin Verlander. Ian Kinsler.


Trading those guys would be a pretty big deal. In both senses of the term.

It would take a blockbuster-sized deal to move such players. Verlander is owed $28 million a year for the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 at $22 million. Cabrera just finished the first year of an eight-year, $248 million deal that will be paying him more than $30 million a year between 2018 and 2023, with an $8 million buyout for 2024. And that’s before the fact that both Verlander and Cabrera are 10/5 guys with full no-trade protection if they choose to exercise it. Beyond that Kinsler is a relative bargain at $11 million in 2017 and a $10 million club option for 2018 with a $5 million buyout. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton are hanging around too.

But for as big a trade would have to be if any one of those guys were dealt, it’d be a bigger deal in terms of team philosophy and direction. Cabrera has confirmed his Hall of Fame credentials in his nine years in Detroit. He’s the best player to wear the English D since Al Kaline and has been the biggest star in the organization for most of a generation. Verlander is nearly as important and nearly as famous. I don’t think it’s likely the Tigers will move either of them because the logistics of such deals would be mind-boggling, but even entertaining deals for these guys would alter the course of the franchise for years and years to come. It happens to every franchise eventually, but I don’t think the Tigers fan base is prepared for it to happen to them yet.

Still: the free agent market is thinner that it has been at any time in years and years. Cabrera and Verlander, if they could be had, would be the biggest splashes any team looking to improve could possibly acquire. Kinselr would be a big get for anyone as well. Al Avila knows that. Even if he’s not ready to part with his superstars, he probably owes it to his organization to at least listen.


The World Series broadcast schedule is announced

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Major League Baseball just announced the broadcast schedule for both Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) of the NLCS and the entire World Series.

There are no surprises here. The World Series games are all on Fox. The pregame show starts at 7:30 and the games themselves start just after 8pm Eastern Daylight Time, regardless of whether it’s Chicago or Los Angeles representing the National League. For some reason Game five of the World Series, scheduled a week from Sunday if it comes to pass, starts seven minutes later than all of the other games. Maybe something super exciting will happen then.