Masahiro Tanaka

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

95 Comments

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 

CC Sabathia goes on the disabled list with a strained groin

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Leave a comment

CC Sabathia pitched wonderfully Wednesday night, tossing seven shutout innings in what was easily his best start in ages. But since we live in a world in which we simply cannot have nice things, that sweet has to come with some sour: the Yankees just announced that they have placed Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.

The Yankees have replaced Sabathia on the roster with their old friend Phil Coke, whose contract they just purchased from Scranton.

The Yankees have had bad luck with all of their starters not named Masahiro Tanaka so far this year. Losing one of them just as he put together his best start of the season is just a killer.

Tim Lincecum’s showcase is a lot bigger a deal than it seemed before

Tim Lincecum
2 Comments

When a pitcher doesn’t sign anywhere before or during spring training people sometimes wring their hands a bit, but it’s usually the case that they’ll be OK if they are patient. Once the season starts guys start going down with injuries left and right or show that they’re ineffective. In such cases, a free agent pitcher’s value goes way up. He’s a relatively low cost option for a team which, a month ago, seemed set but is now suddenly desperate.

Tim Lincecum may benefit from that dynamic.

As we noted earlier today, the Angels’ rotation is a hot mess now that Garrett Richards is out for the year and Andrew Heaney‘s absence may be just as extended. The back end of the Giants’ rotation is likewise a mess. Lincecum was never seriously on San Francisco’s radar this past winter, but given how Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are going, those crazy kids may get back together. The Dodgers could use a pitcher and their competition with the Giants may make this whole situation a lot more profitable for Lincecum than it might have otherwise been.

Of course, Lincecum still has to show that he can pitch and that he’s healthy. That’s why he’s having the showcase, that goes down here very shorty — 2:30 eastern time — and you can watch it streaming live at CSNBayArea.com.

Buddy Carlyle named the Braves new replay assistant

Buddy Carlyle
1 Comment

The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.

Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.

Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.

Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.

Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery, Andrew Heaney has UCL damage too

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Associated Press
3 Comments

Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.

Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.

Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.