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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 4, Tigers 0: Not a ton of people outside of Seattle knew what a Roenis Elias was before this game, but now they have a positive ID. He’s the beast that tossed a three-hitter while striking out eight Tigers. The game story says he’s the first Mariners rookie to record a shutout since Freddy Garcia on Aug. 24, 1999. But I’m calling b.s. on that. Freddy Garcia could not have been a rookie in 1999. He’s at least 67-years-old and I’m pretty sure he pitched some middle relief for the Pilots in ’69.

Brewers 9, Cubs 0: Kyle Lohse pitched a Roenis Elias. Which is what I’m going to start calling three-hit shutouts. Think it’ll stick? For once Jeff Samardzija got no run support in a game he unequivocally deserved to lose. The Brewers touched this season’s premiere rent-a-starter-to-be for eight runs in three innings.

White Sox 4, Padres 1: Chris Sale pitched a Roenis Elias Lite. That’s a complete game in which you allow only two hits, but you just miss the shutout because you give up a 420 foot+ homer to a dude back in the fifth. Hmm, starting to think this system is going to break down.

Indians 6, Rockies 4: A three-game sweep of the Rockies capped off with Michael Bourn hitting a walkoff homer. After the game Bourn actually said “In that situation you just look for a pitch to hit.” As opposed to those other situations when you look for a pitch with which to discuss world affairs. Perhaps over a cup of coffee.

Braves 4, Marlins 2: At times this season it has seemed as if no team really feels all that invested in winning the NL East. For one weekend at least someone at least sorta acted like it. The Braves sweep the Marlins with help from Evan Gattis’ two-run bomb in the ninth. His homer actually hit the home run sculpture thingie. You’d think that even though he’s a visiting player that they’d crank the thing up for him, but no. How petty.

Twins 7, Yankees 2: Phil Hughes tossing eight solid innings and not allowing a single dinger in Yankee Stadium is about as good as it gets these days for those of you who like to partake in Yankeefreude.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rangers 2, Nationals 0: Yu Darvish: eight shutout innings and 12 Ks. Nationals bats: nine shutout innings and 14 Ks. Darvish is pretty hard to beat on nine-days’ rest.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 0: Mark Buehrle won again. Edwin Encarnacion homered again. So far June is looking a lot like May for Toronto. The Royals got shut out, so I suppose the same can be said about them.

Mets 4, Phillies 3: Lucas Duda’s two-run homer in the 11th gives the Mets the game and series win. They’ve won 5 of 6, by the way. But because they’re the Mets I presume this morning’s papers are full of all kinds of stories about their dysfunction. That’s just how these things go down.

Red Sox 4, Rays 0: A week ago at this time we were all writing our “what’s wrong with the Red Sox?” posts as they skidded to ten straight losses. Since then they’ve won seven straight. Call me crazy, but I’m getting the feeling this team is streaky. Jon Lester is one of about a gabillion pitchers yesterday who pitched [pretty impressive number of] shutout innings. Brock Holt — BROCK HOLT! — had four doubles.

Giants 8, Cardinals 0: That’s five of six for the Giants in the win column, four of five for the Cardinals in the loss. Tim Hudson with seven shutout innings. I’m tellin’ ya: bald dudes born on July 14th are the new inefficiency.

Orioles 9, Astros 4: Manny Machado hit his first career grand slam as part of a six-run sixth. Nelson Cruz was hit on the hand and left the game but it’s just a bruise so he’s day-today.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3: Four runs on solo shots from Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick. All off Wade Miley. After the game manager Kirk Gibson said this about Miley’s outing: “He pitched well except for the four pitches.” And apart from all of that, Mrs. Lincoln quite enjoyed the play,

Athletics 6, Angels 3: The Angels were charging and surging and stuff and then they got to Oakland and dropped three straight. Jed Lowrie homered and drove in two and Josh Donaldson drove in two more. Time for the Angels to roll that boulder back up the hill.

Pirates 5, Dodgers 3: Andrew McCutchen had a homer and a pair of doubles, Pedro Alvarez drove in three and the Pirates won a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time in seven years.

Looking Ahead to Next Year’s Hall of Fame Ballot

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves stands in the on-deck circle prior to batting against the Cincinnati Reds at Turner Field on May 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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We’re only a night’s sleep removed from the 2017 Hall of Fame class being announced but, hey, why not look ahead to next year’s ballot?

After yesterday’s vote there are two guys clearly banging on the door: Trevor Hoffman at 74% and Vladimir Guerrero at  71.7%. It’d be shocking if they didn’t get in.

Also back, of course, and already polling over 50%, which tends to ensure eventual election, are Edgar Martinez (58.6); Roger Clemens (54.1); Barry Bonds (53.8); and Mike Mussina (51.8). All of them are worthy and each of them should have some segment of the baseball commentariat pushing their cases.

But the new class of eligibles is formidable too. Let’s take a preliminary look at everyone we’ll be arguing about next December:

  • Chipper Jones: You have to figure he’s a first ballot guy;
  • Jim Thome: 612 homers will say a lot and, I suspect, most people believe he’s a first ballot guy too. Still, his handling will be curious. Yes, was a better hitter than Sammy Sosa. But was he so much better that it justifies Thome getting 75% in his first year while Sosa is scraping by in single digits? According to Baseball-Reference.com, Thome and Sosa are each other’s most similar comp in history. This is less a Thome point than a Sosa one, of course. I think they both belong.
  • Omar Vizquel: Every few years a defensive specialist hits the ballot and the writers go crazy. When a defensive specialist who got along really, really well with the press comes along, Katie bar the door. Vizquel is gonna cause a lot of arguments about the measurement and value of defense. He’s also going to cause a lot of people to say things like “you had to watch him play” and “it’s not the Hall of Stats!” He’s going to cause a lot of stathead types to counter with “but Scott Rolen was just as good on defense as Vizquel, but you don’t like him!” It’s gonna get ugly. It’ll be glorious.
  • Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones: Will probably be one-and-done, but way better than you remember. If we wanna talk defense, I’ll offer that I have never seen a better defensive center field in my lifetime than Jones. It’s a shame that his falling off a cliff in his 30s will taint that as his legacy.
  • Chris Carpenter and Livan Hernandez: Hall of pretty darn good pitchers who will be fun to talk about;
  • Hideki Matsui: Also one and done, but everyone loves him so I bet he gets some “good guy” votes;
  • Jamie Moyer: A first-time eligible at age 55. Sandy Koufax had been in the Hall of Fame for 18 years when he was the age Moyer will be when he hits the ballot.
  • Scott Rolen: Way better than people believe now and way better than people said at the time. As suggested above, his defense was nowhere near as raved about during his career as it would be if he played today. If his 72.7 career bWAR was heavier on offense as opposed to distributed 52.1/20.6 on offense and defense, people would’ve probably talked him up more. Career WAR for Jim Thome: 72.9. Career WAR for Derek Jeter: 71.8.
  • Johan Santana: The Hall of What Could’ve Been if Shoulders Weren’t So Dumb.
  • Kerry Wood: The Hall of What Could’ve Been if Elbows Weren’t So Dumb. Still, if Jack Morris can stick on the ballot for 15 years based on one dang game, I don’t see why Wood can’t get some support based on a better one.

There are a couple of other fun “oh my God, how has he been retired that long?” names that will appear on next year’s ballot. Check out the whole list here.

Jorge Posada highlights 16 one-and-done players on Hall of Fame ballot

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada received only 17 total votes (3.8 percent) on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. Unfortunately, he is one of 16 players who fell short of the five percent vote threshold and is no longer eligible on the ballot. The other players are Magglio Ordonez (three votes, 0.7 percent), Edgar Renteria (two, 0.5 percent), Jason Varitek (two, 0.5 percent), Tim Wakefield (one, 0.2 percent), Casey Blake (zero), Pat Burrell (zero), Orlando Cabrera (zero), Mike Cameron (zero), J.D. Drew (zero), Carlos Guillen (zero), Derrek Lee (zero), Melvin Mora (zero), Arthur Rhodes (zero), Freddy Sanchez (zero), and Matt Stairs (zero).

Posada, 45, helped the Yankees win four World Series championships from 1998-2000 as well as 2009. He made the American League All-Star team five times, won five Silver Sluggers, and had a top-three AL MVP Award finish. Posada also hit 20 or more homers in eight seasons, finished with a career adjusted OPS (a.k.a. OPS+) of 121, and accrued 42.7 Wins Above Replacement in his 17-year career according to Baseball Reference.

While Posada’s OPS+ and WAR are lacking compared to other Hall of Famers — he was 18th of 34 eligible players in JAWS, Jay Jaffe’s WAR-based Hall of Fame metric — catchers simply have not put up the same kind of numbers that players at other positions have. That’s likely because catching is such a physically demanding position and often results in injuries and shortened careers. It is, perhaps, not an adjustment voters have thought to make when considering Posada’s eligibility.

Furthermore, Posada’s quick ouster is somewhat due to the crowded ballot. Most voters had a hard time figuring out which 10 players to vote for. Had Posada been on the ballot in a different era, writers likely would have found it easier to justify voting for him.

Posada joins Kenny Lofton in the “unjustly one-and-done” group.