Henderson Alvarez

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Rays 0: Henderson Alvarez tosses his third shutout of the season. Last year the league leaders in that category — Justin Masterson and Bartolo Colon — had three for the whole season. Heck, the league leader had three in five of the past 11 seasons.

Nationals 7, Phillies 0: Ryan Zimmerman had two doubles and handled the only two balls hit to him in left field cleanly in his debut as an outfielder. Jordan Zimmermann pitched eight scoreless innings. Larry Bowa probably blames Dom Brown and then his head probably exploded.

Indians 5, Red Sox 3: Five straight for Cleveland, with the big hit coming on Michael Bourn’s two-run double in the seventh. The Indians, considered dead not too long ago, have made up six games in the AL Central standings since May 18 and trail first-place Detroit by four and a half games.

Mariners 7, Braves 5: Homers done it. Stefen Romero hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the fourth to tie it at five and then John Buck hit a two-run shot in the seventh. Buck had three hits in all. His homer was his fourth against Atlanta since the start of 2013. He joins Mike Redmond on the Mount Rushmore of Mostly Pedestrian Catchers Who Inexplicably Kill The Braves. Not sure who the other two are, but I’m sure they exist.

Athletics 5, Yankees 2:  A three-run 10th kicked off by Brandon Moss’ second homer of the game gives this one to the A’s. The key to the win, according to Sean Doolittle, is your typical Oakland A’s Moneyball techno-spreadsheet explanation:

“The way the guys were swinging in the 10th inning, it was like they could smell the victory and found a way to get it done,” the A’s reliever said. “That’s typical Oakland A’s baseball.”

God, dude. Get your head out of you computer screen and watch some baseball.

Reds 8, Giants 3: Four straight for the Reds. Four errors for the Giants, mostly caused by Bill Hamilton getting in Tim Lincecum and Hector Sanchez’s heads.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3: A five-run ninth for Toronto, four of which were charged to Joe Nathan, though three scored on a Brett Lawrie homer given up by Al Alburquerque. Anyone got John Hiller’s phone number?

Orioles 8, Rangers 3: Nelson Cruz always hit well in Arlington and he did so again last night hitting a three-run shot to give him his 21st homer of the season. Adam Jones added four hits and a homer.

Royals 8, Cardinals 7: Kolten Wong’s grand slam ended a 20-inning scoreless streak for St. Louis, but Eric Hosmer’s tie-breaking RBI single in the ninth extended their losing streak to three. The Cards have lost six of seven overall.

Astros 7, Angels 2: Jon Singleton made his major league debut with a couple of strikeouts a couple of errors and his first-ever homer. He also walked with the bases loaded to give him two-RBI on the game. Bud Norris thinks Singleton should’ve gotten four RBI. It would have been better for everyone else, Norris says.

Cubs 2, Mets 1: One in the eighth and one in the ninth for Chicago. The run in the ninth came on a Nate Schierholtz single, for the Cubs’ first walkoff win of the year. Chris Coghlan’s solo shot accounted for the other run. The Mets had a lot of chances to score more than just their one run but failed to capitalize.

Twins 6, Brewers 4: Josh Willingham stays hot, hitting a three-run homer. Since coming off the DL on May 26 he’s hit four of ’em. Also: a dude fell the hell out of a TGI Friday’s and into the bullpen, so that was special.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: Back to back homers for Nick Evans and Chris Owings. Evans was filling in for Paul Goldschmidt, who was given the night off. It was Evans’ first homer since 2011.

White Sox 4, Dodgers 1: Jose Abreu went deep again and drove in three overall. Hector Noesi got his first win in 19 starts.

Pirates 4, Padres 1: Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez hit two-run homers and Gerrit Cole and four relievers combined to allow one run. A day after a nine-inning game between these two teams lasted over four hours, this one was done in 2:43.

MLB may introduce “tacky” baseballs in 2018

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 25: Baseballs sit in the St. Louis Cardinals dugout prior to a game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 25, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by David Welker/Getty Images)
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Jeff Passan of Yahoo has an interesting report today. MLB and Rawlings are developing a new baseball. It will have a tacky surface on the leather, allowing pitchers to get a better grip without having to resort to sunscreen and rosin and pine tar and stuff. Substances which, in theory, are for grip but which are really used by pitchers to doctor the ball, with MLB and opposing hitters mostly looking the other way.

They tested the new balls in the Arizona Fall League last year and Passan talks to a couple of the pitchers who used the ball. More testing would be required, though, so we’re not likely to see the new balls until at least 2018.

As you know, baseball players love change, so I’m sure we won’t hear another thing about the ball and its introduction will go off seamlessly.

Wait. It’ll still have seams. You know what I mean.

Here we go: Tim Tebow reports to Mets camp

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets speaks at a press conference after a work out at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The first few days of spring training have been pretty quiet. Guys are going about their business and games are being played, but we haven’t had any news or controversy or silliness or anything fun like that. That’s about to change, however, as Tim Tebow has arrived at Mets camp.

Tebow, a non-roster invite, arrived at the Mets facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida this morning and, unlike every other non-roster invite, had a press conference. You may be surprised to learn that he’s in great shape, is excited to get going and wants to improve steadily each day.

The plan for Tebow is to be a part of the minor league camp, not the major league one, so he’s not going to be as visible at workouts as you might expect. He will be playing in some major league spring training games, however, at least until we get deeper into spring training, after which you’d assume that veterans and players with a real shot of making the big club will play longer.

In the meantime, you can buy Tebow shirts. But not Curtis Granderson ones, it seems: