Puig Out

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Reds 4, Dodgers 1: Like I said yesterday, I took the kids to this one. And we dressed up in Dodgers gear because why the heck not. And because we were pretending to be big Dodgers fans for the day — maybe the kids were more than pretending; hard to say — we rooted for Yasiel Puig. Then that one inning came in which he hit into a fielder’s choice causing one out and then got caught stealing (by a mile) in a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play, requiring me to explain to my children how sometimes even the best players around can do dumbass stuff like cause, directly or indirectly, all three outs in an inning and, boy, isn’t baseball tough sometimes? It was all good, though, because their shallow rooting for the Dodgers easily allowed for them to be excited and thrilled by Aroldis Chapman pumping 102 m.p.h. fastballs in the ninth inning. So all in all a good day at the old ballpark. Except for the Dodgers, who looked pretty listless and seemed to have an eye on the clock and their minds on the plane out of Cincinnati.

Giants 7, Nationals 1: The Giants avoid the sweep thanks to Tim Hudson continuing to be awesome. Seven innings and only one unearned run allowed, which lowered Hudson’s ERA to 1.81 on the year. Between his time with the Braves and the Giants, Hudson has beat the Nationals 17 times in 30 starts. No one has beat the Nats that many times.

Rockies 10, Braves 3: My real rooting interest fared worse than my temporary/fake rooting interest. Jhoulys Chacin pitched seven scoreless innings and the Rockies had an 8-3 lead when things got chippy because, for some reason, David Carpenter of the Braves apparently thought that Corey Dickerson hit Braves catcher Gerald Laird with his bat on the backswing on purpose. He said he didn’t, but he plunked the next batter with a pitch, which caused Carpenter to get ejected and which caused Walt Weiss to come out and argue and get ejected himself. And which then caused a Rockies pitcher to plunk a Braves batter later, causing him and the Rockies acting manager tossed too. I think Walt Weiss said it best:

“If you think a guy can foul a ball off and then at the same time hit the catcher on the backswing on purpose, you got no clue,” Weiss said. “They made their decision. They made a bad choice.”

Not the first time the Braves overreacted to something and then put on their police hats.

 

Phillies 7, Padres 3: Pinch-hitter Reid Brignac hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the sixth and spot-starting John Mayberry Jr. hit a three-run homer. And the Phillies swept. Let’s hear it for the fill-ins of the world.

Red Sox 5, Indians 2:  Jon Lester pitched 7+ decent innings and David Ortiz hit a two-run homer. The Red Sox won for the third time in ten games. Which I suppose is better than losing for the eighth time in ten.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 2:  Kevin Gausman gave up one run over six innings and Delmon Young homered. In other news, Delmon Young is still alive and playing major league baseball. In other news, I guess Mark Buehrle is not going to win 29 games this year or whatever.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Tigers 4, White Sox 0: With Justin Verlander faltering, Max Scherzer doing things like stopping the bleeding with a three-hit shutout is gonna go a long way towards making that decision to not take the $140 million contract he was offered last spring look smart.

Brewers 5, Mets 1: Your standard four-run rally in the 13th inning. The Mets stranded seven runners between the ninth through the 11th including a bases-loaded situation. It was New York’s ninth loss in 11 games.

Yankees 6, Mariners 3: Jeter comes alive. Three hits, two RBI and two runs scored. Jacoby Ellsbury had a two-run homer. The Yankees sweep.

Pirates 4, Cubs 0: Andrew McCutchen had two doubles and two RBI. He’s 18 of 42 this month (.428), with 15 of his hits going for extra bases. Which is sort of insane.

Astros 5, Diamondbacks 4: Miguel Montero tied it at four in the top of the ninth with a homer but Chris Carter hit a walkoff homer to lead off the 10th to give it to the Astros. He homered twice on Wednesday, so that’s a good couple of days.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.