Blood on the Tracks

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 4 Padres 0: Most of what has been said about Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter has been said. I’ll add this though, which a Twitter correspondent told me and which I find kinda neat: Lincecum joins Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to have two or more no-hitters two or more Cy Young Awards and two or more World Series championships. Also: Lincecum’s closest comp: Bob Dylan. Early dominance and greatness followed by a falloff, but still punctuated by occasional brilliance. Let’s call this no-hitter Lincecum’s “Blood on the Tracks,” as it’s a clear high point after a considerable time of confusion and lack of direction.

Braves 4, Astros 0: Justin Upton homered for the second day in a row and drove in three. Alex Wood and the pen combined for a three-hit shutout. It was Wood’s start since May 4, as he had been shifted to the pen then and then sent down to be stretched out again. I guess the stretching worked.

Athletics 8, Mets 5: Maybe it’s the uniforms? Because it sorta doesn’t matter who these guys are or where they come from, if the A’s run ’em out there, they do OK. Take Brad Mills. He was in Nashville and, given how easily he was obtained from the Brewers, was basically, by definition, a spare part. In his second start as an Athletic, though, he proved to be effective, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing three runs to pick up his first win in two years. He was helped along by a Yoenis Cespedes bases-clearing double.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: I linked a story the other day about how the Associated Press is going to reduce game stories to a couple of short paragraphs and then bullet points. For the reasons I stated I think that’s a good thing. That said, once in a while I stumble across something like this from the AP and I can’t help but smile:

Mark Teixeira made sure the New York Yankees had something to declare at customs on their way home from Canada: a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

That’s “so bad it’s good” stuff right there, and I will kinda miss it when it’s gone.

Marlins 3, Phillies 2: Henderson Alvarez only one earned run on seven hits in six and two-thirds to keep up his hot streak. He’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his last seven starts. Remember that time about five days ago when people actually thought the Phillies had turned it around? Since then they’ve dropped four of five.

Rays 5 Pirates 1: In what could possibly be David Price’s last game as a Ray — I don’t think it is as it usually takes big trades longer to come together, but a lot of people suggested it yesterday — he did the Rays a solid by (a) winning the game; and (b) showing potential suitors that they should and probably will have to pay a big price to land him. He struck out 11 batters and allowed five hits in eight and a third. That’s five straight starts in which he has struck out ten or more.

Reds 4, Cubs 1: Mat Latos picks up his first win of the year, allowing one run on five hits. Jay Bruce drove in two on a pair of RBI doubles. Marty Brennaman did not die alone in his hotel room.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Both Marco Gonzalez and Yohan Flande were making their major league debuts, for the Cardinals and Rockies, respectively. Neither of them had a game worth writing home about. The best part of this game was the second-to-last at bat in the bottom of the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal had walked two batters to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo battled for 11 pitches but then struck out on a 100-mph fastball. That’s some serious sh*t right there, friends.

Brewers 9, Nationals 2: Scooter Gennett drove in five with the help of a grand slam. Stephen Strasburg got beat up for seven runs in four and two-thirds. I wonder if it was someone else’s fault this time too.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 4: The Sox avoid a sweep thanks in part to Clay Buchholz, who was making his first start in a month. He wasn’t great, but he did pitch into the eighth inning and, given how badly the Mariners had battered Sox pitching the past two games, allowing only four runs was a moral victory.

Angels 6, Twins 2: Garrett Richards pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning to win his fourth straight win and the Angels won their fifth in a row. Richards has a 1.06 ERA in June and has allowed only four runs over his last five starts.

Indians 6, Diamondbacks 1: A day after playing a long extra innings game, the winner here was going to be the team that got the most innings out of its starter. Well, usually the winner of any game is the one which gets the most wins out of its starter, but you know what I mean. Here Corey Kluber pitched seven shutout innings for Cleveland, striking out eight.

Dodgers 5, Royals 4: The Dodgers scored the go-ahead run in the eighth when Wade Davis hit A.J. Ellis with a pitch with the bases loaded. Obviously not intentional. And I obviously did not need to say that, but given that the Diamondbacks set new precedent with that kind of crap last week I suppose I need to be 100% clear about these things. Anyway, that was the first run Davis had given up since April.

Tigers 8, Rangers 6: Six in a row for Detroit. Martinez homered. So did Martinez. On back to back pitches. That Martinez sure is good. So is the other one.

Orioles 5, White Sox 4: Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and David Lough scored the winning run on a walkoff wild pitch in the 12th. The O’s take two of three from the Pale Hose, with both wins coming in their final at bat.

 

Athletics sign Santiago Casilla to two-year, $11 million deal

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 10: Santiago Casilla #46 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch during the 9th inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on August 10, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
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After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.

Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system. Who has the worst?

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 06:  General manager Dave Stewart of the Arizona Diamondbacks laughs on the field before the Opening Day MLB game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on April 6, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.

For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.