Chase Utley

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 5, Marlins 3: The Phillies had and blew chances to score in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings. In the 13th, Jimmy Rollins singled and Chase Utley deposited a Chris Hatcher pitch into the right field seats. Also impressive: the Phillies’ pen, which combined to pitch seven scoreless innings of three-hit relief in this game. The guys who did it? Goldust, Eddie Guerrero, Diamond Dallas Page, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair and Jake the Snake Roberts.

Astros 6, Braves 1: The Astros salvage one on the strength of Matt Dominguez and George Springer homers. That’s 15 homers in 61 games played for Springer.

Pirates 5, Mets 2: Speaking of awesome rookies, Gregory Polanco homered and drove in four runs. His heroism also prevented me from having to talk about a matchup between Vance Worley and Daisuke Matsuzaka, which may rank near the bottom of the “matchups I’d be excited about if I bought tickets to this game” index.

Angels 6, Twins 4: No one is hotter than the Angels right now. They won their sixth straight as Trout and Pujols combined to go 5 for 8 with four RBI and Jered Weaver allowed one run over seven.

Tigers 6, Rangers 0: Wait, I take that back. The Tigers are hotter than the Angels as they’ve won seven in a row. Rick Porcello got his first career shutout allowing three hits and striking out six. This time last week the Tigers found themselves behind the Royals. Now they’re four and a half games up in first place.

Cubs 5, Nationals 3: Justin Ruggiano went 2 for 4 with a two-run double in the seventh to give the Cubs the final lead of the game. Starlin Castro had two RBI and Anthony Rizzo went 3 for 4 with two doubles.

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.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 0: Adam Lind had three hits and three RBI and J.A. Happ had his best start of the season, tossing seven and two-thirds shutout innings.

Brewers 7, Rockies 4: Not a bad second base combo they got in Milwaukee. Scooter Gennett has been on fire lately, but he sat in place of Rickie Weeks against a lefty. All Weeks did was hit a home run on the first pitch he saw and added a single and a double. Oh, and Gennett pinch hit in the eighth and hit a two-run homer.

Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0: Adam Wainwright and Josh Beckett matched zeroes for seven and a half innings, but the Dodgers managed to string together three singles in the eighth for the game’s only run. note: a game started by Josh Beckett lasted only two hours and thirty-two minutes.

Reds 3, Giants 1: Mike Leake struck out 12 batters over eight one-run innings. Brandon Phillips had three hits, including a home run and double, and scored twice. The Giants lead over the Dodgers in the West has shrunk to two games.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.