And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

64 Comments

Mets 8, Braves 3: A rookie named  Jacob deGrom facing one of the best pitchers in the NL in Julio Teheran? You figure it’d be no contest. And it wasn’t. Just not in the way you’d figure. deGrom struck out 11 in seven shutout innings and he [altogether now] helped his own cause by singling and coming around to score on a double. In other news, the Mets lead all of baseball in players whose surnames begin with lowercase letters.

White Sox 8, Red Sox 3: Sox win. Conor Gillaspie had three hits, including a tie-breaking three-run homer in the sixth. The last place Red Sox have lost seven of eight.

Tigers 14, Dodgers 5: Justin Verlander was tagged for five runs in the first, but then Hyun-Jin Ryu was tagged for seven in the next two and a third. And Detroit didn’t let up then, going on to abuse Jamey Wright, Chris Perez and Paul Maholm too, as they scored 14 unanswered runs. Well, I suppose they were answered by lots of cussing and heavy sighs from Don Mattingly, but that’s all.

Twins 2, Mariners 0: I’m picturing a 90s action movie trailer: “HUGHES!” [explosion sound effect] “FULD!” [explosion sound effect] “BY THEMSELVES, A LOT TO HANDLE.” [explosion sound effect] “TOGETHER, TOO MUCH TO HANDLE!” Phil Hughes shut ’em out on eight hits into the eighth while striking out eight. Sam Fuld was 3 for 3 with a homer.

Reds 4, Cubs 2; Reds 6, Cubs 5: The Reds were down 5-0 themselves in the nightcap of this twin bill, but Jay Bruce, who homered n the first game, doubled home the tying run in the eighth inning of the second and Billy Hamilton’s broken-bat RBI single in the ninth to walk the Reds off. After the game he was kinda jacked: “Let’s play three! I’m ready to go right now!” he said.

Indians 5, Yankees 3: Masahiro Tanaka is starting to look pretty mortal as the season wears on. He took his third loss in his past four starts while allowing five runs on ten hits to the Tribe. Michael Brantley homered, doubled twice and drove in three. His ridiculous season continues as he’s now at .328/.391/.529.

Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 1: Vidal Nuno made his debut for the Dbacks and it went really well for him: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7K. The night didn’t go well for the Dbacks overall, however, as Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

Rockies 2, Padres 1: Charlie Blackmon, about whom who we will one day say “that guy was an All-Star?” hit a two-run homer. Against the 2014 San Diego Padres, about whom we will one day say “that team had major leaguers on it?” that’s all you really need.

Athletics 6, Giants 1: Six wins in a row for the A’s, three losses in a row for Madison Bumgarner. Sonny Gray struck out eight and allowed one run over seven. The series now shifts across the Bay to San Francisco.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 4: Two straight walkoff homers for the Cards. On Monday it was Matt Adams. Last night it was Kolten Wong. And it wasn’t a cheapie: he hit the thing 420 feet.

Blue Jays 4, Angels 0: Oh Dickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind HEY DICKEY! [clap clap, clap-clap] HEY DICKEY! [clap clap, clap-clap]. Seven shutout innings for R.A., 4 for 5 and three RBI for Jose Reyes.

What? You write a couple thousand of these recaps a year and see if you don’t reach for something once in a damn while.

Phillies 9, Brewers 7: Down 5-1 after the first inning, the Phillies broke out for five more in the second, one in the third and two in the fifth for their biggest offensive outburst in some time. Domonic Brown homered and had a two-run single.

Astros 8, Rangers 3: Chris Carter had two homers, leading off innings with both of them, and George Spring led off another inning with a bomb. That’s two in a row off Texas in this series and four against them overall. If they beat the Rangers today, Texas will fall into a last place tie with Houston.

Rays 4, Royals 3: Jeremy Hellickson made his season debut. It wasn’t a long one — he only lasted four and a third — but he only gave up one run. Kansas City left 11 dudes on base.

Orioles vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: Nobody feels any pain. Tonight as I stand inside the rain. Everybody knows, that Baby’s got new clothes. But lately I see her ribbons and her bows have fallen from her curls.

Rival Executives Expect Justin Verlander To Hit The Trading Block

Getty Images
3 Comments

About a month ago, a report circulated that if the Detroit Tigers weren’t above .500 by the end of June, they were going to chuck the season, look to trade off veterans and rebuild. It’s now June 29 and the Tigers are 34-42 and sit six games out of first place.

As such, we should not be too terribly surprised to see a report from Jeff Passan of Yahoo that multiple baseball executives expect Tigers ace Justin Verlander to hit the trade market sometime in the next two weeks. Passan notes that the Tigers haven’t formally offered him and that he’s just passing along speculation from rivals, but it’s pretty astute speculation.

The question is what the Tigers can get for Verlander. On the one hand, yes, Verlander is Verlander and has been one of the top starters in baseball for a decade. While he had struggled for a bit, last year featured a return to Cy Young form. He still has a blazing fastball and there is no reason to think he could not anchor the staff of a playoff caliber team.

On the other hand, as Passan notes, his 2017 has been . . . not so good. He looks amazing at times and very hittable at other times. Overall his walk rate is way up and his strikeout rate is down. There doesn’t appear to be anything physically wrong with him — various ailments contributed to his 2014-15 swoon — so it’s possible he’s just had a rough couple of months. Like I said, Verlander is Verlander, and it may not be a bad gamble to expect him to run off a string of dominant starts like he has so many times in the past.

The problem, though, is that anyone acquiring Verlander is not just gambling on a handful of starts down the stretch. They’re gambling on the $56 million he’s owed between 2018 and 2019 and the $22 million extra he’ll be guaranteed for 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young voting in 2019. Those would be his age 35, 36 and 37 seasons. There are certainly worse gambles in baseball, but it’s a gamble all the same.

If the Tigers don’t find any gamblers out there on the market, they’re going to have to make a gamble of their own: let Verlander go and get relatively little in return if another club picks up that $56 million commitment or eat it themselves and get prospects back in return to help kickstart a rebuild. Personally I’d go with the latter option, but I don’t work for the Illitch family.

 

There is a Tyler glut in baseball

Getty Images
5 Comments

It’s a slow news morning — Miguel Montero is gone and everyone else is quiet — so you should go read Tyler Kepner’s latest column over at the New York Times. It’s, appropriately, about Tylers.

There are a lot of them in baseball now, Tyler notes. No Larrys and hardly any Eddies or Bobs. This obviously tracks the prevalence of the name Tyler in the population at large and the declines in Larrys, Eddies and Bobs. It’s the kind of thing I imagine we’ve all noticed from time to time, and it’s fun to do it in baseball. For his part, Kepner tries to make an all-Tyler All-Star team. The results are sort of sad.

There are always one or two Craigs floating around baseball from time to time, but not many more than that. We got a Hall of Famer recently, so that’s pretty nice. There will likely be fewer over time, as Craig — never even a top-30 name in popularity — is now near historic lows. I’m not complaining, though. I never once had to go by “Craig C.” in class to differentiate myself from other Craigs. Our biggest problem is being called Greg. We tend to let it pass. Craigs are used to it by now.