And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

61 Comments

Indians 4, Rangers 3: Excitement in Cleveland. David Murphy’s two-run homer with one out in the ninth tied it up and sent it to extras. Michael Brantley’s leadoff homer in the 12th ended it. That’s a three-game sweep for the Indians. Murphy, who played for the Rangers until this year, went 12 for 25 with seven RBIs in seven games against the Rangers this season. That’s gotta feel good.

Giants 9, Mets 0: As has often been the case in this pitching-dominant year, there were several great pitching performances yesterday. A lot of seven shutout innings kinds of things. Madison Bumgarner was not content with seven. He went the distance, striking out ten and allowing only two hits. Meanwhile, Hunter Pence smacked two homers. His first was a two-run shot which scored the first two and only two runs the Giants would need all game.

Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 2: The game ended as Dbacks baserunner Nick Ahmed slid into second base — or the general vicinity of it anyway — with his arms raised, deflecting the throw to first that may have completed the double play, only to deflect the ball thereby allowing the winning run to score. Was he trying to interfere with the ball? Yeah, probably. But when you’re the Dbacks you care way more about the unwritten rules, not the rules that are actually written down.

Royals 4, Athletics 2: James Shields was on cruise control, retiring the first 15 batters he faced. He ended up allowing two runs over eight. The Royals have won nine of 11 and are only a game and a half out of a wild card slot.

Padres 4, Braves 3: Everth Cabrera singled in the winning run in the 10th for the Padres’ second straight walkoff win in extras. Meanwhile, the Braves have lost six and row and now find themselves three and a half back of Washington and two out of a wild card slot. It’s fun just watching their season just slip away like this.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 1: Scott Feldman tossed a complete game, scattering eight hits and run. Chris Carter and Matt Dominguez each drove in two. Melky Cabrera had his hitting streak snapped at 10.

Cubs 7, Dodgers 3: Josh Beckett continues to struggle, tossing 94 pitches in four innings. Well, he did pitch into the fifth, but gave up a double to the opposing pitcher and then a homer to Chris Coghlan which put the Cubs ahead to stay. One single later and he was lifted. When Beckett is good he’s good. When he’s bad he is stomach-turning.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $10,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Twins 16, White Sox 3: Danny Santana had five hits and four RBI in what, eventually anyway, became a laugher. Minnesota sent 14 batters to the plate in the eighth. Then in the ninth Chris Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Fryer hit back-to-back-to-back homers. Party time.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: John Lackey wins his Cardinals debut after allowing two runs in seven innings. When he left the game, however, he stood to be the loser, but the Cards rallied for three in the seventh. Biggest reason they were able to rally? Matt Garza leaving the game after six with an oblique injury. Until then he had allowed only one hit and had needed only 71 pitches through those six.

Angels 7, Rays 5: There was a delay in this one after a lightning strike led to a partial power outage. No word on whether the Tampa station that is fascinated with urban infrastructure had anything to say about this. For what it’s worth, I spent the weekend in downtown Detroit and I had a lovely time. Mike Trout was 3 for 4 and drove in a couple. Jered Weaver picked up his 12th win.

Nationals 4 Phillies 0: Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 over seven shutout innings as Washington and Philly split four games. Of course when your competition in the division is stinking on ice like the Braves are, you can split series forever and still build your lead.

Orioles 1, Mariners 0: Chris Tillman tossed seven shutout innings himself and the pen gave the O’s two more. Nick Markakis’ first inning homer was the only scoring in the game. Tough luck loss for Hisashi Iwakuma.

Reds 7, Marlins 3: A fifteen-hit attack for the Reds. Fourteen of them were singles. Four of them came from Todd Frazier. Billy Hamilton scored thrice.

Tigers 4, Rockies 0: The sweep, as Anibal Sanchez strikes out 12 in seven innings and Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer. He homered the night before too. I was at that game on Saturday night. It was Fiesta Tigres at Comerica Park, when baseball’s Latino culture is celebrated. I had three darn good tacos and purchased a V-Mart shirsey with “Tigres” in script on the front instead of the English D. I sorta love it.

Red Sox 8, Yankees 7: When I went to bed it was 7-7 in the fifth and it felt like the game would never end. When I woke up I discovered that Brett Gardner hit a tiebreaking homer in the sixth. He had three hits overall. He has five homers in his past six games.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

Getty Images
2 Comments

After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.