Getty Images

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

33 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: Dexter Fowler homer. Josh Bell homer. Dexter Fowler homer. Advantage: Cardinals.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4: Addison Russell hit a walkoff three-run homer off of Neftali Feliz to cap a four-run ninth inning and the Cubs comeback from a three-run deficit. Earlier in the inning Kris Bryant had singled in Jon Jay to tie things up. Russell is the marquee hero, but there was some low-key heroism from the Cubs bullpen, with Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara and Wade Davis combining for four scoreless innings. That made up for Kyle Hendricks‘ shaky start and allowed the Cubs to remain within comeback range.

Athletics 9, Rangers 1: The A’s jumped on Martin Perez four four in the first and it wasn’t a contest after that. Khris Davis hit his seventh homer of the young season. He hits well at home, and he was asked about life at the Coliseum after the game:

“I like coming to this ballpark. It’s a grungy stadium, but I don’t need the fancy art, high-tech stadium to perform. I just go out there and play.”

Has anyone ever described Davis as a gritty or a blue collar or a lunch bucket-type player? Because that’s the kind of quote that gets you labeled that.

Mariners 10, Marlins 5: Mitch Haniger had three hits, reached base five times and drove in four. The Mariners right fielder now has a 13-game hitting streak. The Marlins right fielder, however, got all the attention. And for good reason.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Starlin Castro drove in three but everyone was talking about the one run Aaron Judge drove in. On a long, long homer. Nearly 450 feet. That kid is strong.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0: Francisco Liriano and three relievers combine to shut out the Sox. Defense was just as much a liability as the bats were for Boston, as all three of the Jays’ runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error by Pablo Sandoval. and a fielding error by Mitch Moreland in the second inning which set up RBI singles from Darwin Barney and Ezequiel Carrera.

Orioles 2, Reds 0: Ubaldo Jimenez continues to be one of the more baffling and frustrating pitchers in baseball. He gave up five runs in his first start of the year and five runs in his second but here tosses shutout ball into the eighth, allowing only two hits. Reds rookie Amir Garrett continued to shine in a losing effort, striking out 12 in seven innings and allowing only two runs. This one was done in a crisp two hours twenty-eight minutes.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: The Mets break a four-game losing streak thanks to the heroics of Jay Bruce, who didn’t bring the Mets down, homering twice and driving in all five of the Mets’ runs. The first homer brought the Mets back from behind and the second one broke a tie and gave them the lead for good.

Rays 8, Tigers 7: An ugly game ends with an ugly play, as Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias allowed the tying and winning runs to score due to a throwing error while trying to turn what should’ve been a game-ending double play.  Iglesias was run into and threw off balance on the play, but after the game Brad Ausmus said “that double play gets turned nine times out of 10” and that it was just bad luck.

Nationals 14, Braves 4: Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each hit grand slams. Earlier in the game Harper hit a solo homer too. Harper finished 4-for-4 with a walk, a single, a double, and the two homers. Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with two singles and the slam. Mercy.

Astros 5, Angels 1: Every preview for the Astros this season was required, by law, to mention that Houston’s chances hinged on Dallas Keuchel returning to ace-like form. So far this year he has been an ace. He’s gone exactly seven innings in each of his first four starts. He allowed zero runs in his first start of the year and one each in the next three, including this one. He’s 3-0 with 22 strikeouts and only six walks in 28 innings. It’s no accident that the Astros are tied for the most wins in baseball.

Royals 2, Giants 0: Madison Bumgarner in Kansas City against the Royals brings back memories of 2014. And he did pitch well, allowing only one run in six innings. He just didn’t pitch as well as Jason Vargas, who shut the Giants out and struck out nine over seven. Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera handled the final two innings, holding the Giants hitless in the final two frames. The Royals scored their runs on a couple of singles.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Clayton Kershaw struck out ten and allowed two runs in seven innings of work. Kershaw was pissed too, because he had to wait to start the first inning as Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was late walking out of the bullpen from pregame warmups and to the Rockies dugout. Kershaw on the delay:

“That was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said. “Really didn’t appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10. It’s started at 7:10 here for a long time. Go around or finish earlier but that wasn’t appreciated, for sure. I’m not going to say any more or I’ll get in trouble.”

I can think of a few more disrespectful things in baseball history, but I suppose Kershaw gets the benefit of the doubt as maybe he wasn’t part of any of ’em.

Padres 1, Diamondbacks 0: The good news for the Dbacks? Zack Greinke was fantastic, allowing only one run on five hits in eight innings. The bad news? He wasn’t as good as Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed three hits and zero runs in that same span. Greinke’s only mistake was a solo homer allowed to Erick Aybar in the bottom of the eighth. This game lasted only two hours and thirteen minutes. It’s like Greg Maddux came out of retirement.

Indians vs. Twins — POSTPONED:

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down
oh the rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down

And everybody’s got to live their life
and God knows I’ve got to live mine
God knows I’ve got to live mine

William, William it was really nothing
William, William it was really nothing
it was your life

Evan Longoria: ‘I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base’

Joe Scarnici/Getty Images
12 Comments

The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.