Martin Perez

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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 10, Nationals 4: Adam Frazier had a heck of a game out of the leadoff spot for the Buccos, going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Tanner Roark started for the Nationals but gave up seven runs in five-plus frames. Roark finished 10th in NL Cy Young Voting last year with a 2.83 ERA, but he’s now sporting a 4.73 ERA this season over nine starts.

Rockies 5, Twins 1 (Game 1): Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Rockies up early and they never looked back. Arenado also made a sweet backhand play in the bottom half of the first. While he hasn’t had an explosive month and a half the way Bryce Harper has, it still would not be surprising if he once again winds up in the NL MVP race.

Twins 2, Rockies 0 (Game 2): Jose Berrios pitched one of the best games of the year, blanking the Rockies on two hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Berrios looked lost last year, when he put up an 8.02 ERA in 14 starts, but he’s been much better so far this season. He held the Indians to one run in 7 2/3 innings last Saturday. The Twins now have a slight first-place lead in the AL Central now. Who’dathunkit.

Cubs 9, Reds 5: Six losses in a row for the Reds now. Javier Baez gave the Cubs a large early cushion, crushing a grand slam in the first inning off of Amir Garrett. Kris Bryant also crushed a solo home run to center field in the fourth. Ian Happ collected two more hits to raise his average to .353 and his OPS to 1.324 since being called up.

Tigers 6, Orioles 5: J.D. Martinez stays red-hot as he blasted another homer, a three-run shot. He also drew three walks. In six games since making his season debut, Martinez has five homers and 11 RBI in 25 PA. Three Orioles homered: Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Seth Smith. But the Tigers’ bullpen, surprisingly, was able to hold onto a narrow lead — something that has been a rarity this season.

Rangers 8, Phillies 4: Nine wins in a row for the Rangers now. To be fair, they’ve beaten up on the lowly Padres, Athletics, and Phillies, but still. Ryan Rua struck the big blow in this one, as his fifth-inning three-run home run capped off a five run inning. Martin Perez pitched well, holding the Phillies to two runs on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

Brewers 4, Padres 2: The first-place Brewers added to their lead in the NL Central as the Cardinals had the night off. Leadoff man Eric Sogard collected four hits and three RBI. Eric Thames finally made an appearance, but as a pinch-hitter and he made an out, stranding two runners. Zach Davies put up a quality start, yielding two runs in six innings. For the Padres, Hunter Renfroe went yard again, giving him three in his last five ballgames.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 0: After Wednesday’s fracas, the storyline going into Thursday’s game was centered around Jose Bautista, who flipped his bat after hitting a home run last night. Sure enough, Julio Teheran threw an inside fastball and hit Bautista on the thigh. Both benches were warned and nothing else happened. Thankfully, a better narrative emerged as catcher Luke Maile and starter Marcus Stroman hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the first American League battery to go back-to-back since May 9, 1970, per Sportsnet. That’s before the DH era began. As for the pitching, Stroman was solid but inefficient, lasting only 5 2/3 innings after throwing 103 pitches.

Royals 5, Yankees 1: Danny Duffy’s excellence continued, as he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Mike Moustakas gave the Royals plenty of breathing room with a three-run home run in the fifth.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Red Sox starter Hector Velasquez got knocked around for six runs in five frames in his major league debut. The A’s hit three homers, including Khris Davis who now has 12 on the year. Trevor Plouffe collected three hits. Every regular in the Athletics’ lineup had a hit except Stephen Vogt.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 2: Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Marlins to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Yasiel Puig crushed a two-run home run halfway up the bleachers in left field off of Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Statcast measured that one at 442 feet. Kenley Jansen turned in an immaculate inning in the ninth to close out the game. There were a total of three immaculate innings in 2015 and ’16 combined, but we’ve already had four this season: Drew Storen, Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer, and Jansen.

Mariners 5, White Sox 4: The Mariners picked up their fifth walk-off win of the season as Guillermo Heredia singled to bring in Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jean Segura hit a three-run home run to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He now has a .359 average and a .915 OPS.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 14, Pirates 3: The Chicago Bears won only one game by as big a margin all last season as the Cubs won by here. Jason Heyward hit his third home run in four days and drove in four runs overall. He and his rebuilt swing are batting .294/.342/.456 with three homers and 16 RBI in 18 games.

White Sox 12, Royals 1: Both Chicago teams scored a couple of touchdowns last night. The White Sox just need a better placekicker for the PATs. DH Matt Davidson homered, doubled and drove in four. Davidson leads the White Sox in home runs with four and is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI. He’s not even an everyday player.

Orioles 6, Rays 3: Baltimore was down 3-1 on a crappy night, weather-wise, at Camden Yards. Then Hyun Soo Kim and Jonathan Schoop hit homers in the sixth followed by an Adam Jones two-run homer in the seventh too chase Chris Archer. Archer after the game:

“There was a few pitches I wish I could have back,” Archer said. “That’s baseball. Going into my next start, I plan on executing at a higher level. Even if it is just three or four pitches I have to execute, it has to be done.”

I would like to see one of those graphs which track how often words are used but only for major league pitchers’ use of the word “execute.” I bet it’s almost at zero until about 2000-03 or so, and then it shoots way the hell up. Probably all traceable to some pitching coach who decided to make himself sound more scientific. Everyone’s “executing” pitches these days. Very few guys are “throwing” them.

Rockies 8, Nationals 4: The Nats’ seven-game winning streak comes to an end. The Rockies snapped it by coming from behind. They were down 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer to bring them close. The following inning Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run shot of his own to give Colorado a lead they would not relinquish. Blackmon said the pitch was in his “where I hit balls far” zone. See, isn’t that way more evocative than “executing” pitches? Bring more vernacular to the discourse, pitchers. It plays way, way better than this faux precision jazz.

Brewers 11, Reds 7: Eric Thames continues his early season rampage. Two more homers here, a solo shot in the first and a two-run blast in the second. The second one gave Milwaukee a five-run lead. Cincinnati would threaten for a brief period but the Brewers put up ten runs on Amir Garrett before the end of the fourth inning and that’s just too dang much to overcome. Had a conversation with a big Reds fan yesterday who was cautiously optimistic about his team’s early season play and asked me if it was sustainable. I told him “the pitching will be exposed soon.” I didn’t realize how soon it’d be.

Twins 3, Rangers 2: One hit — a three-run double from Brian Dozier in the fifth — was all Minnesota would get and all they would need. The hit was preceded by Martin Perez walking the bases loaded. The batters: the 6, 8 and 9 hitters. That’s . . . bad.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 6: Zack Greinke allowed one run over six and struck out 11. He’s had one clunker on the year — five runs allowed to the Dodgers on April 14 — but otherwise Greinke has been the Greinke of old this season: a 2.93 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 31 strikeouts to six walks in 30.2 innings.

Angels 2, Blue Jays 1: Jesse Chavez tossed six innings of one-run, four-hit ball. The Blue Jays have scored four runs or less in 14 of their 18 games this season. That’s not good. The Angels’ runs came from a Mike Trout triple followed by an Albert Pujols single in the fourth and Cameron Maybin scoring on a fielder’s choice with a diving slide to beat the throw to the plate in the fifth.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: Matt Cain was excellent, tossing six shutout innings, but Hyun-Jin Ryu was almost as good, allowing only one run over six. Ultimately bad base running dooms Los Angeles. Chris Taylor was thrown out stealing in the eighth inning with Corey Seager at the plate. Then Justin Turner was picked off of second to end the game.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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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