Stephen Vogt

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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:

Mets 6, Braves 0: This was riveting for the first six innings when Noah Syndergaard and Julio Teheran exchanged zeroes. Once the Braves bullpen came in it was all over. Speaking as a Braves fan, watching Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman get on base all year only to see Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis fail to drive them in due to the massive forks sticking out of their backs is going to be supremely frustrating.

Nationals 4, Marlins 2: You’ve heard hack comedians make the joke about making the whole plane out of the black box? Bryce Harper would like them to make the whole schedule out of Opening Day. The Nats’ young star has five homers on Opening Day now. Adam Lind added a homer too. Meanwhile, some fans unfurled an “Impeach Trump” sign in the stands:

They did it after the game, though, apparently not wanting to risk getting kicked out before they got their money’s worth. True revolutionaries, them.

Red Sox 5, Pirates 3Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer in the five-run fifth. I picked him to be the the 2017 Rookie of the Year in our annual predictions post. I like my choice so far.

Rockies 7, Brewers 5: Like the Red Sox, the Brewers scored five runs in the fifth. Unlike the Red Sox they gave up two runs in second, fourth and seventh and an insurance run in the ninth to the Colorado Rockies. It would’ve been weird if the Red Sox had done that, though, as they were not playing the Rockies. Greg Holland picked up his first save since September 17, 2015. The next day he blew a save and blew out his elbow. Nice to see him back.

Dodgers 14, Padres 3: Entering this game Clayton Kershaw was 84-0 when given four runs of support or more. Here the Dodgers gave him 12 before he left the game so, no, the outcome was not exactly in doubt. The best pitcher in the galaxy game up one earned run while striking out eight in seven innings, needing only 84 pitches to do so.

I watched this one on the Dodgers network, SNLA, and not ESPN so I could take in the first Dodger home broadcast without Vin Scully. Joe Davis, the play-by-play guy was pretty good, but he’s not my real dad. I’ll have a lot more to say about the Dodgers booth and broadcasting in general in a post later this morning, so stay tuned.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 2: A walkoff homer for Mark Trumbo in the 11th inning. I hope it was a gritty, blue collar homer and not some showboaty, Jose Bautista homer. After the game he said “I was just looking for a pitch to hit.” I guess that’s gritty. It’s boring, but it’s gritty. By the way: that walkoff homer wasn’t even the coolest thing that happened in the 11th inning of this game. This ridiculous play by Manny Machado was.

Twins 7, Royals 1: Minnesota started 0-9 last year, so it must be nice to get off to a 1-0 start. Miguel Sano homered and drew a bases-loaded walk. After Royals starter Danny Duffy gave up only one run over six innings, the Royals bullpen barfed up six runs in the seventh inning. It’s not 2015 for those guys anymore, that’s for sure. I wonder if they miss Greg Holland ’round about now.

Phillies 4, Reds 3: Starter Jeremy Hellickson drove in the fourth and ultimately deciding run with a sixth inning triple. Pitchers don’t hit many triples, that’s for dang sure.

Indians 8, Rangers 5: Cleveland was down 5-3 heading into the seventh but rallied for five runs in the final three frames. Not quite as impressive as, say, a team coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series, but still pretty good. Newcomer Edwin Encarnacion hit the game-tying homer in the eighth, so Cleveland’s big free agent investment is already paying dividends. Rougned Odor hit two bombs.

Astros 3, Mariners 0: The platonic ideal of an Astros game, at least from Houston’s point of view. Dallas Keuchel allowed two hits over seven innings and combined with two relievers for a three-hit shutout. Carlos Correa homered and drove in two runs while George Springer led off the game with a dinger of his own. Meanwhile, it was the anti-ideal of a Mariners game as starter Felix Hernandez left after five innings with tightness in his groin. One game into the season and the Mariners are down two starters, what with Drew Smyly being placed on the disabled list the other day. Sheesh.

Athletics 4, Angels 2: In my season preview of the Athletics I noted that, basically, all they have is Khris Davis and a ton of holes. On this night Khris Davis was almost enough on his own, hitting two homers, one of which represented the go-ahead run, while going 3-for-4. Stephen Vogt hit a solo shot of his own and Yonder Alonso singled in one. In my season preview of the Angels, I said that Mike Trout will be amazing but he won’t have enough help. Here the MVP hit a homer in a winning effort in a losing cause while no one else in the lineup did any damage. See? Not all previews and predictions are wrong.

Tigers vs. White Sox — POSTPONED:

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin’ out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love
Honey baby, I can stand

Athletics release Billy Butler

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Athletics have released 1B/DH Billy Butler. The news doesn’t come as any surprise, as Butler has underperformed in both of his years with the A’s and was recently involved in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia in which Butler ended up suffering a concussion.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, Butler said he doesn’t believe his altercation with Valencia affected the club’s decision to release him, per Slusser.

The Athletics signed Butler, 30, to a three-year, $30 million contract in November 2014. He put up a pedestrian .713 OPS in 2015 and a .733 OPS this season. In 242 trips to the plate this year, , Butler hit only four home runs and knocked in 31 runs. 60 of the 80 times he reached base, he did it via a single or a walk.

As Butler’s playing time has waned, the Athletics have been using Khris Davis, Stephen Vogt, and Bruce Maxwell in the DH spot.

Butler has one year and $10 million remaining on his contract. The Athletics will be responsible for covering it.