Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Red Sox demote starter Joe Kelly

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The Boston Red Sox have optioned starter Joe Kelly to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Kelly got shelled by the Orioles last night, giving up seven runs in two and two-thirds innings. Not that this was an outlier, really. In six starts with the Sox, he posted a 8.46 ERA and 2.00 WHIP. Somehow, after the news, Kelly said he “didn’t see it coming.” Well, OK then.

Kelly is the latest reshuffle in the Sox’ rotation, following Clay Buchholz‘s move to the bullpen last week. The Sox don’t have a need for a fifth starter for a couple of weeks given some off days so they don’t yet have to decide who will take Kelly’s spot. Maybe it’s Buchholz. John Farrell wouldn’t say last night. He probably doesn’t know himself.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 2, Mets 1Todd Frazier tied the game in the seventh with a homer off of Jacob deGrom, but the really interesting stuff happened in the 13th. That’s when White Sox relief pitcher Matt Albers — a guy who embodies the Krukian phrase “I’m not an athlete, I’m a ballplayer, lady” — smacked a double, took third on a wild pitch and then scored on a sacrifice. He hadn’t batted in seven years. He hadn’t gotten a hit in a big league game in nine. He’d still come and absolutely wreck your beer league softball game, but for a major leaguer he should’ve been about as easy an out as it comes. Guess not. This is why preview shows and so-called expert analysis is dumb in baseball. We have no idea what’s gonna happen. Stuff just happens on a baseball diamond.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Freddie Freeman with the walkoff bomb in the 11th inning, requiring the Atlanta bat boy to bolt to the nearest Barnes and Noble to purchase a copy of “Celebrating Dramatic Baseball Wins for Dummies” because the Braves probably had no idea. The Braves have won four of six. The bat boy should’ve also picked up a self-help book about how to deal with the fear of success too, just to be on the safe side.

Indians 5, Rangers 4: Yan Gomes hit a walkoff single in the 11th inning, which was set up by Lonnie Chisenhall’s double just prior. Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer to remain red hot.

Astros 5, Diamondbacks 4: George Springer hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning to give the Astros the win. He and Freddie Freeman then formed the “11th Inning Heroes Club” with rad homemade t-shirts and stuff. Yan Gomes asked to join the club since he had an 11th inning walkoff hit too. Freeman and Springer said that, yeah, technically he could, but he was a JUNIOR member since he only hit a single to win it in the 11th. They’ve been sort of picking on Gomes about all of that since then. Gomes’ mother is considering a gentle but firm call to Mrs. Freeman and Mrs. Springer to ask them to tell their sons to stop treating her boy like that. God, it’s hard to be a parent.

Nationals 7, Phillies 2: Max Scherzer struck out 11 over eight innings and Wilson Ramos hit a three run homer in the sixth inning. Ramos had three hits in all and is hitting .338/.383/.536 with seven homers and 29 RBI on the year. He got laser eye surgery before the season, so viva performance enhancement. Deep thought: if LASIK came in pill form would Ramos be suspended for 80 games?

Padres 14, Mariners 6: The day the Padres owner tore his club a new one, calling them “miserable failures” and “an embarrassment,” they went out and scored two touchdowns against the team that tattooed them the night before. It probably would’ve inspired him to rip them again today, but it feels like he used all his best adjectives for futility on Wednesday. If he tries again he’ll probably sound like the French knights in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” I mean, maybe Alexi Ramirez will drive in five runs once again if he’s told that his mother was a hamster and his father smelled of eldeberries, but I just sort of doubt it.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 1: Zach Davies had nine strikeouts over eight shutout innings to help the Brewers avoid the sweep. That’s pretty much it. No crazy things. No pitchers hitting doubles or people throwing octopuses on the ice or anything like that. Davies went 0-3 with an 8.78 ERA in three starts in April. He had a 3.81 ERA in May in five starts.

Athletics 5, Twins 1: Five in a row for the A’s. Three of them were against these Twins, but they still count. Somehow. The offense broke out a good bit Danny Valencia had two doubles and a single. Jake Smolinski homered. Jed Lowrie singled twice and scored twice.

Orioles 13, Red Sox 9: Red Sox starter Joe Kelly gave up seven runs on seven hits in two and a third inning and then was placed on the slow boat to Pawtucket after the game. It was all the worse given that his mates gave him seven runs in support while he was the pitcher of record and that all, eventually, was for naught. The Sox hit five homers and lost. The Orioles hit zero homers and scored more runs in this game than they have all year. This is important. This means something. [sculpts Devil’s Tower with this mashed potatoes].

Tigers 3, Angels 0: Rookie starter Michael Fulmer took a no-hitter into the seventh. Fulmer stayed in for one more after losing his no-hit bid and ended up allowing two hits and no runs while striking out eight. The kid has allowed one run in 23 and a third innings over his last three starts.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 0: Aaron Sanchez pitched shutout ball into the seventh to help the Jays sweep the Yankees. Edwin Encarnacion and Justin Smoak each drove in a couple. Darwin Barney reached base four times and Michael Saunders had two doubles. Since getting to .500 the Yankees have lost six of eight so they ain’t at .500 anymore. That’s just math.

Marlins 3, Pirates 2: Miami starter Adam Conley took a no-hitter into the sixth and had nine strikeouts in six scoreless innings. The offensive hero was Adeiny Hechavarria, who hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the bottom of the eighth.

Cubs 2, Dodgers 1: Jon Lester dominated, striking out ten and allowing just the one run on four hits in a complete game. A Kris Bryant two-run homer in the third provided all of the offense Chicago would need. Heck, they only had three hits in all in this crisp two-hour, twenty-nine minute affair.

Royals 6, Rays 3: The Royals win for the sixth straight time. Those were all at home. They also came amidst a rash of injuries to key players on their team, which isn’t supposed to happen. See my comments about things just happening in baseball from up in the White Sox-Mets recap.

Reds 7, Rockies 2: The Rockies homered seven times on Tuesday night. None last night thanks to Reds starter John Lamb who pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Billy Hamilton was 3-for-5 with two RBI and two stolen bases. His on-base percentage is now at .300 which, while not amazing for most players, is practically Barry Bondsian for Hamilton.

Report: Mitch Williams’ claims against Deadspin dismissed

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In May of 2014, former major league pitcher and former MLB Network commentator Mitch Williams was coaching a youth baseball team and was alleged to have cussed out an umpire, called kids on opposing teams derogatory names and, in one instance, ordered one of his players to bean a player on an opposing team. As a result of the controversy — which went public fast — Williams took a leave of absence from his MLB Network job and was eventually fired.

Later that year he sued MLB and Deadspin, alleging wrongful termination and defamation. The former against MLB Network, of course, the latter against Deadspin for its reporting. While the specifics of Williams’ termination from MLB aren’t fully known and while his contract may have played a part in it all, the defamation case against Deadspin seemed ridiculous on its face. Partially because there were pictures and multiple witnesses which showed that Williams did, in fact, act like a loon at those baseball games, partially because he actually apologized for his behavior.

There is a trial date for this summer, but it won’t involve Deadspin. A source familiar with the litigation tells NBC Sports that the claims against Deadspin and its staff have been dismissed via summary judgment. Meanwhile, Nick Denton, the head of Gawker Media, which owns Deadspin, issued a memo which likewise states that the defamation claim has been dismissed. Here’s Denton, in a memo shared with NBC Sports on Twitter, talking about the larger matter of litigation filed against Gawker, which has been all over the news lately:

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We’re still waiting for the ruling or entry from the court on it, or word as to whether or not MLB Network is still on the hook, but for now it seems like the Wild Thing has, once again, missed his intended target.