Craig Calcaterra

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

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Sorry for another shortened ATH this week, but I’m catching an early flight and it takes me, like, three hours to feed the cats before I go away for a couple of days. My life is very glamorous. Bill will be coming on later today to cover, but I would be remiss in not joining the rest of humanity if I did not first wonder what in the heck is wrong with Matt Harvey.

Harvey didn’t make it out of the third inning, getting hammered for nine runs in all, six earned. Daniel Murphy got to him in the first inning with a two-run shot. He made it cleanly through the second. The third was a disaster, with the Nats plating seven more. Yes there was an Asdrubal Cabrera error which led to three of those runs being unearned, but make no mistake, Harvey had nothing and the Nats had his number. As Harvey left the mound Mets fans in Citi Field booed him as he exited. Harsh, but expected given how Harvey has pitched this year and the expectations of Mets fans who have watched their team skid of late. On the season Harvey now has a 5.77 ERA and has given up 65 hits in 48 and a third.

Meanwhile, his counterpart, Steven Strasburg struck out 10 and allowed only one run in six innings while upping his record to 7-0. A few years ago when Strasburg pitched in New York, Mets fans chanted “Har-vey’s Bet-ter!!” at him. Their premise has been invalidated. Certainly for now but, if Harvey and the Mets can’t figure out what’s wrong with their former ace, possibly for good.

Here are the box scores.

Nationals 9, Mets 1
Blue Jays 3, Twins 2
White Sox 2, Astros 1
Cardinals 13, Rockies 7
Indians 7, Reds 2
Pirates 8, Braves 2
Brewers 5, Cubs 3
Mariners 7, Orioles 2
Giants 3, Padres 1
Angels 7, Dodgers 4
Yankees 4, Athletics 1

Rockies’ Jose Reyes prepares for return from suspension


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Jose Reyes took the last of his dozen-or-so swings, stepped out of the batting cage and did a little dance to the beat of the music playing from a small radio in the grass near his feet.

Nearing the end of a 59-day suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, the Colorado Rockies shortstop was back on the field Thursday, albeit in Arizona.

“It’s good to be on the field and put that stuff behind me,” Reyes said at the Rockies’ spring training facility. “I’m sorry. I made a mistake and will stand here like a man. I just have to try to be a better man, a better husband.”

Reyes did not participate in spring training and was suspended through May 31 after being charged with domestic violence for an altercation with his wife in Hawaii last October. Prosecutors dropped the charge before a scheduled April 4 trial after saying Reyes’ wife was not cooperating. Reyes became the second player to be suspended under baseball’s new domestic violence policy – with New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman – and will lose close to $7 million of his $22 million salary while sitting out.

“I put myself in this situation and I’m sorry about it,” Reyes said. “I need to put this in the past and continue with my life and my career. Human beings make mistakes. Like I said, I’m sorry to put Rockies fans in this kind of situation.”

Reyes stood out at Colorado’s extended spring training, not just with his purple workout shirt among the gray-shirted youngsters, but with his slick fielding and quick bat.

The four-time All-Star spent about two hours on the Rockies’ back fields, working with some of the younger players while fielding grounders for about 20 minutes. The young players seemed to enjoy being around a player of his stature, laughing as he joked around on the field, some of them sneaking peeks at him around the backstop.

Reyes spent some time in the batting cage then waited for the others to go through situational hitting drills before taking swings from both sides of the plate.

“Being here on the field again, I feel like I’m 18 again, working out with those young kids, great talents moving around, that made me feel good,” Reyes said.

Reyes can return on June 1, but it’s unclear what the 32-year-old’s role will be when he gets back.

Rookie Trevor Story has excelled in his place, hitting .277 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs through Colorado’s first 38 games and the Rockies appear to have no intention of taking him out of the starting lineup.

The switch-hitting Reyes has lost some of his range, according to defensive metrics, but he still runs well and hit a combined .274 with seven homers and 53 RBIs last season with Toronto and Colorado.

Reyes is due $41 million in guaranteed salary over the next two seasons, so the Rockies will need to decide whether to put him in a backup infielder role or trade him.

“We haven’t talked logistics of his fit on this club yet,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said this week. “But we will at some point. I’m just letting it play out.”

Reyes has been working out on his own since November, but is way behind players who went through spring training and two months of the season. He still needs to get his timing right on the field, take swings against live pitching and pick up all the nuances that come with playing baseball at full speed in game situations.

“When you get on the field, it’s a different ball game,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t feel right when you get on the baseball field, but my body feels great.”

Comment of the Day: A Mickey Lolich story too good to check

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File this under Totally Unsubstantiated. I could find no support for this via Googling and I tweeted it out and no one has either supported it or debunked it. The story is about Mickey Lolich, who I mentioned in this morning’s recaps. He ended his career in San Diego and commenter gloccamorra posted this about his time at Jack Murphy Stadium:

Mickey Lolich retired after depriving Chargers fans of the cannon that was fired after Dan Fouts & Co. scored. Mickey was in the Padres bullpen in 1979, and was smoking a cigarette, when he walked by the cannon and flipped the butt into the barrel. He took two steps and *BOOM*.

The City was unaware the Chargers were keeping a loaded (with powder) cannon in the Padres bullpen in the off-season and demanded its removal. That was the end of the cannon.

I’m going to try to get Lolich’s phone number and find out if there’s any truth to this and, for now, I’m going to assume it’s phony. But my God, I’ve never wanted anything to be more true in my life.

The 70s were weird, man.