Tag: A.J. Pollock

Alfredo Simon

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Tigers 4, Rangers 0: Alfredo Simon with the evening’s first one-hit shutout of a Texas team. He needed 116 pitches to do it, but the Rangers never got a runner past second base and were never in it. Best performance by a guy who owns an all-chrome car in baseball history.

Rays 1, Astros 0: Chris Archer not only tossed a one-hit shutout, but it was a Maddux as well, requiring only 98 pitches. Which is amazing given that he struck out 11 dudes. It’s almost like the Astros had to get to the airport to get on a plane to fly to California or something rather than have the Dodgers come in to face them tonight.

Pirates 4, Giants 0: Another shutout, this one a six-hitter and one which required three pitchers — Charlie Morton and two relievers — but a shutout all the same. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer. The Pirates gained a half game on the idle Cardinals and the Giants lost a half game on the idle Dodgers.

Rockies 3, Nationals 2: Yohan Flande allowed two runs over seven innings and also singled twice, driving in a run and scoring. Best performance by a guy named like a spy handler you meet in a cafe in Switzerland before being dropped into an operation in East Berlin in baseball history.

Twins 15, Orioles 2: Tyler Duffey took a shutout into the eighth inning, and by that time he had a two-touchdown lead. Speaking of touchdowns, I was at a bar last night that had two TVs. Both were showing the Cleveland Browns preseason game instead of baseball games which actually counted. If you elect me as president I will send bartenders who do that sort of thing to reeducation camps. This is my promise to you, my fellow Americans.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4: The Reds had a 4-0 lead after two innings and lost. I suppose I’ll make an exception regarding that reeducation camp thing for bartenders in Cincinnati who turn off Reds games in favor of Bengals preseason games. You really don’t want people who are drinking to watch something as depressing as the Reds. A.J. Pollock drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the eighth to put the Diamondbacks over.

Indians 3, Yankees 2: Josh Tomlin, in his second start after coming back from shoulder surgery, was effective again, allowing one run over seven innings. A-Rod hit a homer for that one run. He also stole a base in the ninth as the Yankees tried to rally. Someone make sure he didn’t break a hip.

Red Sox 4, Royals 1: Wade Miley allowed one run in seven and a third innings as the Sox win their fifth of seven games since Torey Luvollo stepped in to manage. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit an RBI triple. His last nine hits have been for extra bases. Travis Shaw, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts each had two hits. It’s all about the kids these days in Boston.

Marlins 9, Phillies 7: Miami scored eight runs early and held on for a 9-7 win. Martin Prado homered and drove in three and Marcell Ozuna had a two-run homer. Ozuna’s homer was a bomb that hit the top of the foul pole.

Cubs 7, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta pitched six scoreless innings for his major league-leading 15th win. Fun fact: not one of the outs he recored was on a fly ball: 11 grounders and seven strikeouts.

White Sox 8, Angels 2: The Sox avoid a sweep thanks to a five-run fifth inning. Adam LaRoche had an RBI single and a two-run homer. Jose Abreu drove in three. Jose Quintana allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings. That creep can roll, man.

A.J. Pollock open to the idea of signing an extension with the Diamondbacks

A.J. Pollock
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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that outfielder A.J. Pollock would be willing to listen if the Diamondbacks approached him about signing a contract extension. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported on Friday that GM Dave Stewart considers Pollock “a big, big piece of what we’re trying to do.”

Pollock, 27, has put up terrific numbers while manning center field for the Diamondbacks this season. He’s hitting .312/.365/.474 with 12 home runs, 50 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 28 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in the outfield.

Pollock is earning $519,500 this season and will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season. He’ll be due a significant pay raise. The Diamondbacks are likely hoping a contract extension gives them a discount over what they would be expected to pay Pollock over three years of arbitration eligibility, and they may try to cover at least one potential post-free agency season as well, which would start in 2019.

Heyman also reported on Friday that Stewart wants to make first baseman Paul Goldschmidt “a lifetime Diamondback”, so they may be working on more than one contract extension.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Matt Boyd

Tigers 2, Royals 1: For the second time this week the Tigers got a nice debut from one of the pieces they got in the David Price trade. Here it was Matt Boyd, who outdueled Johnny Freakin’ Cueto, allowing one run on seven hits in seven innings. This morning Peter Gammons noted that Boyd got 15 fly ball outs, three grounders, and then quoted a scout who told him that Boyd was “born to pitch in Comerica Park.” I’d say. And based on that kind of ratio we can see why pitching in Rogers Centre was basically death for him.

Red Sox 2, Yankees 1: A nice debut for Luis Severino, who struck out seven and allowed only one unearned run in five innings. But it was a nicer night for Steven Wright who allowed only one over eight while striking out nine. David Ortiz welcomed Severino to the bigs with a solo homer. He had a good day, but he’ll have better days.

Giants 6, Braves 1: Madison Bumgarner pitched into the eighth, allowed only one run and struck out nine. Kelby Tomlinson drove in three, which has to be the best ever MLB performance by a guy who sounds like the second string QB for a second-tier SEC team that liked to feature a spread offense before it was fashionable. Coach would bring in Tomlinson after LSU ran up a big lead on his boys and he’d flash a lot of moves, but so much of it was based on facing the B-team defense and taking off and running before going through all of his reads. Can’t pull that in the first quarter against Georgia next week. They’ll eat him alive.

White Sox 6, Rays 5: A walkoff walk! The second one in less than a week, in fact, as the Cardinals beat the Rockies this way last Thursday. Here it was Avisail Garcia doing the taking and Brad Boxberger doing the giving in the bottom of the tenth. Garcia is a on a roll lately. Earlier in this game he hit a three-run homer. He also went deep on Tuesday night.

Rockies 7, Mariners 5: An extra innings walkoff of a different, more exciting kind as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer in the 11th. Nelson Cruz’s homer streak ended at five but he kept a 16-game hitting streak alive. This game took four hours and seven minutes. Or as we call it in the business, a DoubleBuehrle.

Angels 4, Indians 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but the home team won in a walkoff. This was a three-run ninth inning rally by the Angels, won on a wild pitch that scored Taylor Featherston. Just before that C.J. Cron had hit a tying two-run single with two out. Tough day at the office for Indians closer Cody Allen. In other news, Mike Trout was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is 4-for-27 in the last week. Maybe someone should ask him if he’s really healthy, because it’s not often we see the TroutUnit malfunction like this.

Three walkoffs and Mike Trout struggling is weird. It’s not Ryan Adams staying up all night and laying down an entire cover album of Taylor Swift’s “1989” in the style of The Smiths weird, but it’s weird. And in case you think I’m joking:

Orioles 7, Athletics 3: Not a walkoff as the O’s are on the road, but it was a four-run rally in the 10th inning. All four runs came courtesy of Chris Davis’ bat when he hit a grand slam off Arnold Leon. Davis, by the way, has six homers in his last nine games and moved his line up to .248/.330/.517 and is now on pace for a 42-homer, 120-RBI season. That’s the sort of year, back before anyone paid attention to on base percentage and stuff like that, which really impressed awards voters. It’s nothing of the sort this year, but it’s a nice bounceback season for a guy who had only 26 homers and 72 RBI all last year, both numbers he has already surpassed.

Diamondbacks 11, Nationals 4: The Nats lose their fifth of six games and ended up putting their utility guy, Tyler Moore, on the mound. Totally the kind of game you want to have less than a week after you traded for a bigtime closer. For Arizona, Wellington Castillo hit a three-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt, Ender Inciarte and A.J. Pollock each got three hits in the Nats’ 17-hit attack. Goldschmidt did get retired by Moore, though, so he was kinda humbled.

Dodgers 4, Phillies 3: Brett Anderson allowed one run in six innings and Yasiel Puig hit a three-run home run as the Dodgers won for the fifth time in six games, cooling off the Phillies. Jeff Francoeur homered, though, because you can’t keep a good man down.

Pirates 7, Cubs 5: Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen homered and the Cubs’ six-game winning streak ended. Dan Haren gave up both of the bombs. I said when he was traded away from Miami that homers, already a problem for him but somewhat minimized by his old home park, would become a problem. Get ready to watch the homer odometer roll on him now that he’s a Cub.

Blue Jays 9, Twins 7: The fourth win in a row for the Jays, this with the help of a grand slam from some guy I’ve never heard of. Just a sort of nobody. Forgetting his name. One sec, let me go back and check the box score. “Jose Bautista.” No clue. Any ideas, anyone?

Cardinals 4, Reds 3: More extra inning heroics, this from Randal Grichuk who hit a homer in the 13th inning. The Reds lead this one 3-0 into the sixth but the Cards chipped back with Matt Carpenter tying it in the eighth with a solo shot. Cardinals relievers blanked the Reds for the final eight innings of the game.

Mets 8, Marlins 6: New York keeps rolling, winning their sixth in a row and extending their lead in the NL East to two games. They had to work for this one, holding off the Marlins who rallied for six runs in the ninth. Not the best night when you enter the ninth with an 8-0 lead and you actually see the other guys bring the potential winning run to the plate. Before that messiness, however, Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, Lucas Duda drove in three and Matt Harvey tossed seven shutout innings. Bullpen probably bought dinner for everyone later.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: The Rangers sweep the first place Astros. This despite the fact that they walked eight Houston hitters and hit another one with a pitch. The Astros’ first inning defense was clownshoes, however, with Scott Kazmir allowing a runner on with an error and Hank Conger committing a throwing error on what would’ve been a sacrifice. It was 4-0 after the second inning and after that Nick Martinez and the bullpen — well, most of the bullpen — did a nice job.

Brewers 8, Padres 5: Taylor Jungmann struck out eight, scattered six hits and didn’t walk anyone. Jonathan Lucroy, Shane Peterson and Jean Segura each drove in two runs. Philosophical question: is this the most meaningless series of the season? I realize there are worse teams, but could this be the most meaningless? I guess Milwaukee is close enough to 30th in MLB to where there could be draft implications, so maybe, say, a Rockies-A’s series is less meaningful. But this has to be up there.

HBT First-Half Awards: National League MVP


With no baseball on Wednesday or Thursday, we’re taking stock of the best performances of the first half of the season by handing out midseason awards. Maybe someday we’ll have the budget for an actual Midseason Award Trophy, but for now they merely get our kind and admiring words. Next up: National League MVP.

Aaron Gleeman‘s ballot:

1. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
2. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates

Bryce Harper leads the league in on-base percentage and slugging percentage–and is one point from the top batting average–while playing good defense in right field for the Nationals. He has some major competition from Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, but Harper’s nearly 100-point edge in slugging percentage and superior defensive value are enough to separate them for now. Goldschmidt is having a spectacular, MVP-caliber season, but Harper has been even better.

Deciding on the third spot was tough, because Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo are deserving based on their great hitting and Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Todd Frazier, Nolan Arenado, and A.J. Pollock are deserving based on their very good hitting combined with defensive value. I went with McCutchen, who won the MVP in 2013, finished third in 2014, and has hit .343 with a 1.033 OPS in his last 60 games after a brutal start to the season.

Craig Calcaterra‘s ballot:

1. Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
2. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

It’s really hard to do any other 1-2 in the NL MVP race than Harper and Goldschmidt. Harper leads the league in both on-base percentage and slugging percentage and is a single point behind Goldschmidt in average, if you care about such things. Which isn’t to slight Goldschmidt in the least — his 2015 season is better than a great many actual MVP seasons over the past couple of decades so far — it’s just that Harper is better than him in just about everything that matters. Goldschmidt has a couple more stolen bases and some RBIs, but that doesn’t amount to much. He also plays in a much better hitter’s park. Sorry, Goldy.

The real race for the MVP, such as it is, seems to be for the third slot. As Aaron said above, you can pick six or seven guys here, depending on your tastes. My tastes, like Aaron’s seem to be, are more about all-around greatness than merely batting numbers. I can’t, however, look past McCucthen’s slow start and give him the nod over someone like Buster Posey, who has hit fantastically and consistently while playing one of the most important defensive positions around. I give a different answer if you ask me which of them I’d want on my team starting tomorrow and going through the end of the year, but an award is, by definition, a retrospective thing and, with all due respect to Mr. McCutchen, you can’t erase the month of April.