Tag: Aaron Harang

Jeff Francoeur

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Phillies 5, Braves 2: Of course Jeff Francoeur comes back to Atlanta, riding an 0-for-19 streak, and knocks the cover off the ball. This is the place of his birth. Where he was forged like steel into a machine that destroys garbage pitching like that he faced last night. Frenchy was 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and a couple driven in. A big night all around for ex-Braves as Aaron Harang allowed one run over six. Hell, I half expected Kyle Davies to pitch a couple scoreless frames.

Rays 5, Red Sox 1: Jake Odorizzi tames the Sox’ lineup, scattering seven hits. A lineup without Hanley Ramirez, who left in the first inning with a shoulder injury. Clay Buchholz continued to struggle, giving up five runs in six and a third. After the game he said “You go out there and try to throw a lot of strikes, not walk guys.” If you read that with a lot of emphasis on the “you,” as if he’s contrasting all other pitchers with himself, it sounds like a fairly accurate description of much of his past couple of seasons.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: The winning streak is over. A Jake Smolinski RBI single in the eighth and then a Robinson Chirinos sac fly in the ninth was all the Rangers needed because a first inning Evan Gattis sac fly was all the Astros got. The streak stops at 10 despite a fine outing from April AL Pitcher of the Month Dallas Keuchel (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K).

Mariners 3, Angels 2: The AL Player of the Month had a decent night too, with Nelson Cruz going yard to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh.That’s his 14th on the year, and Cruz is on an 87-homer pace. I am inclined to believe he won’t keep it up, but man, I don’t think most folks expected him to even keep up his 2014 pace this year.  Felix Hernandez, whose greatness is rarely confined to single month, was excellent (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8K).

Giants 2, Padres 0: Madison Bumgarner tossed no-hit ball into the seventh and shutout ball into the eighth and the pen locked it down. In his last two starts he has beaten Clayton Kershaw and Tyson Ross and shut down the Dodgers and Padres’ potent lineups. He’s pretty good when you think about it some.

Nationals 6, Marlins 4: A comeback thanks to four in the eighth. The offensive charge was led by Yunel Escobar who had a career-high five hits. Ian Desmond hit a homer during that eighth inning. Tanner Roark got his first career save.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: Russell Martin knocked in a run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning. We usually say “against his old mates,” and then I usually say “well maybe they weren’t his old mates because teams turn their rosters over so much” but then I remembered it was the Yankees and, yeah, they are his old mates because it’s been mostly the same guys there forever.

Brewers 4, Dodgers 3: Craig Counsell is now the all-time leader in winning percentage among Milwaukee Brewers managers. His new club rallied for three runs in the eighth inning off of a tiring Clayton Kershaw and a less-than-jake Chris Hatcher. Gomezes Hector and Carlos helped key the rally, the latter with a homer the former with an RBI double.

Cardinals 10, Cubs 9: A five-run first inning for the Cubs was met with a four-run first inning for he Cards. Having lost a five-run lead early, the Cubs then went and lost a four-run lead later. when St. Louis rallied in the sixth and seventh. Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam in the first rally. The rally in the sixth and seventh was a little more sustained. The Cardinals’ 19-6 record is their best start since 1900. And it’s not like they haven’t had a couple other halfway decent squads in the past 115 years.

Twins 8, Athletics 7: Another 4-0 first inning lead blown, this one by Oakland. The big hit: a two-out, three-run homer by Torii Hunter in the sixth to break the 5-5 tie. After that the A’s tried to claw back but couldn’t quite get there. That’s five wins in a row for Minnesota.

Diamondbacks vs. Rockies: POSTPONED:All the rain

All the rain
Cover me now
All the rain
All the rain
Cover me now

VIDEO: Bryce Harper hit a mammoth home run today vs. the Phillies

Bryce Harper

Watch as Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper takes Phillies right-hander Aaron Harang deep for a mammoth blast to straight-away center field at Nationals Park today:

You don’t see baseballs hit to that area of Nationals Park often. Or ever. According to MLB Gameday, the home run traveled at a distance of 461 feet. My goodness. Harper has done deep in back-to-back games and now has four home runs on the year. Only Nelson Cruz of the Mariners (six) and Adrian Gonzalez (five) have more in MLB so far this season.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Jeff Francoeur

Phillies 4, Red Sox 2: Jeff Francoeur has this thing where he makes a great first impression with new teams. He did it, obviously, when he came up with the Braves. When he went to the Mets. Again with the Rangers, etc. Then, after you get to thinking he’s awesome, he reverts to Francoeurdom and frustrates you like mad. I mean, there are worse players. Lots of worse players. And he’s a great guy so you want to like him. But that little flash of something he first showed you and then seemed to inexplicably lose just haunts you. Poisons the whole relationship. It’s like having a new significant other who cooks you the most amazing meals for the first three months of the relationship and then, for whatever reason, starts bringing home fast food every night and you wonder where all of the great dinners went. Anyway, Jeffy had a three-run homer off of Rick Porcello here and Aaron Harang shut Boston out into the seventh on a cold and icky night.

Tigers 11, Twins 0: I imagine the Twins will score at some point this year. Just not sure when. Ian Kinsler drove in four. Jose Iglesias had four hits. Alex Avila scored four times. This means something. This is important.


Cubs 2, Cardinals 0: Lance Lynn was good (6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 9K), but Jake Arrieta was better (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7K). The Cubs scored their runs in the seventh, the first of which came when Lynn hit Anthony Rizzo with a pitch then threw a pickoff throw wide to let Rizzo reached second. Then Starlin Castro singled him in. In other news, there were about 9,000 fewer fans for this game than Sunday’s, 74 more toilets and no reported problems of bathroom chaos that I’ve yet seen, so all is right with the world.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3: Down 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, New York scored three when the Jays’ bullpen blew up with a bunch of unforced errors. Which, yes, is a tennis term and could be confused with actual baseball errors, but I think we overuse “implosion” when it comes to describing bullpens and I feel something more specific should describe this kind of garbage. Anyway: Aaron Loup gave up a double, a single and then loaded the base with a HBP. Then Brett Cecil came in and tossed a run-scoring wild pitch, loaded the bases again with an intentional walk, hit Brian McCann to allow a run to score and then gave up an RBI single. The Yankees’ offense is still pretty bad, but even a bad offense can score when you literally force them across the plate.

Nationals 2, Mets 1: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in six innings. But was he truly good enough? We’ll have to wait for Thom Loverro’s column to let us know.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: A long rain delay, a long game and then two extra innings on top of it ended just before 2AM when Joey Votto singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 11th. It was his second RBI single of the game. I’m so glad he has decided to hit RBI this year rather than choose to eschew all opportunities to drive in runs in the interests of leading the league in on-base percentage. Which is a statement that, I know, sounds insane, but people in Cincinnati actually think that.

Braves 2, Marlins 0: As everyone assumed would be the case, the Braves are 3-0. A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer. Which is a nice bonus considering that his entire raison d’etre is to be baseball’s version of a Hanson brother. Shelby Miller made his first start with the Braves and allowed four hits in five innings. Overall five pitchers combined on the six-hit shutout.

Rays 2, Orioles 0: Jake Odorizzi took a two-hitter in the seventh inning. I feel like there have been a lot of fast games so far, but this could be a textbook pace-of-play game. Three hours even which, no, is not an egregious game time in this day and age. But there were only eight hits overall and one of the only two scoring plays in the game ended with a baserunner running into an out. So little action for three hours, it seems.

Royals 7, White Sox 5: Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run homer in the eighth to break the tie and give KC the win. Cain was motivated, he and his manager said, by the fact that he had been hit by pitches in both games against the Sox and that, maybe, they were thrown at him on purpose. If the the Sox are throwing at Royals guys on purpose, maybe they should change their strategy, because it ain’t working: Chicago has lost 13 of their past 16 games against the Royals and have been outscored 86-43 in those games.

Rockies 5, Brewers 4: Wilin Rosario played his best position last night — pinch hitter — and it paid off with a tenth inning homer. LaTroy Hawkins vulutred a win when he blew a save in the ninth by giving up two runs on four hits and remained the pitcher of record until the home run was hit. But we’ll excuse him because he’s one of only two players in baseball older than me anymore, and we HAVE TO HOLD ON TO HIM.

Indians 2, Astros 0: Carlos Carrasco was on point, striking out 10 in six and a third shutout innings. Carrasco posted a 1.30 ERA in his last ten starts last season and is beginning this one on a roll too. Some guys just take a while to put it together, I guess, but the previously frustrating Carrasco has turned into a pretty darn sure thing for Terry Francona and the Indians.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 2: Chris Heston plunked a guy, allowed him to advance two bases when he sailed a pickoff throw into right field and later allowed a run on a wild pitch, but he shook it off to get his first big league win in his second big league start. Casey McGehee hit a two-run homer. Which helped remind all of us that, oh yeah, Casey McGehee plays for the Giants now.

Dodgers 7, Padres 4: Three homers for Adrian Gonzalez. He has started the season 10 for his first 13 with five homers, two doubles and seven RBI. That’s a 2.846 OPS. I think “on pace” jokes after three games are the hackiest thing out there, but I have no pride so I’ll note that he’s on pace for 267 homers this year. That would be a record.

Athletics 10, Rangers 0: I did three different radio spots in Texas Rangers country yesterday, including Tyler, Texas, Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. They all asked me if I think the Rangers have a chance this year. My answer is “nope.” Scott Kazmir allowed only one hit and struck out ten in seven shutout innings. Mark Canha who, um, not, I had never heard of before — and if you’re not an A’s fan or Canha’s mom or something, neither have you most likely — drove in four. UPDATE: OH MY GOD, Canha gave a postgame interview in which he did the “Bull Durham” “Good Lord willin’ . . .” speech word for word. I heart him.

Angels 5, Mariners 3: The Angels scored four in the first off Hisahi Iwakuma and held on. Iwakuma was poor in the second half last season. If that was more harbinger than aberration, the M’s staff isn’t gonna be as good this year as a lot of folks expect it to be. Albert Pujols homered to tie Ted Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas on the all-time list at 521. That’s fairly decent company. I suppose.

Red Sox, Rick Porcello agree to table extension talks during the season

Rick Porcello

WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that the Red Sox and Rick Porcello have agreed not to discuss a contract extension during the regular season. Porcello, who can become a free agent after the season, said he wants to focus on pitching, eschewing any potential distractions a contract negotiation might cause. The right-hander had said last month didn’t expect to negotiate a contract with the Red Sox anyway.

Porcello, 26, avoided arbitration with the Red Sox, agreeing on a one-year, $12.5 million salary for the 2014 season. He will serve as the No. 2 pitcher in the starting rotation for the Red Sox behind Clay Buchholz. He’s scheduled to make his 2015 season debut on Wednesday against Phillies starter Aaron Harang at Citizens Bank Park.

Porcello had the best season of his career in 2014, finishing with a 3.43 ERA and a 129/41 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings with the Tigers. In December, he was dealt to the Red Sox in the Yoenis Cespedes trade.