Tag: Chad Qualls

David Robertson

Astros want to sign one of the top free agent closers


MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that the Astros are “going hard” to get one of the top free agent closers. They currently have David Robertson, Sergio Romo, and Andrew Miller (who could close) on their wish list.

The Astros finished with the worst bullpen ERA in baseball this past season at 4.80. Chad Qualls led the team in saves with 19 along with a 3.33 ERA and a 43/5 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings, but obviously, the Astros feel they could do even better.

The Astros improved 19 games from their 111-loss 2013 season, and they’ll look to make further progress next season in the next phase of their rebuilding process under GM Jeff Luhnow.

Athletics halt losing streak, walk off in the ninth against the Astros

Jed Lowrie

Life has been tough for the Athletics in the second half, having lost seven of their last eight and 17 of 24 entering today’s game against the Astros. Up as many as six games in first place in the AL West, they sat six games back of the Angels going into Saturday. The flashy trades for Jeff Samardzija and Jon Lester haven’t paid dividends in the way GM Billy Beane anticipated.

Perhaps Saturday’s win, in which they erased a two-run deficit to walk off winners in the bottom of the ninth inning, is what they need to turn their season around. Starter Scott Kazmir no-hit the Astros through the first five innings, but faltered in the sixth, allowing a two-run single to Jose Altuve. The Astros tacked on another run in the seventh to make it 3-1.

Starter Scott Feldman took the hill in the bottom of the ninth to attempt a complete game win and send the A’s to yet another loss, but Josh Donaldson led off with a single. After Adam Dunn lined out, Derek Norris added a single of his own, sending Donaldson to third base. Closer Chad Qualls entered to attempt to put out the fire, but Josh Reddick belted a double to center field to tie the game at 3-3. Shortly thereafter, Jed Lowrie slapped a single into left field and a scampering Reddick narrowly beat a weak throw home by Alex Pressly, scoring the winning run.

If the A’s are able to stop the bleeding from here on out, you can bet your bottom dollar many will point to Saturday’s come-from-behind victory as a turning point.

The Tigers claimed Chad Qualls on revocable waivers

Chad Qualls Getty

Yesterday Chad Qualls was claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team. Today the team has been identified: the Detroit Tigers.

Qualls has posted a 3.07 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over 44 innings while going 14-for-17 in save opportunities. He’s under contract for $3 million next season and there’s a $3.5 million club option. It’s doubtful, however, that the Astros would simply let him go on waivers, and they are on record saying that it would take a nice haul in return for them to let him go.

The Tigers, of course, have perpetual bullpen problems and have decided that throwing anyone who has ever sniffed the eighth or ninth inning at the problem is the best way to solve it. It may be the only way for them solve it, actually, although it’s unclear whether they have anything Houston wants in return.

The teams have until sometime tomorrow to complete a trade. Though the Astros could, of course, pull Qualls off waivers at any time.

Astros closer Chad Qualls claimed off revocable waivers

Chad Qualls Getty

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Astros closer Chad Qualls has been claimed off revocable waivers by an unidentified team.

It’s unclear whether the Astros actually intend to deal Qualls, but Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow indicated last month that he would have to be overwhelmed. Either way, they have until Wednesday to make a decision. They can trade him to the claiming team, let him go to the claiming team for nothing (which is highly unlikely), or simply pull him back. Of course, if he’s pulled back, he’s ineligible to be traded for the rest of the season.

Qualls has quietly been very effective as Houston’s closer this season, posting a 3.07 ERA and 38/5 K/BB ratio over 44 innings while going 14-for-17 in save opportunities. The 36-year-old is owed $3 million next season and his contract includes a $3.5 million club option for 2016, which looks like a nice bargain at the moment. Still, the Astros could potentially sell high and get a nice prospect or two in return from a contender.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 12, Rangers 11: This game should be on an episode of “I love the 90s” with play-by-play being done by Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black. Homers galore, seven RBI from J.P. Arencibia, a seventh inning in which the teams combined for 84 pitches, some bad defense, 22 runs, 27 hits and a running time of nearly four hours. God, I’m surprised any of us survived that era.

Athletics 7, Astros 4:  Houston had a 4-1 lead in the ninth which, statistically speaking, is pretty safe. But as my luddite-leaning friends tell me, statististics don’t play baseball. Three RBI singles and an RBI double in the visitors half of the ninth gave Oakland the win, with Chad Qualls being the recipient of most of the beating. And to top it all off, a foul ball nearly killed the Astros’ social media director.

Dodgers 8, Braves 4: I watched four innings of this. Good: I got some Scully time, watched as the announcement of him coming back for 2015 was made and heard him throw some shade on Dan Uggla (really). Bad: It was a Beckett-Harang matchup, which meant lumbering, deliberate pitching that did not allow me to stay up late enough to catch most of it. Maybe for the best, though, as I didn’t have to witness Matt Kemp’s second homer and the Dodgers score four unanswered runs. Puig had four hits and the Dodgers have won four straight.

Twins 2, Royals 1: Kyle Gibson only allowed a couple of singles in seven shutout innings. The Royals offense has been frustrating all year, but this was one of their lesser performances. Or, as the Hall of Fame might say, one of their fewer performances.

Cubs 4, Rockies 3: People usually refer to the proceedings which outlawed various war crimes as “The Geneva Convention,” but really it was a series of conventions, agreements and protocols which we refer to collectively. You’ve got your protocol relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, your protocol relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, your protocol relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, your Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, your Protocol for the prevention of 16 inning games between two teams you really don’t want to watch in the first place, etc. In any event, the people behind this game should be on trial in The Hague sometime soon. Their only defense is that this atrocity did allow for something positive to occur, and that’s a position player — Cubs catcher John Baker — pitching and getting the win. Six hours and 27 minutes.

Pirates 3, Giants 1: Francisco Liriano struck out 11 and allowed only one run over seven and the Pirates victimized Tim Hudson for two early homers to hand the Giants yet another loss. This combined with the Dodgers win puts the Giants three games back in the West. Somehow, however, the actual deficit seems to understand the difference between where the Giants are and where the Dodgers are.

Padres 3, Cardinals 1: Tyson Ross wasn’t his sharpest, but he won his third straight start, holding St. Louis to one run and four hits in six innings. It helped that the Cardinals defense wasn’t sharp either, committing three errors. Newcomer Yangervis Solarte homered and scored another run.

Rays 5, Brewers 1: Can’t stop the Rays. They won their 11th game in 12 chances with Alex Cobb strikes out 12 and Ben Zobrist homered and doubled. Since their June 11th nadir, the Rays are 29-12. Someone give me more facts with 11s and 12s in them, stat.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2: Marcus Stroman faced the Sox last week and tied ’em up. He did it again last night. What’s your secret, Marcus? Did you do something special to come to dominate Boston?

“To be honest, no, just execute pitches.”

Such a great command of cliche for such a young man.

White Sox 11, Tigers 4: Jose Abreu homered and drove in four. His homer was his 31st of the year. He also has an 18-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 36 of 37. Detroit played awful defense and newcomer Joakim Soria was pretty terrible. I’m going up to Detroit to see their game on Saturday, so at least they got this stinker out of their system.

Marlins 3, Nationals 0: Henderson Alvarez allowed only three hits but he walked four. Nats never made him pay for it, though. The Marlins did make Jerry Blevins and the Nationals bullpen pay for not pitching well, though. And while I’ll admit I haven’t watched their games closely the past couple of days, based on the names appearing in the box score, it seems like the Nats’ choice of relievers at various points is . . . odd. What say you Nats fans?

Mariners 5, Indians 2: Hisashi Iwakuma was yet another pitcher who tossed seven strong innings last night. But then again, strong innings on the road are what he’s all about lately. Iwakuma is 9-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last 14 road starts. Asked about it after the game he said he wasn’t aware of that and that he had no secret for his success on the road. Someday he’ll learn to say that he simply “executes pitches.”

Phillies 6, Mets 0: A grand slam for Chase Utley and Cole Hamels cruising for eight innings. It’s the kind of thing which makes Phillies fans pine for ’09, I suspect.

Orioles 7, Angels 6: A walkoff homer for Manny Machado in the 12th. The AP gamer starts out with “The Baltimore Orioles have a knack for winning in extra innings, and it has nothing to do with luck.” Huh. Remember back in 2012 when they won all of those one-run and extra inning games? And everyone said they had a skill for that? And then they didn’t do it in 2013 and everyone realized, hmm, maybe there’s some chance at play there? Nah, me neither. I have no idea what you’re talking about. In any event, if you have a skill at winning games in extra innings, perhaps you should apply that skill earlier in games to save your bullpen? Just a thought!

Reds 3, Diamondbacks 0: Mike Leake pitched shutout ball into the eighth and singled in a run himself. It was Cincy’s second win in 11 games.