Tag: Chase Headley

Alex Rodriguez, Caleb Joseph

BREAKING: Brett Gardner is trying to get Alex Rodriguez to grow a mustache


It’s well known that the Yankees have a strict team policy regarding facial hair, but their players are still allowed to grow mustaches. They are taking advantage of it in a big way this season, with Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley, and Brian McCann among those sporting ‘staches or at least their best attempt at one. However, a certain someone has yet to participate. Could that change?

Rodriguez is off to a strong start after his year-long PED suspension, batting .269/.424/.558 with four home runs and 11 RBI over 16 games, but growing a mustache would pretty much clinch the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award for him, no? It’s of utmost importance that this happens. We here at HardballTalk wish Gardner luck in his efforts.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Nelson Cruz

Mariners 11, Rangers 10: Nelson Cruz hit two homers, drove in five and knocked in a walkoff single. On the year he’s hitting .354/.404/.854. Which is just a great, early-season small sample size line. Or a somewhat less valuable line than the one Barry Bonds put up over 573 games between 2001 and 2004 (.349/.559/.809).

Tigers 9, White Sox 1: Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam and a two-run home run. Not bad for a guy who I, and who everyone else I’ve been around when his name has come up in the past couple of months, always seem to say “oh yeah, he’s on the Tigers now. I forgot.”

Royals 4, Athletics 2: What a sh**show. A third straight day of sh**show, which started on Friday night when A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie slid hard/dirty into second base, hurting Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Then, on Saturday, Yordano Ventura hit Lawrie with a 99 MPH fastball. Even? Nah. Yesterday Athletics starter Scott Kazmir hit Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain in the leg with a pitch. Then Royal reliever Kelvim Herrera threw a 100 MPH fastball behind Lawrie, which he claimed — and, to be fair, acted like — was a mistake. Ultimately, like, 58 dudes were ejected and the game was finished by little leaguers bussed in from Overland Park, Kansas. True story.

Nationals 4, Phillies 1: Stephen Strasburg struck out seven, walked two and allowed five hits while pitching into the eighth. The Nats took three of four from a Phillies club that’s gonna help a lot of struggling teams get well this year. Philly has scored 32 runs in 13 games.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: A three-game sweep. The Brewers are 2-10, which is their worst start in history. When is the first Packers minicamp?

Orioles 8, Red Sox 3: Adam Jones went 4-for-5 with a three-run double and two-run homer, driving in five. He’s hitting .457 on the young season. That puts him on pace to hit . . . um, .457. Hmm. I guess it’s dumb to do the “on pace” thing, eh?

Yankees 5, Rays 3: I guess the Yankees just needed to get back to the Tampa area to right the ship. The sweep here, aided by two-RBI games from Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod doubled, walked twice and scored twice. Hard to believe, but this is the first time the Yankees have swept the Rays in a three or more game series in Tampa in ten years.

Mets 7, Marlins 6: The Mets set a record for Team Its Fans Worry About Most Despite The Fact That It Has Won Eight Games In A Row. Which, given that they keep losing players to injury in these wins, is quite understandable. Travis d’Arnaud broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch and Jerry Blevins was lost to a broken forearm suffered on a comebacker. Still, they’re 10-3 and have won their first seven home games.

Braves 5, Blue Jays 2: Jonny Gomes drove in four — a bases-loaded double and a sacrifice fly — and Shelby Miller pitched six effective innings. Gomes’ double came thanks to a misplay by Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, who got turned around and tried to leap for the ball, only to fall down. Afterward Pompey said he’d been “playing somewhat scared” all season for fear of making a mistake. That’s . . . not the sort of thing that players should likely be telling the media, even if it’s true, I feel.

Twins 7, Indians 2: Torii Hunter hit a homer and the Twins won their fourth in the last five games. Trevor May allowed one run on four hits in six innings. The Cleveland offense has been horrid lately.

Astros 4, Angels 3: Garrett Richards made his first start since having knee surgery last year and gave up four runs — three earned — on five hits and four walks in five innings. A couple of the runs came as the result of a strikeout which catcher Drew Butera couldn’t handle, followed by a throw to first which went offline. Luis Valbuena homered for the Astros as well and Jose Altuve had three hits.

Padres 5, Cubs 2: Will Middlebrooks and Yangervis Solarte each hit two-run homers and Andrew Cashner allowed two runs, neither earned, in six innings. Jon Lester is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA after three starts. Good thing six-year deals aren’t judged after three starts. He wasn’t as bad as he’s been, though. He allowed three runs and six hits in five and a third here. He also pulled a Terry Mulholland when a ball he fielded got stuck in the webbing of his glove and he tossed the whole glove to Anthony Rizzo for the out.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 1: Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer and then blew everyone’s mind after the game when he said “any time you can get a win, it’s good.” Chris Owings had a two-run single. A.J. Pollock had three hits, scored twice and made a nice diving catch. Neither of them went all Confucius on us like Goldschmidt did, though.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 0: The Dodgers hit three homers in the sixth inning. Which coincided with the Calcaterra family dinner last night, which I unwisely allowed to take place with the TV on, leading to my kids running away from the table and yelling “Oh my God, ANOTHER one!” while their chicken got cold. Howie Kendrick, Scott Van Slyke and Joc Pederson did the damage here. Brandon McCarthy allowed three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: A three game sweep for the Cards, thanks to Adam Wainwright (8 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K) outdueling Mike Leake. The game took only two hours and two minutes, which has to be a record for an ESPN Sunday night game. Hats off to these clubs for (a) letting us all switch to “Mad Men” earlier than we thought we’d have to; and (b) limiting the amount of things John Kruk and Curt Schilling could say.

Rays designate Grant Balfour for assignment

Grant Balfour

Per the Rays on Twitter, the club has designated reliever Grant Balfour for assignment. To take Balfour’s spot on the 25-man roster, the Rays have promoted reliever Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham.

Balfour hadn’t been scored upon in 3 2/3 innings coming into Saturday night’s game against the Yankees. That, however, changed rather abruptly. The seventh inning began with starter Jake Odorizzi allowing a lead-off single. Manager Kevin Cash immediately replaced Odorizzi with C.J. Riefenhauser, but the Yankees continued to rally, scoring twice on two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly.

Balfour entered with runners on first and second and one out. He walked Alex Rodriguez to load the bases, induced a sacrifice fly from Mark Teixeira, hit Brian McCann to re-load the bases, allowed a grand slam to Chris Young, walked Chase Headley, uncorked a wild pitch, walked Stephen Drew, and finally got Gregorio Petit to foul out to end the inning. The Yankees led 9-0, the score by which they would eventually win. Balfour’s line: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR. His ERA ballooned to 6.23.

The 37-year-old Balfour is earning a $7 million salary from the Rays. Considering he struggled immensely last season and his velocity has fallen from 93.4 MPH on average in 2013 to 91.6 last season and 89.7 MPH this season, Balfour may not draw much interest from other teams.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Miguel Cabrera

Tigers 8, Indians 5: Two homers for Miguel Cabrera and yet another sweep for the Tigers. When they go 162, fine, I’ll support him for the MVP.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth and Matt Carpenter put St. Louis up by two with a homer of his own in the 11th. This game note is really darn interesting: “Reds catcher Brayan Pena left the game in the seventh after injuring his left shoulder in a fall at first base while beating out a leadoff bunt.” Just a LOT to unpack there.

Rays 8, Marlins 5: Miami’s season sure ain’t starting well, what with them being 1-5. Actual postgame quote from Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “It could have been worse. We could have been 0-6.” He must of said that before he realized two Marlins players — Don Kelly and Jeff Mathis — each broke a finger during the game. For real.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 7: UPDATE: Though I probably get more “you don’t respect us!” rebop from O’s and Jays fans than any other two fan bases, please trust me when I tell you that I didn’t mean to leave this one blank earlier as some sort of passive-aggressive “this game was boring comment.” I just write these hella early and sometimes the brain hasn’t kicked in yet. Anyway: the Jays hit three homers because homers are their thing. The last one — from Jose Bautista — came after Darren O’Day threw one behind him. Those two have a history, of course. And Bautista is way better than O’Day, of course, so he’s gonna get the better of them over time. Maybe O’Day should cut it out?

Mets 4, Braves 3: I suppose it was folly to think Atlanta would go undefeated this year. And, if you have to lose a game, better to lose it in one which contained some outrageously awesome performances from athletes of bleeding-edge skill.

That was Colon’s first RBI in a decade. Colon started play yesterday as a .075/.080/.081 career hitter.

Nationals 4, Phillies 3: Bryce Harper homered and Wilson Ramos drove in two, including the go-ahead run in the 10th. Max Scherzer: one run, eight strikeouts in six innings. Yet, once again, does not pitch well enough to win. I am afraid of what the intimidating, influential and wise columnists of Washington will say today.

White Sox 6, Twins 2: I guess this means that Chris Sale’s foot feels OK (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K). Adam LaRoche hit a homer and had an RBI single.

Pirates 10, Brewers 2: And I guess this means Andrew McCutchen’s knee feels OK (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI). Chris Sadler got his first MLB win after allowing two runs in five innings.

Astros 6, Rangers 4: Hank Conger had a two-run homer in the 14th to win it. But he wouldn’t have had the chance to it if wasn’t for George Springer’s amazing, grand-slam-saving catch in the 10th. That gave the Rangers three of their 15 stranded runners in the game. They drew seven walks and four Rangers batters were hit by pitches on top of that. If you can’t win a game when the other team just gifts you 11 base runners like that, fate ain’t letting you win that game.

Royals 9, Angels 2: Put the Royals in the 162-0 camp with the Tigers. Alcides Escobar and Alex Rios hit two-run doubles  and Salvador Perez homered There was some chippiness here because, apparently, Yordano Ventura doesn’t like athletes on the other team to say incendiary things like “let’s go, you guys!” Um, OK.

Mariners 8, Athletics 7: A 10th inning Nelson Cruz homer put the M’s ahead for good. Earlier in the game Rickie Weeks hit a pinch-hit three-run job. This day was not perfect for Seattle, but a couple of offseason additions designed to help fix the M’s biggest problem — offense — paid off well.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Wil Nieves hit a grand slam off of Jake Peavy as the Padres take three of four from the defending champs. Nieves’ Made his big league debut in 2002 for the Padres, catching Jake Peavy. A few things have happened since then, I suppose.

Cubs 6, Rockies 5: La Troy Hawkins came in to save the game with a comfy lead in the ninth — And he needed to only get two of the three outs with a two-run lead. But then a walk-wild pitch-single combo brought Chicago to within one and a subsequent two-run homer by Dexter Fowler put the Cubs ahead. That’s three appearances for Hawkins this year, the last two of which were blown saves. He’s allowed five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings. Ick.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Alex Guerrero made some waves in spring training when he said that he deserved to be in the big leagues and wouldn’t allow the Dodgers to send him down. They’re happy they have him on the big club now, I reckon. He went 3-for-5, homered and had four RBI after being pressed into service due to injuries to Justin Turner and Juan Uribe. Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson homered too, so viva youth in Los Angeles.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 4: All Yankees started got a hit and all Yankees starters scored a run in this romp. A-Rod hit a three-run double and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew hit back-to-back bombs. Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t fantastic, but he pitched five generally competent innings to get the win, so maybe the columnists will wring their hands over something else this week.

Red Sox expected to activate Koji Uehara from the disabled list on Monday

Koji Uehara

Per Tim Britton of the Providence Journal, Red Sox manager John Farrell said everything points to the club activating reliever Koji Uehara from the disabled list on Monday. Uehara suffered a strained left hamstring in mid-March and had a setback near the end of spring training.

Sean McAdam of CSN New England suggests the Red Sox are likely to demote one of their two lefty relievers — Tommy Layne or Robbie Ross, Jr. — to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Uehara on the 25-man roster, as both have options remaining.

Uehara should return to the closer’s role, which will push interim closer Edward Mujica back into set-up duties. Mujica has had one opportunity for a save so far and blew it in Friday’s 19-inning game against the Yankees, allowing a two-out, game-tying solo home run to Chase Headley in the ninth inning.