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Bartolo Colon

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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source: Getty Images

Mets 6, Phillies 3: Wilmer Flores hit a three-run homer in the sixth to break a 3-3 tie and to help put Bartolo Colon in the win column for the the seventh time this year. Colon also singled and actually ran the bases and stuff. Like this:

 

Yankees 14, Royals 1: Jeremy Guthrie got shellacked, giving up eleven runs while recording only three outs. It’s the first time a pitcher has allowed 11 runs while recording three outs or fewer in eight years. It’s also the first time a pitcher allowed four home runs while recording three or fewer outs in ten years. Three RBI a piece for Brett Gardner, Chase Headley, Brian McCann and Stephen Drew. It was just the Yankees’ second win in 12 games. It should count for two or three at least, you figure.

Pirates 4, Marlins 2: Charlie Morton scattered eight hits and allowed two runs over seven innings in his first action of the year. According to the AP game story Morton is said to have gone on “a six-week journey to rebuild his delivery from the ground up” as he recovered from offseason surgery. Morton once famously remade his delivery to be just like Roy Halladay. I wonder who he picked this time. Is there a big glossy catalog to be leafed-through in a big shiny and futuristic delivery-remaking clinic from which you can choose? “I want to be . . . Fergie Jenkins this time!” “Excellent choice, Mr. Morton!” Or is it more of a back-alley kind of place, like how Jack Nicholson was patched up to achieve his Joker look in the Tim Burton Batman?

Blue Jays 6, White Sox 0: Drew Hutchison with The Maddux. Which is not, contrary to popular opinion, a performance in which he yelled “F**K!” so loud from the mound that it was picked up by TBS microphones and ignored by Skip Caray, followed by him peeing on the feet of his teammates in the shower. I mean, yes, those are classic Maddux trademarks. But I’m referring to the fun stat created by Jason Lukehart three years ago and which MLB and its Twitter feed continuously reference these days without any acknowledgment that Lukehart made it up. Oh well. As for Hutchison, he gave up only four hits, struck out eight and didn’t walk a soul.

Dodgers 6, Braves  3: L.A. hit three homers in the eighth inning — Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero and Jimmy Rollins did the honors — to key the Dodgers’ win. Ethier also drew a bases-loaded walk. Braves starter Williams Perez allowed only that walked-in run and scattered seven hits in six innings. The homers came off of Nick Masset who, apparently, gets to stay in no matter how many homers he gives up in close games. Must be a weird provision of his deal or something.

Angels 4, Padres 3: Tied at three in the ninth with two men on, Bud Black decided to intentionally walk Mike Trout to pitch to Albert Pujols with the bases loaded. While walking the bases loaded to pitch to Pujols was unthinkable back during the Bush Administration, it’s pretty defensible these days, at least to get around Trout. But Pujols made Black pay by hitting a game-winning single to left field.

Rockies 5, Reds 4: Nolan Arenado homered, had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run with a sac fly in the ninth off of Aroldis Chapman. That’s nine straight losses for Cincinnati. Three wins in a row for Colorado.

Orioles 4, Astros 3: I guess Dallas Keuchel was going to lose eventually. Not that the Orioles totally murdered him. As a team they only got six hits in the whole game and went down in order in six of their eight innings at the plate. But when two of those six hits were two-run homers — from Caleb Joseph and Steve Pearce — and when your four pitchers don’t walk anyone and pitch out of trouble enough times, it’s sufficient.

Giants 8, Brewers 4: Weirdness abounded in this one. Carlos Gomez has a gold glove and a stellar defensive reputation, but he also had two errors in one inning to help fuel the Giants’ seven-run rally in the sixth. Also weird: Khris Davis hit a home run in the first, after which he was called out for allegedly failing to touch home plate. The Brewers challenged that call and he was then called safe. Davis homered again in the third inning. This time, when he scored, he stomped on home plate. I may have slid.

Twins 7, Red Sox 2: Ricky Nolasco pitched well and Trevor Plouffe hit a three-run homer. The Twins are 26-18 and are only two games back of the Royals in the AL Central. If the season ended today they’d be in the playoffs as the first Wild Card in the American League. And I’m not sure if the season ending on May 26 for some reason would be any more surprising than the Twins actually finishing the season in the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs, though, can we agree to officially abolish preseason predictions for eternity? Because it’s unseemly for people to pretend they’re experts and have any special, authoritative insight into a pursuit as random as baseball.

Nationals 2, Cubs 1: Denard Span and Wilson Ramos homered. Kris Bryant homered in a losing cause. Really, those three hits were the whole game.

Athletics 4, Tigers 0: Jesse Hahn pitched a four-hit shutout to give the A’s their third win in a row. This despite his infield committing three errors behind him. Marcus Semien’s made it 17 for him on the season. The A’s have 49 overall, leading the league.

Rangers 10, Indians 8: Six wins in a row for the Rangers and the end of a six-game winning streak for the Indians. This game marked the return of Josh Hamilton, though he didn’t do much. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, but he did walk and score once. Prince Fielder hit his fourth homer in four games and is now at .365/.417/.575 on the year and is on pace to hit 32 homers and drive in 126. Last year, when everyone said his bat would come alive in Texas? They were right. Just a year and a healthy Prince Fielder too early.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 2: Jhonny Peralta with the walkoff homer in the 10th. This was the Cards’ eighth extra-innings win this year, which leads all of baseball. And, given that most analysts believe that, over time, extra innings wins tend to be heavily influenced by luck and random chance, it is evidence that the Cardinals possess black demon magic from an unholy source powering their success.

Mariners 4, Rays 1: Robinson Cano went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs, so I guess he’s not dead. Factoid of the day courtesy of the Associated Press:

This was the first-ever matchup of major league managers who played in the Little League World Series. McClendon was with Gary, Indiana, in 1971, while Cash was part of the 1989 Tampa, Florida, team.

Alrighty then.

 

Yoenis Cespedes questions the Athletics’ personnel moves

Yoenis Cespedes
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The Oakland Athletics are a very different team now than they were a year ago. In the offseason they lost Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, Jason Hammel, Derek Norris, Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and John Jaso and brought in Ike Davis, Ben Zobrist, Jesse Hahn, Billy Butler, Brett Lawrie and Marcus Semien.

Also, a year ago at this time they had Yoenis Cespedes. He’s gone now, playing for the Tigers. The A’s and Tigers are meeting up this week, so A’s reporters asked him about all of the changes to his old club:

He’s on to them.

Video: Anthony Rizzo slugs game-winning three-run shot

anthony rizzo getty
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Anthony Rizzo helped the Cubs pull off a wild 9-6 win in the desert on Saturday night …

Rizzo also hit a three-run double in the fifth, finishing the game with a career-high-tying six RBI. St. Louis lost again in Kansas City, so the Cubs are now just 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals in the NL Central.

Rizzo, 25, is batting .322/.444/.586 with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 42 games this season.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Bumgarner Kershaw
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source: Getty Images

Giants 4, Dodgers 0: It’s hard to have as good of a series against your rivals than the Giants just had. In addition to your pitcher hitting a homer off the reigning Cy Young and MVP award winner, you shut them out for three straight games, outscoring them 10-0. That’s 34-straight scoreless innings for the Dodgers in AT&T Park dating back to their series there a month ago.

 

Braves 10, Brewers 1: Will Smith getting ejected for a foreign substance “That thing you’re doing is against the rules and we’re gonna get you run out of the game for it and you’ll get suspended but thank goodness you’re doing it because it’s to ensure the safety of our guys but Jesus, man, you have to hide that good/illegal thing you’re doing!” In other news, the whole “that guy is doing something technically illegal and ultimately it actually helps at mitigating injuries but, dude, don’t be so obvious about it” is the human growth hormone story too.

 

Orioles 5, Mariners 4: Steve Pearce hit a grand slam and the teams used 13 pitchers and sat at the park for hours and hours on end thanks to a lengthy rain delay. This sort of game makes me wonder why no baseball TV show — either a drama or a sitcom — has ever taken off. If you treated it like “M*A*S*H” or something episodic but character-driven you could totally do it. One whole episode would just be guys killing time during a rain delay. Some weird personal drama with the manager and his bench coach — maybe musings on old mens’ mortality — is your A-story. A running thing about guys playing cards is your b-story. The whole episode is about how ill-equipped these guys are to function outside of baseball and how, when you have three hours to do NOTHING but think about non-baseball things, they’re all at a loss. Jesus, Hollywood. Give me my development deal already. Got a head full of ideas on this.

Blue Jays 8, Angels 4: R.A. Dickey allowed four runs and five hits, walked two and struck out seven while tossing a complete game. In that baseball “M*A*S*H”-up, you have to go light on actual game action because, unless MLB Network produces it, game action footage is going to be expensive and if you try to DIY your way through it it’s gonna look hokey. But at some point you have a one-off episode in which the team picks up a knuckleballer and he totally messes up the rhythms of everything from the clubhouse and on the field and personal relationships and all around. The overall theme of that episode is baseball’s comfort of conformity and the inability of these odd and often damaged people to confront change and unconventionality in their lives.

Tigers 6, Astros 5: James McCann hit a homer in the 11th inning to put the Tigers up for good. This guy has two career homers. An inside-the-parker and an extra-inning game-winning job. All of the rest of his homers will be relatively anti-climatic now. Congratulations, McCann. Best case scenario now is that you’re Orson Welles or Norman Mailer and you spend the rest of your life trying to convince people you’re really as good as your earliest work. There are way worse problems to have, but that has to be kind of annoying.

Mets 5, Cardinals 0: More like Jacob deGREAT, amirite? Oh, God. I’m sorry. That’s maybe the worst thing I’ve said in, well, maybe a day or two. deGrom strikes out 11 in eight one-hit shutout innings. Lucas Duda hits two bombs.

Rockies 7, Phillies 3: These two teams have played each other for 125 straight nights. I didn’t check that to be sure, but I am almost positive that is the case. Ryan Howard homered again. Is he back? Back just long enough to create a little trade value bubble for him? Who knows. The Rockies’ had more offense, though, as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run single and Brandon Barnes, had four hits. Jorge De La Rosa passed Ubaldo Jimenez to become the Rockies’ all-time strikeout leader with 774 in a black, white and sometimes purple uniform. David Nied has 127.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Wandy Rodriguez shut the Sox down and Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and drove in two. The Sox’ offense is stank on a stick. They’re 23rd in runs per game, 18th in OBP, 25th in slugging, 27th in batting average and 25th in extra-base hits.

Rays 3, Athletics 0: Alex Colome and four relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. The Rays have had some damn good pitching for a team which had, like, every single good pitcher get injured, get traded or come down with ebola or something in the past year.

Indians 5, White Sox 2: Three in a row for Cleveland who got six scoreless from Danny Salazar and homers from Nick Swisher — still alive apparently? Who knew? — and Mike Aviles.

Cubs 3, Padres 0: Kyle Hendricks with the five-hit shuout. Not over x innings with “x” defined as <9. Like, a legit, old school big boy shutout. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer.

Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 6: A four-game sweep as the Marlins’ freefall continues. Keep in mind, this is a Dbacks team which came into this series having just been swept by the Phillies. The Flounders have lost seven straight.

Report: Cubs have looked into signing Rafael Soriano

Rafael Soriano
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Rafael Soriano remains unsigned almost two months into the season, but Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com hears that the Cubs are among several teams who have considered bringing the veteran reliever aboard.

Soriano, 35, is currently training in the Dominican Republic and has been throwing to live hitters in preparation for game action. His agent, Scott Boras, told Mooney on Thursday that teams are “reaching out” and he’s “pretty close to structuring a deal for him.”

The Marlins were briefly mentioned as a possible fit last week with Steve Cishek being moved out of the closer role, but they apparently aren’t willing to give Soriano the salary he covets. The Cubs entered play Thursday with a disappointing 4.20 ERA out of their bullpen, but Hector Rondon isn’t in any danger to lose his closer job. If the price is right, they’d likely look at Soriano as a set-up man.

Soriano posted a 3.19 ERA and 59/19 K/BB ratio in 62 innings with the Nationals last season, but he really struggled during the second half and found himself booted from the closer role in September.