Tag: Chicago Cubs

Daniel Murphy

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Mets 3, Marlins 1: Amazin.’ Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead/come-from-behind three run bomb and Mets improve to 15-5. Murphy also made a nifty play in the field the next half-inning. Adrenaline is a hell of a thing. The Mets have a 4.5 game lead in the East and are eight games up everyone’s favorites, the Nationals. Which, wow.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: MookieMania is running wild, brother. Betts with the walkoff RBI single through a drawn-in infield. Betts said he “got a decent pitch to hit.” He’s only 22 but his cliche game is that of a seasoned veteran.

Royals 6, Indians 2: Mike Moustakas got four hits and Alex Gordon drove in two, which ain’t too bad against the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Bonus from this game came from the Royals’ booth, where I am told Fox Sports Kansas City’s Rex Hudler was talking about my annual Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers rankings. Hudler was quoted by viewers as saying “Did you say it was a guy that made that list up?” Yes, Rex, it was. And have a nice, heteronormative day yourself.

Braves 8, Nationals 4: The Braves beat up the Nats in a game that featured some chippiness following a hard Andrelton Simmons’ slide into third base which led to a cut on Yunel Escobar’s hand. There were warnings and then Simmons was hit by a pitch. And even though he wasn’t in the game Jonny Gomes got ejected for running out of the dugout. Which, hey, he has a personal brand to maintain. The key thing here, though, is the Nats are now 7-13 and sit eight games back with only one team in all of baseball — the Brewers — featuring a worse record than them. Which is quite a thing.

Oh, and another broadcast datapoint: the Braves booth which has, in the past, engaged in all kinds of silly and unwarranted hatred and hostility with respect to Bryce Harper here said, at one point, “He’s a good player. Easy not to like him, but a good player.” I suppose that’s progress. Maybe in another year or two they’ll acknowledge that no one gives a crap if they like him.

Yankees 4, Rays 1: Brian McCann homered, Adam Warren pitched effectively and the Yankees’ winning combination so far — good defense, just enough hitting and a shutdown bullpen — kept things chugging along. A-Rod did not tie Willie Mays in this game as he went hitless. But someone asked Brian McCann about it afterward and McCann said A-Rod’s place on the all-time home run list is “an amazing accomplishment.” I presume the Yankees will fine him now given his failure to follow team policy which prohibits the stating of the bleedin’ obvious.

Reds 9, Brewers 6: Jay Bruce homered and drove in three. Jason Marquis allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He also hit an RBI single, probably to spite me.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Taijuan Walker allowed one unearned run in seven innings in his second solid start following a couple of disasters to open up the season. Both of these teams had to be exhausted, as they didn’t get into Texas until the wee hours of the morning due to severe storms which diverted their flights. Then this one started an hour late due to a rain delay. Hope their cell phones are on Do Not Disturb this morning.

Cubs 4, Pirates 0: Kris Bryant was 2-for-4 and drove in two. Jason Hammel tossed eight shutout innings. The Cubs won their third straight and snapped the Pirates’ five-game winning streak. Bryant has driven in nine in ten games. Scary moment here, though, as a fan was taken away in an ambulance after being hit by a flying bat during an Addison Russell plate appearance.

Tigers 5, Twins 4: Yoenis Cespedes had a homer, a double and three RBI. Jose Iglesias hit a homer and a triple, notching three hits in all. He’s hitting .397. All of us wanted to talk about how the Tigers would do after losing Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello in the offseason, but between those two it’s as if the Tigers added two plus bats to an already potent lineup.

Phillies 4, Cardinals 1: Cole Hamels doesn’t need a ton of run support, so when he even gets a little bit here that’s enough. As it was he struck out nine in seven innings and allowed only one run. Don’t tell anyone, but the Phillies have won three of four and are ahead of the Nats in the standings.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer in the first. Tyler Matzek limited the Diamondbacks to two runs on five hits in five innings. He had to leave early with a leg cramp, though, and the bullpen just barely held on. The Rockies have won five in a row against Arizona.

Dodgers 8, Giants 3: Joc Pederson and Justin Turner went yard. Pederson also doubled in a run and made a sweet play in the field, ranging back to the wall, catching it with his back to the field and then turned around and doubled off Nori Aoki, who had broke from first on the play. Pederson is hitting .296/.458/.556 on the year and doing that kind of crap in the field. Mercy.

Astros 9, Padres 4: Colby Rasmus homered and drove in three as the Astros won their fourth in a row. Jed Lowrie and Jason Castro also homered. The book on Astros hitters this year was that they’d lead the AL in strikeouts and be near the top of the league in homers. At the moment they lead the AL in strikeouts and are fourth in homers, two off the league lead. So, yep.

White Sox vs. Orioles: Postponed: Unrest in Baltimore continues, which may move this series out of the city and down to Washington or someplace else. Baseball, however, seems very, very unimportant compared to what’s happening there. But this is important. You should probably read this.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Royals White Sox

Royals 3, White Sox 2: Fisticuffsmanship! After a couple of hit batsmen — Yordano Ventura hitting Jose Abreu followed by Chris Sale hitting Mike Moustakas — you kind of figured everyone was even. Guess not. Adam Eaton hit a comebacker and, as Ventura made the putout, the two of them barked at each other and it all went to hell. Like, into a real fight, the likes of which you rarely see in baseball these days because everyone is rich and happy and no one really wants to get hurt.

Why on Earth anyone is barking at anyone on that play is beyond me. Why the Royals — as we have discussed — want to be known for something as stupid as being “bad boys,” let alone be called something that stupid is beyond me, but I suppose if they don’t mind being thought of that way who the heck are we to stop them?

As it was, Ventura has started four games this year. He left the first two with muscle cramps and the last two due to brain cramps. Maybe you should chill out a bit, my man? Maybe your teammates are getting sick and tired of having to deal with the crap that you and your dumb temper set in motion?

Marlins 9, Phillies 1: Ryne Sandberg after this game: “We’ve got some work to do. It was not a good game for us.” Phillies writers CTRL-C’d that so they can CTRL-V it another 90-95 times this year. I’m just happy that I got my Jeff Francoeur shirt in time for this weekend’s Braves-Phillies series. A series which should come with a warning label or phone numbers for emergency counseling or something.

Yankees 2, Tigers 1: Masahiro Tanaka pitched one-run ball into the seventh and struck out six and, I’ll be damned, all of those orthopedic surgeons in the New York media who were prescribing Tommy John surgery after his first start are suddenly quiet.

Mets 6, Braves 3: Make it 11. Daniel Murphy drove in four, Bartolo Colon showed off his wheels. As a lot of people observed yesterday afternoon when the game was still close, this is the sort of game the Mets of old and bad teams in general somehow find a way to lose. The Mets of 2015 have played a few like this and they find ways to win. It’s a fine line between good and bad in the age of parity, but when you’re on the good side of that line as often as the Mets have been in the early going, you’re probably actually pretty good.

Brewers 4, Reds 2: The eight game losing streak is snapped. Kyle Lohse gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four over seven solid innings. After the game Bryan Price said this:

“We have to come in throwing strikes and challenging opponents,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “We’ve taken some leads into the late innings and they’ve gotten away from us so we have to be better.”

Throw strikes? Be better? Jeez, Bryan, are you sure you wanna be telling the press what your strategy is going forward? How does that help the Reds?

Pirates 5, Cubs 4: The Cubs had the matchup they wanted in a tie game with a man on second — lefty Phil Coke against lefty Gregory Polanco — but Polanco came through, hitting the go-ahead RBI single. Polanco finished 3-for-4 with two driven in. Kris Bryant played center field because during that extra week in Triple-A he met a sensei who transformed him from a not-ready-for-the-bigs apprentice to a master of all defense via a series of life lessons and philosophical sayings.

Rockies 2, Padres 1: A 2-1 game in Coors field that took less than three hours? Yup, it’s getaway day. Corey Dickerson homered in the fifth, making it three homers in two games for the guy. The other Rockies run came in the first when Tyson Ross walked a run in with the bases loaded. You really shouldn’t do that.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2: Second walkoff win for the Giants in as many days. This a come-from-behind win after the Dodgers went up 2-0 early. Justin Maxwell served up the game-winning single here in the 10th after failing to come through when the Giants had a chance to tie the game up during an eighth inning would-be rally. The Giants sweep the Dodgers and have won four of five following an eight game losing streak.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 1: Michael Wacha allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, outdueling Max Scherzer. In Wacha’s last three starts he’s drawn Scherzer and then Johnny Cueto twice. Pretty rough duty, but he’s been up to the task. The Cards have won seven of eight.

Angels 2, Athletics 0: Athletics pitchers combined to toss a one-hitter. Not bad! But the one hit was a two-run homer and their offense did diddly squat. That’s bad! Nick Tropeano — who I am pretty sure was one of the minor characters in “Batman: Dark Victory” — tossed six shutout innings and three relievers finished it off.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 6: A sweep for the Jays. They ran out to a 7-0 lead thanks in part to a Josh Donaldson homer and then held on. Some may want to read a lot into the Orioles’ slow start and this series in particular, but this sort of feels right to me:

Sometimes that just happens. Especially against good-slugging teams in hitters parks.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Rene Rivera delivered the game-winning RBI single in the ninth. After the game Rivera said “I think any walkoff is great. You win the game. You enjoy it. It’s a great feeling.” He added “Well, it’s good that you’re fine, and – and I’m fine. I agree with you. It’s great to be fine.”

Kris Bryant is starting in center field for the Cubs

Kris Bryant

No. 1 prospect Kris Bryant, who played exclusively third base in the minors and made his long-awaited big-league debut at third base last week, is starting in center field for the Cubs today.

Bryant got his feet wet in center field Wednesday night, shifting to the outfield from third base when Dexter Fowler left the game with a groin injury.

Fowler remains out of the lineup this afternoon against the Pirates, so manager Joe Maddon has Kris Bryant starting in center field and 30-year-old journeyman Jonathan Herrera playing third base. Bryant is 6-foot-5, which makes him one of the biggest center fielders in baseball history, but he remains in the Cubs’ long-term plans as their third baseman.

Oh, and he’s off to a great start at the plate even after going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his debut. Since then Bryant is 9-for-18 (.500) with four doubles, twice as many walks (6) as strikeouts (3), and a 1.362 OPS.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Jose Bautista

I haven’t added them all up nor have I researched the matter, but if I just had to guess, with my gut, based on doing these recaps every morning, I’d guess that more runs were scored last night than any night with 15 ballgames going in, say, a year. Maybe a year and a half. Could be wrong — could be way wrong — but it sort of feels like it.

I’d also say that, based on the couple of game stories I read, someone fired the cliche machine up to 11. But hey, it’s hard to be creative on a Tuesday night. Anyway:

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 6: So Bud Norris isn’t having a great time. Rocked for nine runs in two and a third, which follows on two previous not great outings, including an eight-run bleed-out against the Orioles in his first start of the year. On the year: twenty earned runs on 18 hits in ten and a third. In the offseason the O’s were trying to deal Ubaldo Jimenez but no one wanted him so they thought about trading Bud Norris instead. Always go with your second instinct, I guess. Two homers for Edwin Encarnacion. Oh, and Jose Bautista hit his 250th career homer that (a) came after O’s pitcher Jason Garcia nearly hit him, so (b) Bautista admired the shot, stared down Norris and then flipped his bat, causing the O’s to get all feisty and mad. Adam Jones even said, unironically, that Bautista needs to “respect the game” afterward.

Phillies 7, Marlins 3: The Phillies actually had an offense last night, led by Ryan Howard, who hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth. Howard was 2-for-3 with a walk, in fact. So I guess it just so happens that our friend Ryan here was only MOSTLY dead. And, as we all know, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do: eat $50 million of his contract and ship him to the American League.

Royals 6, Twins 5: Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning. After the game, Ned Yost was asked about how he stuck with Moustakas over the past couple of years despite all of his slumps:

“You almost want to stand up on this table and yell, `I told you so!” Yost said, flashing a wry grin. “But I’m not. I’m not an I-told-you-so kind of guy.”

Well, you just told-us-so, Ned, so you kind of are.

Angels 14, Athletics 1: Johnny Giavotella drove in four and Kole Calhoun had four hits, including a three-run homer. After the game, Giavotella said this:

“From day one in spring training, this team has welcomed me with open arms. They believe in me, and it’s great to have guys that rally around you and root for you”

Somewhere, in exile, Josh Hamilton sheds a single tear as mournful music plays.

Astros 6, Mariners 3: I love the intro to this AP gamer:

Collin McHugh continued to linger, never getting knocked around enough to where his night needed to end . . .

I feel like that was a lyrical passage to at least six songs in the mid-90s.

Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead three-run double on an 0-2 pitch in the eighth inning. The Astros are 8-6 and sit atop the AL West, by the way.

Cubs 9, Pirates 8: Addison Russell made his big league debut and finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. But that’s OK, because (a) the Cubs won anyway; and (b) Kris Bryant made a debut that was just as poopy on Friday and all he’s done since then is knock the friggin cover off the ball and get on base like crazy. Starlin Castro chipped in as well, going 3-for-5 with a homer and four driven in.

Rangers 7, Diamondbacks 1: Prince Fielder homered, doubled and drove in three. Asked what he’s doing, he said he is “just looking for a pitch [he] can drive.” I can’t believe he’d reveal such top secret information like that. Opposing teams read these game stories, you know. Fielder on the year: .386/.435/.509 with nine driven in. Guess he was just mostly dead too.

Giants 6, Dodgers 2: The third only mostly dead performance of the night, with Tim Lincecum allowing only one run in six innings to snag the win. He also provided another great cliche on the night when he revealed that his secret was “making good pitches.” Huh. “So, kids: if you’re a young pitcher out there, make good pitches. Not bad ones. That’s a tip from your old friend, Tim,” Lincecum did not add.

Reds 16, Brewers 10: Two grand slams for the Reds — Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier — and two homers from Zack Cozart powered up the Reds. Elian Herrera hit a grand slam for the Brewers and drove in five overall. RIP all the pitchers in this game. The Reds have scored 22 in two games against Milwaukee. Welcome back to 1999.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: One of the few pitchers duels of the night. And should’ve been lower scoring than it was, except Drew Storen blew the save in a 1-0 game in the ninth. Yunel Escobar’s walkoff homer in the 10th, however, saved his bacon.

Yankees 5, Tigers 2: Nathan Eovaldi allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while pitching into the eighth inning. The Yankees turned four double plays behind him. Chris Young and Stephen Drew hit solo homers in the seventh.

Mets 7, Braves 1: Trevor Cahill didn’t throw strikes, got behind in counts and the Mets sat back waiting for his get-me-over pitches, which they smacked all over the dang place. This is not a repeat from, like, every Trevor Cahill start of the past couple of years. Catcher Kevin Plawecki made his debut, filling in for the injured Travis d’Arnaud. He got two hits, scored twice and threw out a runner trying to advance. That’s nine wins in a row for the Mets.

Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Wade Miley and four relievers combined on the shutout. The game’s only run came on a throwing error that should’ve been an inning-ending double play. Mookie Betts’ hard slide helped throw second baseman Ryan Brett off balance, however.

Indians 6, White Sox 2: Carlos Carrasco made his first start since being hit in the face by a comebacker. He seemed just dandy, striking out eight in five innings on a cold night. The pen took over from there, allowing only one run in four innings of work. In all, Indians pitchers struck out 15 White Sox.

Padres 7, Rockies 6: Derek Norris hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth to help the Padres complete a come-from-behind victory. Clint Barmes homered and Wil Myers had three hits and the Padres have won six of seven. They’re 10-5 overall and six of those wins have been come-from-behind jobs.

Addison Russell goes 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in debut

addison russell getty

Kris Bryant went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in his major league debut last Friday afternoon against the Padres, but he’s now batting .444 with a 1.194 OPS through 24 plate appearances. Addison Russell will be hoping for a similar type of turnaround.

Russell finished 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his Cubs debut on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, though Chicago still managed to pull out a 9-8 victory.

Russell had a pretty good RBI opportunity in the top of the eighth inning when Starlin Castro singled and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked, but the 21-year-old top prospect lined out to Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang. That was Russell’s final at-bat of the night.

Russell started at second base Tuesday and batted ninth. A bit of trivia here: The last — and only — National League position player to bat ninth in his major league debut was Mark Little of the Cardinals in 1998.