Chicago Cubs

Maikel Franco

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 11, Yankees 8: A bright spot for the Phillies in this otherwise dark year: Maikel Franco. A prospect who’s actually young (22) and not just young for the Phillies. A prospect who’s good and not just good for the Phillies. And, last night, a prospect who broke the hell out, going 4-for-5 with two homers and five driven in. He also did this:

 

Franco is hitting .312/.353/.574 with nine homers and 24 driven in in his 36 games. One of the great things about baseball: even when things are at their worst, there is the chance to see hope for the future.

Royals 4, Mariners 1: Have you ever said a nonsense sentence just for the sake of hearing it and for the sake of thinking “no one in the history of the world has EVER said this”?  I do that sometimes. Like, I’ll just be driving down the road and I’ll say something like “Don’t ride your bicycle into the paella, Marie Curie, for there are Bigfoots in it!” Really, in a thousand years of English, no one has EVER said that. It’s a neat and nerdy little game to play! Here, let’s do another one: “Joe Blanton outdueled Felix Hernandez.”

Angels 4, Astros 3: Yet another guy with two homers last night: Albert Pujols. Who now has 23 on the year — on pace for 52 — and a line of .275/.336/.581. Report/death/exaggerated. The fireworks notwithstanding, the Erick Aybar and Angels scored the go-ahead run on a safety squeeze. But man, Aybar probably should’ve been out. Watch the play and ask yourself what in the hell Chris Carter is doing throwing a shovel pass home like this:

 

Fielding is fundamental.

 

Tigers 8, Indians 5: The Tigers own the Indians, particularly at Progressive Field. Ownership continued last night, with Yoenis Cespedes homering and driving in three. Miguel Cabrera singled twice and walked twice, once with the bases loaded. He’s 24-for-37 with five homers and 16 RBI against the Indians this year.

Blue Jays 8, Rays 5: Drew Hutchison wasn’t great — three runs and nine hits over five innings — but it was enough on a night when he got some good run support. Asdrubal Cabrera had an interesting night too, tossing his bat and helmet out on the field after getting ejected. Which were then confiscated by Joe West for some reason. Which is not a thing I’ve ever seen, but it’s Joe West and he’s his own man.

 

Oh, and at one point in this game some of the lights in Tropicana Field went out for no reason. Because Tropicana Field.

Twins 13, White Sox 2: Kennys Vargas went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBI and Byron Buxton had three hits and scored three times hitting at the top of the order as God and Gleeman intended. Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier homered too, as the Twins romped.

Cubs 4, Dodgers 2: Two homers for Kris Bryant, one of which came off of a Clayton Kershaw curve ball. Six Cubs pitchers combined to stymie the Dodgers.

 

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Tigers celebrate
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Tigers 12, Yankees 4: J.D. Martinez hit three bombs. His fly ball in his last at bat fell short or else he would’ve had four, which we in the business call “pulling a Whitten.” Actually, that’s a lie. I’m the only one in the business who calls it a “pulling a Whitten,” but I am trying hard to make that happen. I figure if that dumb car commercial can call a control pitcher “a Rembrandt,” I can make “pulling a Whitten” happen.

Orioles 13, Blue Jays 9: Like Brunelleschi or Masolino da Panicale or whoever it was giving the world of art single-point perspective and dragging everyone into the Renaissance, the Orioles’ and Jays’ offenses are going to single-handedly pull us out of that mini-deadball era we’ve been experiencing. The O’s had 16 hits including Jimmy Paredes’ three-run homer and Chris Davis’ solo homer.

White Sox 3, Rangers 2: Gordon Beckham hit a walk-off solo home run on Father’s Day. He also had a walkoff hit on Mother’s Day. The White Sox play the Twins at home on September 13, which is Grandparents Day. Place your bets accordingly.

Indians 1, Rays 0: Compared to that walkoff balk in the Dodgers game on Thursday night, David Murphy’ walkoff sac fly was some pretty insane action. Cody Anderson pitched shutout ball into the eighth before that.

Reds 5, Marlins 2: Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce each hit two-run homers. Frazier has hit five homers in five days. Aroldis Chapman got out of a heck of a jam in the ninth, which he created himself, having loaded the bases while trying for an easy three-run lead save. But then he struck out Donovan SolanoDee Gordon and Derek Dietrich with 102, 101 and 103 MPH heat, respectively. It’s like he needed to give himself a difficulty to all of this.

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Braves 1, Mets 0: The good Julio Teheran showed up, shutting out the Mets for seven and outdueling Matt Harvey. The Braves also bested the giant and went in with a Sicilian with death on the line to complete the three-game sweep. Next up: they get into a land war in Asia and win.

Nationals 9, Pirates 2: A day after you get no-hit you have the other guys put up a nine-spot on you in the first inning. It’s like two games in a row that you didn’t even need to bother playing, really. And that’s before you mention that Gio Gonzalez shut the Pirates out for seven innings. Just a bad couple of days at the office for the men in black.

Phillies 9, Cardinals 2: Adam Morgan made his big league debut and ended up out-pitching Michael Wacha by a good margin. This after being 0-6 at Triple-A. This was the first game won by a Philly starter since May 23. Andres Blanco homered while Ben Revere and Maikel Franco each got three hits.

Red Sox 13, Royals 2: David Ortiz hit a monster homer which put him past Stan Musial and Willie Stargell on the all-time list. Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts went yard as well. Betts doubled and tripled as well in an all-around hit parade.

Cubs 8, Twins 0: Jake Arrieta pitched a four-hit, seven strikeout shutout. Like a real one. Not a “shut the ___ out of ___ innings.” He went all nine, which is a thing one needs to specify in this age. The game was already out of hand when Dexter Fowler hit a grand slam in the eighth, but Dexter Fowler still hit a grand slam in the eighth.

Athletics 3, Angels 2: Scott Kazmir gave up one run in seven and a third. There was a 5:14 replay review here, and that’s kind of special.

Astros 6, Mariners 2: Colby Rasmus and George Springer each homered and six relievers managed to hold the Mariners to two runs in what was a bullpen game for Houston. In regards to that Arrieta comment, part of me fears that the future of baseball holds way more bullpen games. Like it will become a standard thing teams do, not just when they’re down a starter or something, possibly even being a rotation spot in and of itself. Which, even if it makes tactical sense, would be a bummer if, like me, you are really a starting pitching kind of guy.

Rockies 10, Brewers 4: Charlie Blackmon drove in four and Troy Tulowitzki knocked in three. Nick Hundley had four hits. Tulowitzki has reached in 21 straight games and is hitting .368/.419/.529 in the month of June.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 2: The Dbacks scored seven runs in the second but only three of them were earned. The came in part due to two San Diego errors, two walks and a hit batter, and A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt each singled home two.

Dodgers 10, Giants 2 : Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit each got beat up for five runs. Yasmani Grandal hit two homer. Jacob Justin Turner drove in three. Also: this was the ninth out of 15 games yesterday in which the losing team scored two runs. This is important. This means something.

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Cubs option Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A

Kyle Schwarber
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The Cubs optioned prospect Kyle Schwarber to Triple-A Iowa following Sunday’s 8-0 win against the Twins. Schwarber went 1-for-4 with a walk and a two-run single. He finishes his first stint in the major leagues with eight hits, including a triple and a home run, and six RBI in 23 plate appearances.

As the Cubs played two consecutive interleague series on the road, they promoted Schwarber to serve as the team’s DH with the intent of sending him back to the minors.

Schwarber, 22, was taken in the first round (fourth overall) in the 2014 draft and entered the season as one of baseball’s best prospects, drawing a #14 overall rank from Baseball America. Prior to his promotion, he had been hitting .320/.438/.579 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI in 243 PA with Double-A Tennessee.