Chicago White Sox

Zack Greinke

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 1, Reds 0: A win for the Dodgers but a costly one as both Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig left with injuries. Gonzalez’s is minor and he says he’ll play tonight. Puig says his hamstring is worse now than his original strain, so it’s not unreasonable to think he’s done for the year. But at least they have Zack Greinke, who tossed seven shutout innings and lowered his ERA to 1.61. If the season ended today that would be the fifth lowest ERA in the live-ball era.

Angels 2, Tigers 0: As everyone expected, a pitchers duel between Matt Shoemaker and Randy Wolf. Shoemaker was scoreless into the eighth, tossing one-hit ball. The game story notes that Shoemaker is from just south of Detroit and he was happy to pitch in front of family and friends. So just like Jerome Bettis. In case you were unaware. Also: the Harbaughs are brothers.

Rangers 4, Blue Jays 1: The Blue Jays are finally cooled off. Yovani Gallardo was scoreless into the sixth and picked up his 100th career win. Delino DeShields walked three times, scored twice and had two hits, including a single on which he totally rounded the bases because Jose Bautista let the ball roll under his glove and all the way to the wall.

Royals 5, Orioles 3: Yordano Ventura struck out 11 in six innings. He’s 5-0 in his last seven starts. Not bad for a guy who was demoted in he middle of the year. The bullpen this time was not as impressive — Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland each got beat up a bit — but K.C. held on. Costly loss for the O’s too, as Adam Jones ran into the wall and had to leave the game. He doesn’t leave games often. I think he once played three innings after a gator bit is dang leg off.

Giants 9, Cubs 1: If you think Ventura was overpowering I’ll raise you a Madison Bumgarner, who struck out 12 in six innings. And he did this:

 

Also, Kelby Tomlinson hit a grand slam. Which has to be a joke because there is no way someone named Kelby Tomlinson is not a backup quarterback for an SEC team. More of a runner than a thrower, but coach is trying to get him to stay in the pocket more to keep the defense honest.

Nationals 4, Padres 2Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman homered, and starter Joe Ross allowed only one hit. That’s good! Meanwhile, Yunel Escobar, Michael Taylor and Denard Span are all sidelined by injuries now. That’s bad! So bad it’s inspiring some Nats fans to be less-than-optimistic:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsGonna be a long winter in Washington if they don’t mount some crazy rally in September.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: The Mets are 18-6 in August. They’re getting outs with crazy plays. They’re starting rallies with relief pitchers getting hits. They’re watching Daniel Murphy be a hero. They’re making Jeff Francoeur pout a little:

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Hard to script this any better if you’re a Mets fan.

Pirates 2, Marlins 1: Gerrit Cole allowed one run into the eighth and the Pirates take three of four. Pedro Alvarez homered and Francisco Cervelli tripled and scored.

Rays 5, Twins 4: The Twins’ six-game winning streak is snapped. Rays relievers Brandon Gomes, Alex Colome and Brad Boxberger combined for four and two-thirds scoreless innings. The Twins fall just behind Texas for the second wild card.

White Sox 4, Mariners 2: Adam Eaton had three hits and scored three runs and Carlos Rodon took a shutout into the seventh. More importantly, the White Sox looked like this:

source:

 

If Rafael Soriano played for the 1976 White Sox, what would he do to celebrate each save? Tuck IN his shirt?

Cardinals 5, Diamondbacks 3: Seth Maness got came into the game with the bases loaded in the eighth and no one out, the Cardinals clinging to a two run lead. He got two strikeouts and induced a groundout, threat over. The Cards just aren’t fair sometimes.

Jose Fernandez could return to Marlins within two weeks after “wow” bullpen session

Jose Fernandez
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Jose Fernandez threw a bullpen session today for the first time since going on the disabled list with a strained biceps muscle and it went so well that the Marlins are now hoping he can rejoin the rotation within two weeks.

General manager-turned manager Dan Jennings was full of optimism after Fernandez threw 30 pitches, telling Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald:

I think it went something like, wow. I talked to [trainer Sean Cunningham], and he said it was very impressive. He said he’s right on track, looks good, jumped out of his hand. So we’ll start to build that up now.

Jennings also told Spencer that another bullpen session followed by a simulated game will likely be needed before Fernandez is cleared to return, so “somewhere early to mid-September is probably a realistic target date.”

Fernandez missed much of the season recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, debuting on July 2. The bad news is that he made just seven starts before going back on the disabled list. The good news is that it appears to be a minor injury and he looked every bit like his dominant, pre-surgery self before the DL stint, going 4-0 with a 2.30 ERA and 53/10 K/BB ratio in 43 innings.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Justin Verlander
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Tigers 5, Angels 0: How Justin Got His Groove Back. Verlander, that is, who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and ended up with a complete game, one-hit shutout. Back when I profiled Verlander here at HBT he was struggling mightily. In his last four starts he has given up one earned run in 29 innings. In six of his last seven starts he has given up either zero or one earned run. It’s too late to save the Tigers’ season, but there is no real path back to respectability and competitiveness for the Tigers without Justin Verlander pitching like an ace. To see him doing it once again has got to be encouraging.

Astros 6, Yankees 2: Two homers for Gattis as the Astros take the series. They now have one more win than they had all of last year. And, indeed, more wins with a month and change to play in 2015 than they had in any season dating back to 2010.

Mariners 8, Athletics 2: Felix Hernandez has had a pretty miserable August but he won his 15th here after allowing two runs in eight innings. Then again, he always seems to dominate the A’s. Nelson Cruz drove in three. He leads the league in homers is 39 and is only a few points behind Jason Kipnis for the batting title. The RBI title is probably a stretch for him — he can blame teammates for not being on base too much for that — but it’ll be hilarious if he wins 2/3 of the Triple Crown and finishes, like, fifth or sixth in the MVP voting.

Padres 6, Nationals 5: Justin Upton homered twice. He’s on pace for a 28 homer, 90 RBI season with a less-than-amazing average and a lowish OBP for a guy who is the biggest threat in lineup. In other words: the Platonic ideal of a Justin Upton season. The Nats are now 6.5 back of the Mets. It’s getting late boys.

Mets 9, Phillies 4: Seven scoreless innings from Bartolo Colon and a nice night from Michael Cuddyer, including a moon shot homer. The Mets have won eight straight over the Phillies, 11 of their last 12 against them this year and 23 of 28 against them over the past couple of seasons. Time to change the Wikipedia page from “Owner: Phillies limited partnership (John S. Middleton, Jim & Pete Buck,David Montgomery, Pat Gillick)” to “New York Mets.”

Indians 6, Brewers 2: Just glancing at “Indians Brewers” I got a shot of nostalgia for the old American League East. Oh well. Jason Kipnis homered and drove in three. Toby Harrah, Andre Thornton, Ben Oglivie and Don Money were unavailable for comment.

Rockies 6, Braves 3: Braves: you are only four games ahead of the Phillies, who are dead last in Major League Baseball. I would never advocate tanking for a draft pick, but I’m not gonna advocate NOT tanking for a draft pick either. Now, I’m gonna leave these suggested lineups and strategies on the table. Then I’m gonna leave the room. Whatever you do with them is your business and I don’t even want to know. Just know that they’re there and that whatever it is you decide to do, I will still love and respect you. Godspeed.

Dodgers 7, Reds 4: Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig homered during a five-run fourth inning and the Dodgers’ bullpen slipped out of jams. From the game story:

Even though the Dodgers’ bullpen went into the game with the 13th-worst combined ERA in the National League, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t think it’s that bad.

“Things are never as bad as they seem or as good as they seem,” Mattingly said.

That’s pretty zen for a guy from Indiana.

Pirates 7, Marlins 2: Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in four. In April he hit .194 and his OPS was .636. OPS by month since then: .985, .933, .914, 1.088. Bryce Harper has had the better overall year and he has the age advantage, but at the moment McCutchen is the best all-around player in the National League and it ain’t even close, regardless of what he did in April.

Twins 5, Rays 3: Two homers for Eduardo Escobar as the Twins win again. If the season ended today they’d be the second wild card team, which is pretty wild. So much of this is attributable to young guys coming up and playing great right out of the gate, but you have to figure Paul Molitor wins Manager of the Year, right?

Blue Jays 12, Rangers 4: Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam. He has a 21-game hitting streak now. David Price allowed two runs over six innings for his 13th win. Price is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA with a 41/7 K/BB ratio in 36 and a third innings since being traded to Toronto.

Red Sox 3, White Sox 0: Sox win. Rick Porcello returned and tossed seven shutout innings, outdueling Chris Sale. You’ve got serious problems to begin with if you bet on baseball, but if you did bet on baseball last night I imagine taking the White Sox over Boston given that matchup looked pretty enticing. Thoughts, prayers to my degenerate gambler friends.

Orioles 8, Royals 5: Wow, the Orioles scored some runs. I had forgotten they could do that. After scoring 15 runs in their past six games, all losses, they broke out big here with two-run homers from Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop. Schoop’s may still be flying. It was beeping like Sputnik and entered orbit just slightly lower.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 1: John Lackey allowed a run on seven hits and struck out four. His defense turned three double plays behind him, continuing what they did against Arizona on Tuesday night.

Giants 4, Cubs 2: Jake Peavy and the Giants end the Cubs’ six-game winning streak. Nori Aoki hit a homer as the Giants arrest a slide and win for the second time in seven games. The Dodgers can be had. The Giants have blown their chances to get ’em so far. But they could do it.

Cubs sign Emilio Bonifacio to minor league contract

Emilio Bonifacio
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From beat writer Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com

Bonifacio was pushed off the 40-man roster of the crosstown White Sox on August 16 after batting just .167/.198/.192 with one stolen base in 47 games. He stole 26 bases in 110 games last season between the Cubs and Braves. Look for the Northsiders to use him in a utility and pinch-running role in September.

The 30-year-old Bonifacio will report to the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa for now.

Chris Sale notches his 12th double-digit strikeout game of the season

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 21:  Starting pitcher Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning at Safeco Field on August 21, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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White Sox ace Chris Sale is a strikeout machine. After fanning 15 batters against the Cubs last Sunday, the southpaw struck out 14 batters over seven innings last night as part of an 11-4 win over the Mariners.

Sale held the Mariners scoreless over the first six innings before giving up a three-run homer to Mark Trumbo in the seventh. It was the lone blemish in another dominating outing. He allowed just four hits and one walk while amassing 22 swinging strikes.

Sale now has 12 double-digit strikeout games in his 24 starts this season. He leads the majors with 222 strikeouts over 164 1/3 innings. He projects to get around eight more starts this season, so he still has a chance at 300 strikeouts. No pitcher has reached 300 strikeouts in a season since Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) each got there in 2002 while pitching for the Diamondbacks.