Released by the Reds last week, veteran reliever Kevin Gregg has signed a minor-league deal with the Mariners.
Gregg was horrible for the Reds and also horrible for the Marlins last season, allowing 22 runs in 19.2 innings since the beginning of 2014.
He’s also 37 years old and wasn’t particularly great to begin with, but teams have always seemed to like Gregg more than his mediocre performance would suggest. That’s how he’s racked up 177 career saves despite a 4.24 ERA and why he keeps getting chances despite posting a sub-4.25 ERA just twice since 2009.
Nationals 8, Yankees 6: Down by four after four and a half innings, the Nats chipped back and then won the whole dang thing on a Ryan Zimmerman two-run walkoff homer in the tenth inning. Bryce Harper homered too. It was his 15th, which leads the NL. Washington is now 13-4 in May and are tied for first place in the NL East. So much for all of that April hand-wringing.
Cardinals 10, Mets 2: Not gonna say that this was a laugher, but Cardinals lefty specialist Randy Choate actually had a plate appearance here. Drew a walk! The guy has played for 15 years. This was just his sixth plate appearance ever — his first since 2004 — and the first time he has ever reached base. I wonder if anyone gave him a GPS in order to find first. Randy Grichuk drove in three and every Cardinals starter had a hit except for Matt Holliday.
Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 2: A.J. Pollock hit a pinch-hit, tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth. The righty Pollock hit it off of lefty Mike Dunn. Chip Hale said after the game that Pollock would not have been used as a pinch hitter if the Marlins had a righty up in the pen, ready to bring in to face Pollock:
“We were watching the pen real carefully and there was no righty up at the time,” Hale said. “That was the only way I was going to use him for Peralta. If there had been a righty up I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
After the game, new Marlins manager Dan Jennings said that he had his lefty face Pollock because he “went with the gut feeling.” That gut, at that point in time, had less than two full games’ managerial experience in it.
Twins 8, Pirates 5: A lot of weird things here. Like, in the second, Joe Mauer came up with the bases loaded and poked a single through the left side. Just a weak rolling grounder hit the opposite way. And it cleared the dang bases:
Clint Hurdle’s comments about that play after the game were harsh, but fair:
Oh, and Pedro Alvarez hit a home run into the Allegheny River on the fly. And it landed in a boat. For real:
Angels 3, Blue Jays 2: Hector Santiago has started eight games this year. In six of them, this one included, he has allowed one earned run or fewer. Not too shabby. Especially given how well the Blue Jays have hit left-handers this year.
Brewers 8, Tigers 1: Six runs in the third inning for the Brewers, thanks in part to back-to-back-to-back homers from Ryan Braun, Adam Lind and Aramis Ramirez. Note: you can hit back-to-back-to-back homers, but three guys can’t stand back-to-back-to-back. Physically impossible. Baseball is a funny game.
Orioles 9, Mariners 4: Jimmy Paredes homered and drove in four. Paredes has reached base in 20 straight games. His big game came at a good time too, as last year’s DH, Nelson Cruz, was in town. He homered, but the local fans had no reason to long for him last night.
Red Sox 4, Rangers 3: The otherwise slumping Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI. David Ortiz homered too and Wade Miley pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K), which hasn’t happened too often lately.
Indians 3, White Sox 1: Trevor Bauer snapped the White Sox’ winning streak by pitching one-run ball into the eighth and striking out seven. He has made three starts against Chicago this year and has owned them completely.
Royals 3, Reds 0: Yordano Ventura, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis combined for a four-hit shutout. This after the Royals shut out their last opponent, the Yankees, on Sunday. Johnny Cueto took the loss and is now 3-4. He has received a total of two runs of support in those four losses. He’s probably going to be dealt at the deadline. I’m guessing he can’t wait.
Astros 6, Athletics 4: Chris Carter and Colby Rasmus each hit two-run homers. Houston has the best record in the American League and Oakland has lost five of six.
Rockies 6, Phillies 5: Philly’s six-game winning streak is over, as Nick Hundley hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth. The Rockies, despite the win, struck out ten times. That’s the seventh straight game in which they’ve done that. According to the gamer, that’s one shy of the record, currently held by the 2011 San Diego Padres.
Padres 4, Cubs 3: James Shields got a no-decision, but he struck out 11 while allowing two runs in seven innings, outdueling Jason Hammel. Derek Norris hit a two-run double in the eighth to break a tie. Former University of San Diego player Kris Bryant made his return to town and went 1-for4.
Giants 2, Dodgers 0: Six and a third shutout innings for Tim Hudson as the Giants win their fourth in a row. They’re three and a half back in the west. Which is fairly interesting.
Video: Santiago Casilla gets the save with an “immaculate inning”
An immaculate inning is when a pitcher gets all three outs in an inning via strikeout on nine pitches, all strikes. Giants closer Casilla accomplished the feat to wrap up Sunday afternoon’s 9-8 victory over the Reds.
Immaculate innings only happen a handful of times every season. Mike Fiers is the only other pitcher to have done it so far this year. In 2014, Brad Boxberger, Cole Hamels, Justin Masterson, Garrett Richards, Rex Brothers, and Brandon McCarthy performed the task.
Casilla struck out Marlon Byrd, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce. Check it out here:
Billy Hamilton hit leadoff in all 136 of his starts last season and he had again served as the Reds’ leadoff man in his first 33 starts this season. But that will change in Sunday’s series finale against the Giants.
Hamilton, who’s carrying a .212 batting average and .264 on-base percentage through his first 151 plate appearances this year, has been dumped to the eighth spot in the Reds’ batting order. It’ll be his first time hitting there in his young major league career.
“I just thought it made sense to take a look at getting some of our higher on-base guys at the top of the order,” Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “Just try to get some guys on base for the middle of the order guys and take a little bit of the load off. There’s this whole thing we’re always saying with Billy, ‘You go, we go.’ It really shouldn’t be that way — when we’re going, it’s because we’re all going. Because we’re all doing what we need to be doing collectively well. I think it’d be really nice to have Billy doing some things down at the bottom, maybe helping set the table for the top of the order.”
Zack Cozart is at leadoff and Brayan Pena is batting second on Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati.
Sean Marshall has been limited to just 31 appearances in the majors since 2013 due to shoulder issues and now the southpaw needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and will be performed by Dr. David Altheck.
Marshall, 32, made 15 appearances last season before undergoing surgery in June to repair a torn labrum. The hope was that he would be ready to contribute this season, but he had a setback with his throwing program early on during spring training. Shoulders are tricky and rehabbing from capsule surgery is a rough road, so his future is very much in question.
Marshall struggled as a starter early on in his career with the Cubs, but he soon emerged as one of the game’s best relievers, posting a 2.44 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 247 appearances from 2010-2013. The Reds committed $16.5 million to him from 2013-2015, which looked like a reasonable deal at the time, but his situation is a reminder that giving a lucrative multi-year contract to a reliever is risky business.