Tag: Cody Allen

Matt Boyd

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Tigers 2, Royals 1: For the second time this week the Tigers got a nice debut from one of the pieces they got in the David Price trade. Here it was Matt Boyd, who outdueled Johnny Freakin’ Cueto, allowing one run on seven hits in seven innings. This morning Peter Gammons noted that Boyd got 15 fly ball outs, three grounders, and then quoted a scout who told him that Boyd was “born to pitch in Comerica Park.” I’d say. And based on that kind of ratio we can see why pitching in Rogers Centre was basically death for him.

Red Sox 2, Yankees 1: A nice debut for Luis Severino, who struck out seven and allowed only one unearned run in five innings. But it was a nicer night for Steven Wright who allowed only one over eight while striking out nine. David Ortiz welcomed Severino to the bigs with a solo homer. He had a good day, but he’ll have better days.

Giants 6, Braves 1: Madison Bumgarner pitched into the eighth, allowed only one run and struck out nine. Kelby Tomlinson drove in three, which has to be the best ever MLB performance by a guy who sounds like the second string QB for a second-tier SEC team that liked to feature a spread offense before it was fashionable. Coach would bring in Tomlinson after LSU ran up a big lead on his boys and he’d flash a lot of moves, but so much of it was based on facing the B-team defense and taking off and running before going through all of his reads. Can’t pull that in the first quarter against Georgia next week. They’ll eat him alive.

White Sox 6, Rays 5: A walkoff walk! The second one in less than a week, in fact, as the Cardinals beat the Rockies this way last Thursday. Here it was Avisail Garcia doing the taking and Brad Boxberger doing the giving in the bottom of the tenth. Garcia is a on a roll lately. Earlier in this game he hit a three-run homer. He also went deep on Tuesday night.

Rockies 7, Mariners 5: An extra innings walkoff of a different, more exciting kind as Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer in the 11th. Nelson Cruz’s homer streak ended at five but he kept a 16-game hitting streak alive. This game took four hours and seven minutes. Or as we call it in the business, a DoubleBuehrle.

Angels 4, Indians 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but the home team won in a walkoff. This was a three-run ninth inning rally by the Angels, won on a wild pitch that scored Taylor Featherston. Just before that C.J. Cron had hit a tying two-run single with two out. Tough day at the office for Indians closer Cody Allen. In other news, Mike Trout was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is 4-for-27 in the last week. Maybe someone should ask him if he’s really healthy, because it’s not often we see the TroutUnit malfunction like this.

Three walkoffs and Mike Trout struggling is weird. It’s not Ryan Adams staying up all night and laying down an entire cover album of Taylor Swift’s “1989” in the style of The Smiths weird, but it’s weird. And in case you think I’m joking:

Orioles 7, Athletics 3: Not a walkoff as the O’s are on the road, but it was a four-run rally in the 10th inning. All four runs came courtesy of Chris Davis’ bat when he hit a grand slam off Arnold Leon. Davis, by the way, has six homers in his last nine games and moved his line up to .248/.330/.517 and is now on pace for a 42-homer, 120-RBI season. That’s the sort of year, back before anyone paid attention to on base percentage and stuff like that, which really impressed awards voters. It’s nothing of the sort this year, but it’s a nice bounceback season for a guy who had only 26 homers and 72 RBI all last year, both numbers he has already surpassed.

Diamondbacks 11, Nationals 4: The Nats lose their fifth of six games and ended up putting their utility guy, Tyler Moore, on the mound. Totally the kind of game you want to have less than a week after you traded for a bigtime closer. For Arizona, Wellington Castillo hit a three-run homer and Paul Goldschmidt, Ender Inciarte and A.J. Pollock each got three hits in the Nats’ 17-hit attack. Goldschmidt did get retired by Moore, though, so he was kinda humbled.

Dodgers 4, Phillies 3: Brett Anderson allowed one run in six innings and Yasiel Puig hit a three-run home run as the Dodgers won for the fifth time in six games, cooling off the Phillies. Jeff Francoeur homered, though, because you can’t keep a good man down.

Pirates 7, Cubs 5: Gregory Polanco and Andrew McCutchen homered and the Cubs’ six-game winning streak ended. Dan Haren gave up both of the bombs. I said when he was traded away from Miami that homers, already a problem for him but somewhat minimized by his old home park, would become a problem. Get ready to watch the homer odometer roll on him now that he’s a Cub.

Blue Jays 9, Twins 7: The fourth win in a row for the Jays, this with the help of a grand slam from some guy I’ve never heard of. Just a sort of nobody. Forgetting his name. One sec, let me go back and check the box score. “Jose Bautista.” No clue. Any ideas, anyone?

Cardinals 4, Reds 3: More extra inning heroics, this from Randal Grichuk who hit a homer in the 13th inning. The Reds lead this one 3-0 into the sixth but the Cards chipped back with Matt Carpenter tying it in the eighth with a solo shot. Cardinals relievers blanked the Reds for the final eight innings of the game.

Mets 8, Marlins 6: New York keeps rolling, winning their sixth in a row and extending their lead in the NL East to two games. They had to work for this one, holding off the Marlins who rallied for six runs in the ninth. Not the best night when you enter the ninth with an 8-0 lead and you actually see the other guys bring the potential winning run to the plate. Before that messiness, however, Juan Uribe hit a three-run homer, Lucas Duda drove in three and Matt Harvey tossed seven shutout innings. Bullpen probably bought dinner for everyone later.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: The Rangers sweep the first place Astros. This despite the fact that they walked eight Houston hitters and hit another one with a pitch. The Astros’ first inning defense was clownshoes, however, with Scott Kazmir allowing a runner on with an error and Hank Conger committing a throwing error on what would’ve been a sacrifice. It was 4-0 after the second inning and after that Nick Martinez and the bullpen — well, most of the bullpen — did a nice job.

Brewers 8, Padres 5: Taylor Jungmann struck out eight, scattered six hits and didn’t walk anyone. Jonathan Lucroy, Shane Peterson and Jean Segura each drove in two runs. Philosophical question: is this the most meaningless series of the season? I realize there are worse teams, but could this be the most meaningless? I guess Milwaukee is close enough to 30th in MLB to where there could be draft implications, so maybe, say, a Rockies-A’s series is less meaningful. But this has to be up there.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Walkoff Balk

Dodgers 1, Rangers 0: One run in the game and it came via a walkoff balk. It was caused by pinch runner Enrique Hernandez faking out Rangers reliever Keone Kela, making him think he was pulling a straight steal of home. No need to steal a base, I guess, when the pitcher is gonna give it to you. A no-decision for Zack Greinke despite seven shutout innings. He’s 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his past eight starts. That takes some serious doing.

Yankees 9, Marlins 4: Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put up eight runs over the next three innings, thanks in part to Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran each hitting two-run homers.  A-Rod had two hits and an RBI and now stands one hit away from 3,000. He was cheered wildly throughout the game. He had one more plate appearance after 2,999 but Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t give him anything to hit, causing the crowd to boo and jeer Dyson. A-Rod, as things currently stands, is the most popular and, possibly, the best-loved current Yankees player. This has to drive the folks up in the press box absolutely bonkers.

Royals 3, Brewers 2: Ned Yost becomes the Royals’ all-time winningest manager and did so by beating his old employer. Behind him on the list: Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser. Which, man, baseball is weird when two of the best managers in the past couple of decades are behind a guy like Yost. Who I’m sure is a nice man, but he ain’t no Herzog or Howser. And that’s not me hating. Yost agrees:

“It’s nice, but again I don’t look at it as an individual achievement,” Yost said “First of all, I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, one. Two, this is an organizational-wide achievement and I’m proud to be part of that. Everybody is involved.”

Giants 7, Mariners 0: Ryan Vogelsong and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. He got good run support two and talked about it afterward:

“It’s always nice to have some points on the board,” said Vogelsong,

“Runs,” Ryan. We call them “runs” in baseball.

Blue Jays 7, Mets 1: The battle of the ancients, with R.A. Dickey facing Bartolo Colon. It was the first time in seven years that two 40-year-old+ pitchers faced off. Back in 2008 it was Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Here it was Dickey certainly getting the better of Colon, allowing one run on three hits and somehow surviving five walks.

Rays 5, Nationals 3: The loss stinks for the Nats, but the hamstring injury to Bryce Harper is way worse news. All the worse because it appeared to happen due to Harper slipping on wet grass. As for the Rays, Chris Archer has been Cy Young-worthy all year. Last night he wasn’t — he allowed three runs over five innings — but he was still good enough to get the win. Yunel Escobar notched five hits.

Indians 4, Cubs 3: Giovanny Urshela drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Terry Francona got creative with the pen, using Cody Allen to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning following a rain delay. Imagine: using your best reliever in the toughest spot your club might face all game long.

Phillies 2, Orioles 1: Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth, which represented the first time the Phillies held a lead in the whole series. And the lead held up, allowing Philly to snap their nine-game losing streak. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Twins 2, Cardinals 1: Kennys Vargas hit a walkoff solo shot an inning after Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to tie it. That was the first time in 35 games that the Cardinals lost when leading after seven. And the first time in 25 games the Twins won when trailing after seven. The baseball season is long. Everything happens eventually.

Astros 8, Rockies 4: Houston is the first team to 40 wins in the American League, just as everyone expected. Domingo Santana hit a three run homer to put this one out of reach late. He was just called up this week. The Astros don’t lack for reinforcements from the minors, do they?

Padres 3, Athletics 1: For the first time since 2006 someone besides Bud Black notches a win as manager of the Padres, with interim manager Pat Murphy finally getting a W. The last guy to do it was Bruce Bochy. Well, maybe there was some fill-in manager at some point over the years because Bud Black, I dunno, had his wisdom teeth out or something, but you get the idea. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris each went deep.

Angels 7, Diamondbacks 1: C.J. Wilson struck out nine over eight scoreless innings while allowing only one run and not walking a batter. He also did this:


Kind of funny? Also kind of the thing Mike Scioscia should really yell at Wilson for doing because, jeez, dude, he’s a pitcher.

Red Sox 5, Braves 2: The Red Sox split with the Braves, thanks to Clay Buchholz allowing only two runs — neither earned — in seven innings of work. He also had a tough, 10-pitch at bat against his counterpart, Shelby Miller, which caused Miller to have to throw a lot more pitches than he would have otherwise and which Miller said was his toughest out of the game. The next inning Miller was touched for three runs.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Gerrit Cole continues to make a case for the Cy Young Award, winning his 11th game and allowing only two runs over seven innings. His ERA actually went up from 1.71 to 1.78 after this game.

Tigers vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Send us a blindfold, send us a blade

Tell the survivors help is on the way

I was a blindfold, never complained
All the survivors singing in the rain
I was the one with the world at my feet

Got us a battle, leave it up to me

Corey Kluber strikes out 18 batters over eight scoreless innings against the Cardinals

corey kluber getty

Some history happened Wednesday in Cleveland.

Indians right-hander Corey Kluber struck out 18 batters, walked none, and yielded just one hit over eight scoreless innings as the Tribe beat the visiting Cardinals by a score of 2-0. The first (and only) hit for St. Louis came in the top of the seventh inning, when Jhonny Peralta singled up the middle. Kluber was pulled before the ninth with a pitch count of 113.

Cody Allen finished the shutout with a perfect ninth.

Kluber entered play Wednesday with a 5.04 season ERA, but it was only a matter of time before the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner got going. Some notes on his outing …

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


[I slept late, so I’m letting Reds manager Brian Price do the first recap]

Reds 6, Brewers 1: Anthony Desclafani’s shut down every f****** Brewer he faced, it f****** seemed, tossing eight f****** shutout innings.  He allowed only two f****** hits and now has a f****** scoreless innings streak of fifteen f****** innings. Zach Cosart hit a three run homer on a pitch from Wily Peralta that was, to be candid with you, a vulgar term for feces (both bovine and equine).

White Sox 4, Indians 3: Down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth, the White Sox had to face Cody Allen. Not a problem.

wild pitch
two-run double
RBI single
RBI single

I didn’t see Terry Francona’s postgame comments, but he’d be excused if he let Brian Price draft his remarks for him. What a f****** day for Ohio baseball.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 1: It was a day not fit for man nor beast in Boston, but it was Patriot’s Day, and that’s a big deal so they were gonna get this game in regardless, it seemed. As it was, the Orioles made three errors that led to five unearned Red Sox runs. Not that the unearned runs weren’t, as it were, earned by O’s pitcher Wei-Yin Chen: he walked four dudes and made an error in the Sox’ big inning. After that it was all about dodging raindrops and waiting for the umps to call the game. Which they did in the seventh.

Tigers 2, Yankees 1: Down 1-0, J.D. Martinez and Yoenis Cespedes hit back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh to put the Tigers over. A nice outing from CC Sabathia — encouraging and efficient, even in a loss — but a better one from Alfredo Simon. The Tigers have been getting great pitching from Simon, Shane Greene and David Price.

Cubs 5, Pirates 2: Kris Bryant was 3-for-4 with three RBI, including this double plus (and doubleplus) error and misplay that I’m choosing to count as a home run, because Little League is the best. Bryant is 6-for-14 with a double and four RBI in the four games he’s played since being called up.

Royals 7, Twins 1: Edinson Volquez allowed five hits and a walk while striking out five in seven innings, allowing only one run. Kyle Gibson allowed four runs — three earned — in five innings and didn’t strike out a single batter. Indeed, he’s struck out only 5.2 batters per nine innings in his career, which is insanely bad in this strikeout-happy era.

Padres 14, Rockies 3: Ah, it’s great to be back in Denver. The Padres unleashed a 17-hit attack in which they put up nine runs in the first two innings. Matt Kemp had three hits and four RBI. Odrismar Despaigne allowed only two runs in six and two-thirds and got his first career hit. After the game, he revealed that his fellow Padres pitchers told him they’d take him out shopping for new clothes today if he got a hit in Coors Field, so good for him. The Padres have won 5 of 6.

Athletics 6, Angels 3Stephen Vogt hit a three-run homer and Dan Otero pitched four shutout innings in relief after starter Kendall Graveman couldn’t get it together in three frustrating innings.

Astros 7, Mariners 5: Luis Valbuena is on fire. He hit two homers — solo shots in the first and eighth, giving the Astros the lead both times — and has five over his past seven games. Six of the Astros’ nine hits were for extra bases.

2015 Preview: Cleveland Indians

Terry Francona

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Cleveland Indians.

The Big Question: Are the Indians trending up or down entering Terry Francona’s third year as manager?

After winning 92 games and a Wild Card spot in 2013 the Indians dropped to 85 wins last season, missing the playoffs by three games. Their division rivals all had very busy offseasons, but the Indians basically stood pat. First baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss was their lone big addition (Gavin Floyd too, but he’s already out for the year) and there were no notable departures, so Chris Antonetti, Mark Shapiro, and the Indians’ front office clearly believes last year’s team was capable of more and can take a step forward with better health and perhaps some help from prospects.

That’s definitely a reasonable approach, although it’s worth noting that the Indians declined by seven games last season and went just 85-77 despite a breakout, Cy Young-winning year from right-hander Corey Kluber and a breakout, MVP-caliber year from outfielder Michael Brantley. They got two spectacular performances from previously unspectacular players … and still barely finished above .500. So what happens if Kluber and/or Brantley come back down to earth a bit in 2015?

Fortunately for the Indians they have lots of under-30 talent with the upside to make up for any Kluber/Brantley-related declines. Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar, and Trevor Bauer all have the potential to emerge as impact, high-strikeout starters and Carrasco already showed signs of doing so last year. Even after losing Floyd before he ever threw a pitch for them the Indians have quality, albeit largely untested rotation depth behind Kluber.

First baseman Carlos Santana’s overall numbers were plenty good–including 27 homers and a league-high 113 walks–but once he got on track following an absolutely brutal season-opening stretch that left him with a .150 batting average after six weeks he posted a .900 OPS for the final four months. Santana is one of the best switch-hitters in baseball, with 30-homer power and 100-walk patience.

Jason Kipnis had a breakout 2013, hitting .284 with 17 homers, 30 steals, and an .818 OPS to rank among the league’s best all-around players, and then signed a $52.5 million contract extension. He followed it up with a miserable 2014, struggling through injuries while hitting just .240 with six homers and a .640 OPS. His age and skill set suggest he should bounce back in a big way if healthy.

And by midseason the Indians may get a boost from stud prospect Francisco Lindor, a 21-year-old switch-hitting shortstop who ranks as a top-10 prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus. Even if Kluber and Brantley take a step backward this season the Indians have the other pieces in place to be a contender and if Kluber and Brantley come anywhere close to repeating their 2014 performances Cleveland is a few breaks from rising as high as the best team in the league.

What else is going on?

  • I didn’t mention catcher Yan Gomes above, because I don’t think he has a ton of further upside at age 27. But he doesn’t need it, because he’s already one of the league’s best catchers. Gomes was acquired for pennies on the dollar from the Blue Jays before 2013 and has hit .284 with 32 homers, 45 doubles, and an .801 OPS in 223 games for the Indians. Among all MLB catchers during that time only Buster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy have a higher OPS and Gomes also has a high throw-out rate plus good pitch-framing numbers. He’s a stud.
  • Right-hander Cody Allen is a prime example of why the mystique and aura often attached to the closer role is so over the top. As a setup man in 2013 he threw 70 innings with an 88/26 K/BB ratio. As a closer in 2014 he threw 69 innings with a 91/26 K/BB ratio. Basically identical performance, except he pitches the ninth inning now instead of the eighth inning. And he’s one of the league’s top closers.
  • Brandon Moss was a mess down the stretch for the A’s last year and it was later revealed he played through a torn hip labrum. That’s never a positive thing, but he’s looked good this spring and Moss had 21 homers with an .878 OPS in the first half last year after topping an .850 OPS in 2012 and 2013. It’s tough to count on Nick Swisher for much of anything at this point, but Moss adds another big bat.
  • Cleveland is going for a third straight winning season for the first time since way back in 2001, when the Indians were the kings of the AL Central and won their sixth division title in the span of seven seasons. Their Opening Day starter that season? Bartolo Colon, who 13 years later will be the Mets’ Opening Day starter this season.

Prediction: Neck and neck with the Tigers all season and a Wild Card spot if they fall short in the division.