Tag: Daniel Hudson

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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Braves 9, Giants 8: Adonis Garcia with the walkoff two-run homer in the 12th inning. The Giants had a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning thanks in part to two Brandon Crawford homers and had a one run lead in the 12th but they blew it both times. This is the kind of loss that has to absolutely sting when you’re in a playoff race. The kind you look back at in October if you fall a game or two short and say “man, THAT’S the one we should’ve had.”

Mets 12, Marlins 1: Yoenis Cespedes hit three doubles and drove in four runs, and with that the Mets have sole possession of first place in the NL East. As fans of a losing NL East teams, the Phillies, Braves and Marlins people are no in the position of having to choose between rooting for the Mets or Nats to win the division. Hard choice. As far as team narrative goes it’s hard not to root for the Mets. Or, at the very least, Mets fans. At the same time Bryce Harper is my favorite player on either of these two teams so watching him go deep into the playoffs may be fun. Of course eventually personal fandom may win out and I’ll root for the meteor to hit Citi Field between October 2 and 4.

Diamondbacks 6, Nationals 4: Making it even harder to root for the Nationals in all of this is how uninspired their play has been lately. Fun fact: Matt Williams set up his rotation after the break in such a way as to make sure Max Scherzer never once faced the Mets in the six games those two teams just completed. Viva la sense of urgency. Here the Diamondbacks took a 6-0 lead into the ninth thanks to Zack Godley’s six shutout innings. Daniel Hudson made it interesting by allowing four runs in the ninth, but the comeback fell short. The Snakes smacked three homers off of Doug Fister and another off Jonathan Papelbon who was just in to get some work in what was then a blowout.

Blue Jays 5, Twins 1: David Price makes his Blue Jays debut and it goes swimmingly, with 11 strikeouts in eight innings. Between this, the Tulowitzki acquisition and the Twins falling off, I am growing convinced that the Jays are going to make the playoffs. And if they make the playoffs its a crapshoot, so they could easily make the World Series. I cover the World Series every year, so if they do I’ll have to go to Toronto. Except my passport is expired, so I have to get a new one. Thanks a lot, Blue Jays. You’re making me do paperwork.

Rangers 12, Astros 9: Adrian Beltre hit for the cycle. And he didn’t mess around, completing it by the fifth inning. I wonder if anyone has ever hit for the double cycle. As it was, Beltre’s cycle was the third of his career. He’s the first guy to do that in over 75 years. Of course, cycles have an element of weirdness to them in that, sometimes, it’s better to get one less total base or two in a given situation to keep the feat alive. Just ask Beltre, who maybe could’ve had a second triple in this one but held up at second base in the second inning. Could that have been your second triple, Adrian?

“I thought I might, but I changed my mind last second,” said Beltre, who rapidly circled both of his arms like he was trying to reverse his momentum.

Asked if he was thinking then about preserving the chance for a cycle, Beltre paused briefly before responding, “Maybe.”

I’m sure some play-the-game-the-right-way-folks are gonna grumble about that.

Rays 5, White Sox 4: Rookie Mikie Mahtook hit a two-out, ninth inning RBI single to put the Rays ahead for good in a see-saw game. Or was it a teetor-totter game? Guess it depends where you’re from. Either way, fans in the stands drank soda, not pop. Pop just sounds dumb. Don’t call it pop, people.

Padres 13, Brewers 5: Yangervis Solarte hit two homers, Jedd Gyorko had three hits including a bomb of his own and Alexi Amarista had three RBI as the Friars cruised. It was all over after a six-run seventh inning. As you may have heard, Pat Murphy, the Padres manager, managed Craig Counsell, the Brewers manager, when the latter played at Notre Dame. This is one of those neat facts that, were these two teams to play in a nationally televised playoff game would become less neat as the commentators mentioned it over and over and over again. Thankfully Milwaukee and San Diego aren’t allowing that to happen this year.

Mariners 8, Rockies 7: Nelson Cruz homered for this fourth straight game, getting to 30 on the year. Felix Hernandez allowed 11 hits in six and two-thirds but minimized the damage, allowing only four runs. Quite a feat at Coors Field. Nine strikeouts and only one walk help that.

Angels 5, Indians 4: The Angels end their six-game losing streak. This was the third time in four days the Angels faced a Cy Young winner. While they couldn’t get it done against Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, they managed Corey Kluber just fine, gathering five runs on ten hits in five and two-thirds.

Orioles 9, Athletics 2: Chris Davis hit a three-run shot and Adam Jones and Caleb Joseph hit dingers of their own as the Orioles took their eighth of ten. The Orioles are tied with Toronto so maybe I won’t have to use that passport.

Cubs vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: So girl, hang your dress up to dry we ain’t leaving this room
Till Percy Priest breaks open wide and the river runs through
And carries this house on the stones like a piece of driftwood
Cover me up and know you’re enough to use me for good

Yeah, I know it was rain, not a flood, but I’ve had that song in my head for two weeks and was hoping for a rainout in order to use it. Besides, they WOULD cancel a game if there was a team in Nashville and the Percy Priest dam flooded. Of this I am certain.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Michael Pineda

Yankees 6, Orioles 2: Michael Pineda struck out 16 Orioles batters and didn’t walk a one while allowing one run over seven innings. On the season he’s 5-0 with a 2.72 ERA, and 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 and a third innings. That’s right: he has walked only three batters while striking out over a batter per inning. Yankees win the Jesus Montero trade?

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 3: This is more like how it’s supposed to go: Clay Buchholz pitchers well and Pablo Sandoval homers as the Sox win. Of course this is just the second time the Sox have won in seven of nine and it’s the first time Buchholz has won in six starts. The Red Sox had a clubhouse meeting on Saturday following a bunch of bad play. After the game John Farrell credited the meeting with yesterday’s results, saying “we went out and put together and very good game.” Research project for someone with more time than I have: go back and find every reference to a team having a closed-door meeting in the middle of the season in game stories and then track their collective records over the next 5-10 games and then for the rest of the season. I bet you find, shockingly, that they sort of don’t matter and that bad teams are just bad teams and talent wins and loses more ballgames then motivational meetings. In this way it’s just like your office.

Indians 8, Twins 2: Danny Salazar gave up a leadoff homer to Brian Dozier and then proceeded to retire every single other batter he faced for the next seven innings, striking out 11 of them. I guess that home run . . . motivated him?

Rangers 2, Rays 1: Between his last start and this start Wandy Rodriguez retired 35 straight batters. That’s a perfect game plus eight. We don’t give him credit for that, though, because of the tyranny of the calendar and people’s hangups about arbitrary end-points. You should all really open your minds, man, and throw off the shackles society is making you wear. Or, really man, shackles that you’re putting on yourself. If these comments interest you, I gave a TED-talk on this matter and you can see the video of it here.

Nationals 5, Braves 4: A week into the season the Braves were playing well and the Nationals were not. That dynamic has clearly and definitively reversed itself. Here’s a video representation of the NL East standings.

Agent Smith is the Nationals, obvs, except in our example there are not two horrifyingly bad sequels. There’s just one in which Agent Smith — the far more interesting character played by a far better actor — kicks Neo’s butt pretty soundly and everyone gets to continue living in The Matrix which, you must admit, is way better than that post-apocalyptic hellhole Zion. Reality is overrated.

White Sox 4, Reds 3: The Sox blew a lead in the top of the ninth, allowing the Reds to tie. Then they had to face Aroldis Chapman in the bottom half. Not a great set of circumstances, and the circumstances seemed even more dire as Chapman got two quick outs to start the inning. But then he gave up two straight singles, uncorked a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position. Gordon Beckham then came to the plate and hit a walkoff single. And the best part of this? After the game, Beckham revealed that his mom’s name is “Sully.” That’s gotta be the first “Sully” who isn’t, right now, sitting on a barstool in Massachusetts someplace, explaining away “Deflategate” as a conspiracy against the Patriots because everyone’s jealous of their success.

Mets 7, Phillies 4: Forty-two is the new twenty-seven: Bartolo Colon becomes the majors’ first six game winner this year. He wasn’t necessarily sharp — he gave up a homer to Chad Billingsley for cryin’ out loud — but there’s a lot of margin for error when it comes to facing the Phillies. Also helping: no walks. Indeed, Colon hasn’t walked a batter in over 40 innings.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3: Jung Ho Kang went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. People wondered if his potent KBL bat would translate in the big leagues. So far so good: .333/.377/.521 in part time play. Mike Matheny described the Cardinals’ day: “Just one of those days we had to try and get what we could. Gave up a few, got `em back, then just couldn’t hold them in the end.” Along with “they whupped our butts,” “everything was workin’ for us” and “we’re happy to have gotten out of there with a win; that’s a good team over there,” that is the exhaustive list of managerial executive game summaries.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Martin Maldonado hit a walkoff single in the 11th. Earlier he hit a homer. No word on whether his mom’s name is Sully. Or whatever the Puerto Rican equivalent of Sully is. There probably is. Every region and land has their version of Sully, even if they don’t get the press Sully gets.

Angels 3, Astros 1: Garret Richards was dialing up the heat, hitting his spots and taking a no-hitter into the seventh. He walked some dudes and hit a guy to force in the Astros’ only run, but he struck out ten and looked an awful lot like the guy who led the Angels’ staff until he got hurt at the end of last August.

Giants 3, Marlins 2: Down by one in the bottom of the ninth, the Giants rallied with a single, a double a couple of walks — on intentional, which loaded the bases, the second unintentional to walk in a run — and then Matt Duffy ended it by singling in Gregor Blanco to win the game for San Francisco. The Giants end their homestand having won seven of ten and pull even at .500 on the season. They have 16 wins. Four of them have been walkoffs.

Mariners 4, Athletics 3: Felix Hernandez notched his 2,000th career strikeout. And he just turned 29. Only three guys have gotten to 2,000 Ks at a younger age: Bert Blyleven, Sam McDowell and Walter Johnson. Good company. Hernandez allowed only two runs over seven innings and is now 6-0 on the year with a 1.85 ERA.

Dodgers 9, Rockies 5: They had to clear four inches of snow from Coors Field before the game and the gametime temperature was 41 degrees. It dropped to 39 degrees in the ninth. I have some friends in Denver and they say it’s a lovely place to live, but I feel like the volatile snow-sun-rain-snow-frogs nature of their weather would drive me insane. Adrian Gonzalez hit two doubles and drove in four and the rest of the Dodgers’ offense clicked nicely. Which was good because Clayton Kershaw was once again rather meh. He hasn’t pitched terribly this year, but he certainly hasn’t looked like himself. He stands at 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA. Opponents have a .357 average against him on balls in play. For his career: .274. Things will even out for him, one has to assume.

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1: Daniel Hudson made his first start since 2012. He didn’t pitch long enough to qualify for the win — he’s not stretched out for that and this was a bullpen game anyway — but he was effective. Nice to see a two-time TJ patient turn things around like Hudson has. Aaron Hill and A.J. Pollock homered.

Royals 2, Tigers 1: The Royals prevailed in the tenth after the game was delayed over an hour and a half in the ninth due to rain. Teams already hate playing Sunday night games because of next-day travel — the Royals are on their way to Texas and probably just got to their hotel rooms in the last hour or so — so I’m sure this one was annoying for all involved. I watched for a few innings. It was annoying to me too, as Curt Schilling and John Kruk are damn nigh unlistenable in the booth. Which is a shame because Dan Shulman is fantastic. ESPN really, really needs to let him fly solo. It’d be so much better.

Trevor Cahill, Chase Anderson win rotation spots with D-Backs; Daniel Hudson to bullpen

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According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale announced today that right-handers Trevor Cahill and Chase Anderson have claimed the final two spots in the starting rotation. They’ll join Opening Day starter Josh Collmenter as well as offseason acquisitions Jeremy Hellickson and Rubby De La Rosa.

Daniel Hudson, who has missed much of the last three seasons with two Tommy John surgeries, was in the the mix for a rotation spot this spring and has compiled a 4.22 ERA and 8/4 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings while showing good velocity. However, his workload would be limited as a starter and Hudson told Gilbert that the decision to move him to the bullpen was a “mutual” one.

Anderson, 27, posted a 4.01 ERA and 105/40 K/BB ratio in 114 1/3 innings across 21 starts as a rookie last season. Cahill had a rough 5.61 ERA across 17 starts and 14 relief appearances last season, but he’s still owed $12 million this season and has changed his mechanics in hopes of better results.

While this is the rotation the D-Backs will go with to begin the season, it should have a very different look as the year moves along. Arms like Randall Delgado, Allen Webster, and Vidal Nuno linger as alternatives. Archie Bradley is under consideration for the final bullpen spot with the big club, but he’s likely to head back to Triple-A to pitch as a starter in hopes of making an impact in the rotation this season. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo are in rehab mode from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to rejoin Arizona’s rotation around midseason.

Read more about the Diamondbacks in my 2015 season preview.

2015 Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks

Chip Hale, Dave Stewart, Tony LaRussa

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 Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Big Question: There’s nowhere to go but up, right?

Since winning the National League West in 2011, the Diamondbacks have turned in three straight disappointing seasons and finished last season with the worst record in the majors at 64-98. Tony La Russa was hired as chief baseball officer early on in the year, which essentially signaled that Kevin Towers and Kirk Gibson were living on borrowed time. Sure enough, they were both fired in September.

Tasked with taking the franchise in a new direction, La Russa hired one of his former pitchers from the Athletics, Dave Stewart, to serve as general manager while De Jon Watson was brought over from the Dodgers as senior vice president of baseball operations. Chip Hale, who has coached with the Mets and Athletics in recent seasons, was then brought aboard for his first managing opportunity in the big leagues.

Stewart was outspoken when he was an agent and he has already said his fair share of interesting things as Arizona’s general manager. Most notably, when the Diamondbacks were briefly courting right-hander James Shields in free agency, he said they were more of a “true baseball team” as opposed to teams which are more geared toward analytics. This was likely just an attempt at a sales pitch to appeal to a player they only had a small chance of actually signing, but it’s not the first impression you want after the grit-centered philosophy of Towers and Gibson fizzled out.

Getting back to contender status is going to be a process. The team’s big offseason move was signing Yasmany Tomas to a six-year, $68.5 million contract, but the third base experiment has been a bust so far and he’s still learning to hit major league pitching. Interesting arms like Jeremy Hellickson, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Robbie Ray, and Yoan Lopez were brought in over the offseason, but this is a team that is going with Josh Collmenter as their Opening Day starter. He would be a back-end starter on a good staff. After dealing catcher Miguel Montero to the Cubs, Stewart didn’t seem so keen (or didn’t have the budget) to acquire a suitable replacement, so Tuffy Gosewisch stands to get most of the playing time in the early going. Peter O’Brien, who Stewart was hoping could be a solution behind the plate, was having trouble throwing the ball back to the mound this spring and could be bound for the outfield. Barring a last-minute move, this could be the weakest catching situation in the majors.

This lineup has a couple of interesting pieces in place, which I’ll get to in a minute, but expectations are understandably low for 2015 in a division which also has the Dodgers, Giants, and Padres.

What else is going on?

  • After finishing second in the NL MVP balloting in 2013, Paul Goldschmidt was well on his way to a comparable follow-up last season by hitting .300/.396/.542 with 19 home runs and 69 RBI across 109 games before he suffered a broken hand on a hit-by-pitch in early August. He’s back to 100 percent now and remains the shining light on this roster.
  • Aside from the excellence of Goldschmidt at first base, the infield is in flux. Assuming Tomas doesn’t work out at third base, young Jake Lamb is a possibility there, but Aaron Hill could also get some time at the hot corner if the D-Backs go with Nick Ahmed at shortstop and try Chris Owings at second base. Trading Hill, which has been rumored, could clear the way for all of the youngsters to get playing time. I’m guessing we’ll see that configuration sooner or later.
  • This outfield has a lot of moving pieces and not all of them are ideal fits. A.J. Pollock is locked in as the starting center fielder while Mark Trumbo appears set to start in right field, but David Peralta, Ender Inciarte, Cody Ross, and Tomas are also in the mix. Trumbo and Tomas in the corners might not be pretty. They also have similar offensive profiles. Which is to say, power without much patience.
  • This rotation doesn’t look particularly strong right now, but it figures to get better as the season moves along. Patrick Corbin and Bronson Arroyo are both working their way back from Tommy John surgery and should be ready to return by mid-season. Things didn’t go as planned for top prospect Archie Bradley last year, but he could surface in the majors soon with a good showing in Triple-A.
  • Perhaps my favorite story to watch with this team will be Daniel Hudson, who has lost much of the last three seasons due to a pair of Tommy John surgeries. The 28-year-old returned for three relief appearances down the stretch last year and has flashed mid-90s velocity this spring. It’s unclear if he’ll be used as a starter or reliever, but here’s hoping he can finally stay healthy and deliver on the promise he showed in the early part of his career.

Prediction: This could really go either way with the Rockies, as they look like two of the weakest teams in the majors, but I’m going to say a repeat of Fifth Place, NL West.

The Dbacks and the Dodgers were at it again yesterday

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The Dodgers and the Dbacks played yesterday. They’ve had a bit of a feud going for a couple of years. One would think that with a new GM and new manager in Arizona — the old management was pretty pro-hitting guys — that it would die down a bit, but I guess not. Or maybe it was all accidental. It’s pretty hard to say. All I do know is that lots of guys were plunked and lots of guys were ejected in their matchup yesterday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

In the first inning Dodgers starter Chris Anderson hit Mark Trumbo on a high and inside pitch. After the game Don Mattingly said it wasn’t intentional. I’ve seen Gifs of it (look here) but there’s no video on MLB.com. Seems maybe purposeful, but it’s hard to tell what people are doing in spring training. Maybe he’s just working on brushing guys back. Maybe he was possessed by the spirit of Don Drysdale.

Then, in the bottom half of the first, Daniel Hudson hit Justin Turner.  Turner was then plunked again in the fifth inning by Allen Webster. Here’s the second one:

The dumb thing there? Webster and manager Chip Hale were ejected because, after the stuff in the first inning, both benches had been warned. This despite the fact that the home plate umpire knew that the second plunk was not intentional:

Viva la Zero Tolerance.

Things didn’t stop there, as Dbacks pitcher Derek Eitel plunked Dodgers hitter Dillon Moyer in the bottom of the eighth. That led to more ejections, this time of Eitel and D-Backs bench coach Glenn Sherlock who had replaced Hale:

Was that intentional? Kinda looked like it? But who knows. We’re dealing with anonymous dudes at this point. Which could either mean (a) their control isn’t fabulous; or (b) they’re trying to impress someone.

It’ll be interesting to see if this is a harbinger of a continuation of bad blood between the clubs or if it’s just a spring training blip. I’d bet on the blip, but then again, I never would’ve bet on all of the nonsense between these two teams over the past couple of years in the first place.