Tag: Dustin Pedroia

Carlos Carrasco

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Indians 8, Tigers 2: I’ve seen enough wrestling to know a work when I see one, and the Tigers not starting Miguel Cabrera against a team he routinely destroys was clearly a work designed to put the Indians over as a team that can actually, on occasion, beat the Tigers in a house show like this. Carlos Carrasco took a two-hit shutout into the eighth, but broke kayfabe to give up a two-run homer to J.D. Martinez.

Angels 2, Astros 1: A walkoff single for Taylor Featherston in the 13th. In other news, “Taylor Featherston” was the name I gave my villain character in the 1980s teen comedy screenplay I wrote that time. He was a rich kid on the swim team who competed with our John Cusackian hero for the affections of, umm, let’s say Lea Thompson. Why everything got resolved based on the results of a big swim meet is beyond me — and why were there cheerleaders at a swim meet? — but a writer has to conform to the conventions of his genre.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Ian Desmond with a walkoff sac fly in the 11th as the Nats beat the Braves for the [frantically mashes keys on a calculator] 264th straight time. The sac fly was made possible by Dana Eveland loading the bases by giving up a double to Bryce Harper and walking two guys, one intentionally. This is Eveland’s worst work since he played the femme fatale in that truly misguided RKO noir from 1951, “Farewell my Tomato Can.”

Blue Jays 1, Rays 0: Marco Estrada took a perfect game into the eighth, thanks in part to a fantastic catch by Josh Donaldson. You don’t figure the Jays to win a lot of 1-0 games this year, but when everything breaks right oddities can occur.

Yankees 10, Phillies 2: Ivan Nova came off the DL to tame the Phillies. Not that taming the Phillies is particularly hard, Monday and Tuesday’s results notwithstanding. Cole Hamels had himself a not too great day, but given how little support he’s gotten from his teammates this year he’s allowed to mail one in once in a dang while. Save it for the contender you’re traded to, Cole. Don’t burn yourself out for these guys.

Twins 6, White Sox 1: It was Phil Hughes’ birthday yesterday. Working on your birthday is lame, but Hughes made it work, allowing one run over eight innings. Chris Sale reached double digits in strikeouts once again — it was the seventh straight time he did it, which is the longest streak since Randy Johnson did back in 2001 — but strikeouts ain’t enough in and of themselves. Sale lost to the Twins for the third time this year.

Reds 5, Pirates 2: A four-run first inning off of Gerrit Cole is not the sort of thing we’ve come to expect, but the Reds did it anyway. Cincinnati is about the only team who has gotten to Cole this year, actually. They scored three off of him on April 8, three off of him on May 6 and these five last night. No other team has scored three runs off Cole even once this year.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 1: A five-run sixth inning which included a David Ortiz homer powered the Sox to victory, but it was something of a Pyrrhic one, as Dustin Pedroia (hamstring) and Hanley Ramirez (bruised hand) each left with injuries. The Sox have won five of eight.

Cardinals 6, Marlins 1: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Giancarlo Stanton hit a homer but the Marlins were otherwise stopped cold. Jason Heyward homered for the third straight game. Jamie Garcia stifled the non-Stanton Marlins and even singled and scored. His ERA is down to 1.69.

Dodgers 5, Cubs 2: Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez homers helped snap the Cubs’ four-game winning streak. Turner surprised everyone with his .340/.404/.493 season last year. This year he’s hitting .323/.392/.575.

Athletics 8, Rangers 2: Four straight for Oakland, as Brett Lawrie hit a grand slam in their five-run first and never looked back. That was plenty of run support for Kendall Graveman. Which made me think of the word “gravamen” which is one of those words more people should use but don’t.

Brewers 4, Mets 1: Seven straight losses for the Mets as Jimmy Nelson held them to two hits over eight innings. After the game Terry Collins held a closed-door meeting with his team. Which I will never think about the same way again after what I read yesterday.

Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 7: Arizona rallied after being down two in the ninth, thanks in part to Yasmany Tomas’ RBI single — his fourth hit in the game — and a bases-loaded walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. These two teams have combined for 30 runs in two games. They play again today. If you are walking around Denver and see any baseball players getting breakfast this morning, the pitchers are the ones looking kind of sick and ordering dry toast.

Royals 8, Mariners 2: Mike Moustakas hit a two-run home run and Omar Infante had a three-run double as the Royals put up a seven-spot in the fourth inning. After the game, Eric Hosmer said “This is great for a team that’s built off pitching and defense.” Secret: no truly good teams are built solely on pitching and defense. What changed the Royals from lighting-in-a-bottle team in 2014 to strong contender in 2015 is the fact that they hit now.

Giants 6, Padres 0: Buster Posey hit a grand slam as the Giants cruised. Posey was playing first base as Brandon Belt covered left field. Posey hit a grand slam last Friday too.

Jonny Gomes’ attitude may be great but his bat and glove aren’t helping the Braves

Jonny Gomes

Before the season began there were a TON of articles in Atlanta media talking about how great a clubhouse presence Jonny Gomes would be, how he brought grit and blue collar attitude and all of that jive. And, to be fair, the Braves probably needed some of that jive, as they were a pretty lackadaisical team last season.

I suspected that once the rubber hit the road and the Braves began to lose a lot of games — or once Gomes showed that, no, he’s not good enough to be a regular player anymore — that the Gomes love would stop. It did for spell, but since the Braves are hovering around .500 and, because the Mets and Nats have stumbled lately and the Braves are only three and a half games out, the meme is back in full force. Use today’s AJC to fill out your “grit” bingo card:

Gomes had that effect on Boston and Red Sox Nation, where his hustle and blue-collar attitude were greatly appreciated, along with his overt patriotism and front-and-center role in helping Boston sports teams and citizens come together – Boston Proud — and get through the trauma many felt from the Boston Marathon finish-line bombing in 2013.

The bearded outfielder became a galvanizing presence with the Red Sox, a team that already had iconic David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia, but quickly embraced Gomes’ fiery enthusiasm and indefatigable optimism. Along with his right-handed power and flair for dramatic pinch-hit homers.

All of which is followed up by Braves teammates singing his praises and lauding his grit and hustle, just the way you’d expect them to. And I don’t doubt for one second that he’s great to have around if you’re a Braves player. All of his teammates have always talked about his presence and attitude and all of that.

But the fact is that he’s hitting .210/.294/.328 and plays poor defense in left field which costs the Braves on a regular basis. He has one decent skill left besides the rah-rah and that’s reaching base against lefties. Yet Fredi Gonzalez has given him twice as many plate appearances against righties than lefties and he’s dragging the team down as a result.

Braves: you may love Gomes, but he either (a) needs to be a coach; or (b) needs to be used strictly against lefties. Because all of the gritty grit in the world doesn’t replace actual production, no matter how loudly you praise it in the local media.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Manny Machado

Orioles 19, Phillies 3: Well that was thoroughly ridiculous. The Orioles set a franchise record with eight homers in this one., with Manny Machado and Chris Parmalee each hitting two. Of course the highlight of this — or was it the lowlight? — was Jeff Francoeur coming in and pitching two innings, about which we’ll have more to say later this morning. Or maybe the lowlight was the Phillies’ bullpen phone being off the hook, preventing Ryne Sandberg from getting anyone else to warm up when Frenchy was clearly laboring. Or maybe it was when Chase Utley was quite visibly mad at Sandberg when he was on the mound talking to Francoeur to see if he could get more pitches out of him. Either way, for every bit as uplifting and hilarious this was from the Orioles’ perspective, it was pathetic and awful from the Phillies’ perspective. I’d say it’s the kind of game that gets managers fired, but to be honest, I can’t say I’ve ever seen this kind of game before.

Cardinals 3, Twins 2: For as much as I wanted to wake up this morning and write about how the Cardinals went up there hacking, I can’t, because they only struck out four times and didn’t hit any homers. Maybe the greatest disappointment for me, personally, in the 2015 baseball season. You only get so many shots at zingers like that, an when they fail to present themselves it’s really disheartening.

Astros 8, Rockies 5: Luis Valbuena, however, took his hacks, hitting two homers and knocking in four. But really, it’s not just the same here. Sure, I could maybe make some contrived “victim takes ownership and control over the crime that befell them,” analogy, but that’s tortured even for me. Anyway, Valbuena has 41 hits this season, 16 of which are homers. After the game Hank Conger said “This guy is like the kid who only hits homers.” Which I’m pretty sure was a rejected Donald Westlake book title from 1979. He still wrote the book, but it ended up way, way too dark so he slapped his Richard Stark pen name on it and turned it into a Parker book. As usual, the movie adaptation was lacking.

UPDATE: I had no idea this existed, but multiple people have mentioned it now:


That kid HAD to have been given a bunt sign once or twice, right? Took one the other way once in a while in order to take what the pitcher was giving him? Or is this a steroids story? So many questions.

Athletics 6, Padres 5: Eric Sogard drove in the go-ahead in a tie game in the ninth inning off Craig Kimbrel to spoil Pat Murphy’s managerial debut. Murphy was Sogard’s college coach. Not going to go back and read any background on them because I’m going to choose to believe that they had a falling out once and this was a student-comes-back-and-kills-his-old-sensei-for-reasons-we’ll-never-know situaish.

Giants 6, Mariners 2: The first Giants home win in ten tries. Matt Duffy hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single. He also said after the game that the win came following a team conversation:

“We had a little discussion about it today. These fans are too good for us to be playing the way we have been at home.”

In other news, most of human experience can be described as dealing with an inherently chaotic and random universe by attempting to craft fictions in which we portray ourselves as having agency and control.

Red Sox 9, Braves 4: The losing streak ends and Brock Holt hits for the cycle. If I was a member of the Boston media I’d write a straight-faced column this morning wondering why Holt couldn’t have hit a second double instead of that single and ask whether it means his focus is lacking. It could cause Dustin Pedroia to explode and that would be sort of fun. Julio Teheran gave up six earned runs on 13 hits. I can’t remember the last pitcher I saw who, when he was good he was fine, but when he was off got totally tattooed as much as Teheran get tattooed.

Pirates 3, White Sox 0: The Pirates shut the White Sox out for the second straight game. This time it was Charlie Morton who led the way, with seven scoreless innings. Morton’s ERA is 1.62. The Pirates, in fact, have three starters with ERAs under 2.00.

Reds 5, Tigers 2: Todd Frazier had two homers and Jay Bruce added one. There was an odd replay after a play at the plate on Anthony Gose in this game that (a) took a long time; and (b) seemed to go the wrong way. After the game, Brad Ausmus voiced his frustration at the way replay has gone this year:

“I definitely think that instant replay has regressed this season,” he said. “I thought for the most part, they changed calls in order to get the play right, and they did that on a regular basis.

“I’m not seeing that this year.”

His comments on that closely mirrored what I had to say about this yesterday: that replay officials are giving too much deference to the call made on the field as opposed to simply making the better call from their better vantage point.


Mets 3, Blue Jays 2: The good Matt Harvey made an appearance, shutting out the best offense in baseball for seven innings and striking out six. Not that the Blue Jays’ efforts were in vain. Kevin Pillar helped provide a teachable moment to all the little leaguers out there: never forget to look to your third base coach. Or at third base, for that matter, as someone may be standing on it when you try to advance there.

Marlins 12, Yankees 2: Nathan Eovaldi returned to Miami and did more for the Marlins last night than he did all last year, really. The Fish scored eight off of him in the first inning ending this one before it began. Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer in the fifth giving him 24 on the year. Maybe if he hits more he’ll pass Nori Aoki in the All-Star voting.

Nationals 16. Rays 4: Jeff Francoeur may have gotten all the headlines for position players pitching last night, but the Rays used two position players on the mound: Jake Elmore and Nick Franklin. Wilson Ramos homered off of each of them in this rout. Things got pretty wild last night, man.

Rangers 3, Dodgers 2: The Rangers coughed up a two-run lead in the top of the ninth when Josh Turner hit a two-run bomb, but Robinson Chirinos got it back with a walkoff homer. Before the Turner homer, Rangers starter Chi Chi Gonzalez was going for a shutout. In other news, I can’t tell you how happy I am that we have a Chi Chi playing major league baseball.

Indians 6, Cubs 0: Trevor Bauer tossed seven shutout innings and Carlos Santana drove in four with a three-run homer and an RBI double. Santana also walked twice, helping end a personal skid. Or maybe just interrupting it. Recall what I said above about an inherently chaotic and random universe? Part of dealing with that also involves grafting artificial end-points onto a never-ending river of time.

Royals 7, Brewers 2: Chris Young pitched well (7IP, 5 H, o ER) and drove in three at the plate on two RBI singles. Royals fans suddenly vote him ahead of Mike Trout as the ninth starter in the All-Star Game.

Angels 4, Diamondbacks 1: Two-run homers from Albert Pujols and David Freese was all the Angels needed, but they also got seven strong innings from Garret Richards in which he allowed only one unearned run. The game story leads with stuff about how Mike Scioscia switched the lineup around to put Pujols in the cleanup spot. Pujols will not hear about that meaning anything:

“You don’t change your approach because of where you’re hitting in the lineup. It doesn’t matter if you hit eighth, leadoff … you’ve still got to go out there and play. I wish you guys flip that page and stay focused on the things we have to concentrate on, and that’s winning — not about where I hit, or Trout hitting third. I mean, if that’s your wish, you got it tonight.”

Prediction: a future Hall of Famer explaining in no uncertain terms that hitters don’t change their approach based on where they are in the lineup will do nothing to stop the media from claiming that hitters change their approach based on where they are in the lineup. Why? Probably because, in addition to (a) attempting to craft fictions in which we portray ourselves as having agency and control; and (b) grafting artificial end-points onto a never-ending river of time, we deal with a hostile and uncaring universe by telling ourselves that we truly matter and that our place in it gives us importance merely by our occupying it. “I’m a baseball writer,” the baseball writer thinks, “and if I say something, it must be insightful and true, even if it is demonstrably not.”

Man. Today got kind of existential. Not sure why. I’m guessing Francoeur pitching had something to do with that. Really threw my ju-ju off.