Tag: Josh Phegley

Zack Greinke

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


source: Getty Images

Dodgers 5, Nationals 0: Zack Greinke with eight more shutout innings to increase his scoreless innings streak to 43 2/3. The record, of course, is Orel Hershisher’s 59. Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk against him and after the game said “I think he was okay . . .  For me, I don’t think he was very tough,” and said that the key to his winning yesterday was that he was “getting five to six inches off of the plate.” Which makes him just the latest National who, for whatever reason, thinks it’s important to say how unimpressed he was by the team or player who just handed his ass back to him.

Orioles 9, Tigers 3: I was at this game and, in fact, took in the whole series. And while I am always skeptical of narratives and omens and the identification of turning points and watershed moments, it’s hard to escape the feeling that one was happening here for the Tigers. Talking to fans and even some Tigers people revealed this to be the weekend when everyone’s feeling that, if thusandsuch just happens, the season can be saved was disposed of. No one feels that way right now. Indeed, many feel like the run the Tigers have been on the past few years is over and this weekend was when everyone began to accept it.

In the 5th or 6th inning, I saw this from my seats:


It was a car fire in a parking lot a block or two from the ballpark. But it served as a nice symbol for Justin Verlander’s performance and current trajectory. For the bullpen. For the Miguel Cabrera-free Tigers offense. For the season. And maybe even the current mini-dynasty the Tigers have put together. Fire sale, anyone?

Indians 5, Reds 3: Cleveland takes two of three from Cincinnati in the Battle for Ohio. And no, it’s not the case that the loser of this series gets stuck with Ohio. The Reds walked Indians batters with the bases loaded four times. FOUR TIMES. They gave up ten free passes in all, six of which came from the misfiring arm of Johnny Cueto. There are a lot of miserable ways to lose a ballgame, but walking in four of the opponents’ five runs has got to be among the most miserable possible.

Yankees 2, Mariners 1: Mark Teixeira’s homer put the Yankees over the top but the big takeaway here was CC Sabathia not, you know, sucking. One run over six innings and seven strikeouts? That’s what the Yankees need from him to stay in first place.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 0: A couple of two-run homers and eight shutout innings from Marco Estrada, who just loves pitching against the Rays, it seems. Remember this last month? That’s 21 straight scoreless innings for Estrada against the Rays this season.


Phillies 8, Marlins 7: Down a run in the 9th, Jeff Francoeur hits a two-run homer to give the Phillies an 8-7 walk-off win over the Marlins:

Best part: as he crosses home plate Freddy Galvis kicks him in the butt. As one does.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: The Royals just keep on humming, taking two of three from the Sox. Danny Duffy, backed by some slick defense, allowed one run over eight innings and somehow rapped 11 hits off of Chris Sale. Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando homered. The Royals are now 20 games above .500.

Brewers 6, Pirates 1: The Pirates were the hottest team in baseball heading into the All-Star break. The time off didn’t do them wonders, as they come in to Milwaukee and get swept by the last place Brewers. Taylor Jungmann improves to 5-1 since his callup.

Astros 10, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel struck out a career-high 13 in seven scoreless innings. And afterwards talked about how Rougned Odor “disrespects the game.” So a strong performance from Keuchel in both the pitching and the ballplayer cliche department on Sunday.

Mets 3, Cardinals 1: Eighteen innings and nearly six hours of baseball, most of which featured a score of 1-1 0-0. The Mets finally broke through with a run-scoring sac fly and a squeeze play. Overall the Mets left 25 men on base and went 1-for-26 with runners in scoring position. But they won, which makes those numbers mere conversation pieces.

Athletics 14, Twins 1: Jake Smolinski homered twice for four RBI and Josh Reddick hit a grand slam. Billy Butler and Josh Phegley each hit two-run homers.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Madison Bumgarner only went five innings as he didn’t have his best stuff, but the Dbacks still could only get one run off of him. Justin Maxwell homered and Hunter Pence doubled in a run in a game where all the scoring was concluded by the third inning.

Cubs 4, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta struck out ten in seven shutout innings, besting Braves All-Star Shelby Miller. Arrieta is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA over his last six starts.

Rockies vs. Padres: POSTPONED; Red Sox vs. Angels: POSTPONED: It was the first home Padres rain out since 2006. The first Angels home rainout since 1995. Which can mean only one thing:

I haven’t seen your face in a year
I can’t wait till I get there
Just to kiss and squeeze and hug
Girl you know the rest ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

Maybe I’ll take the flight out tonight
and you can pick me up about 8
I don’t know what airline girl
but I know it won’t be late ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Maikel Franco

Phillies 11, Yankees 6: Maikel Franco had five RBI for the second straight night and homered once again. This either has Yankees fans hating his guts or, as is their habit and primary defense mechansim, telling people exactly how long it is until Franco is a free agent and photoshopping him into Yankees gear.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 4: Adam Jones is out, David Lough is in center field in his place. No worries, as Lough hit a three-run homer. John Farrell got ejected after arguing balls and strikes. His comment: “I said a thing probably one too many times.”

Jerry Remy:  I’ve never seen John so angry. And frankly, sports fans, he used a word that’s a no-no with umpires.
Millie: [turns TV off] John must’ve called the guy a ______.
Mrs. Farrell: Mmmmm. How romantic.

Tigers 7, Indians 3: Who says no one likes going to Cleveland? Detroit is 20-5 there since the beginning of the 2013. They were likely inspired by this:


David Price allowed one run while pitching into the seventh. Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos each drove in two. Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Andrew Romine each notched two hits.

White Sox 6, Twins 2: Jeff Samardzija allowed two and struck out seven over seven innings. Jose Abreu notched four of the White Sox’ 15 hits. This paragraph appears in the box score:

The White Sox had eight of their 15 hits with two outs for four RBI. They had two-plus hits with runners in scoring position for the first time in 19 games, going 5 for 16.

At some point we need to have a national conversation about how hitting with two outs and hitting with runners in scoring position is not a skill and is not necessarily even significant in any way despite the fact that it’s satisfying for certain people. This paragraph appears because someone asked Robin Ventura about it, as if it were something requiring his insight as opposed to just being a thing that happened. Most stuff is baseball are just things that happen.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 3: Chris Archer was solid again, allowing one earned run and striking out seven in eight innings. Three of his nine wins have come against the Blue Jays this season. He’s 6-1 against them lifetime. Two of the Rays four runs were made possible by a wild pitch and a passed ball from R.A. Dickey. Live by the knuckler, die by the knuckler.

Brewers 3, Mets 2: Michael Cuddyer misplayed a double off the wall allowing Carlos Gomez to come around to score the go-ahead run. That’s six straight losses for the Mets, who currently have Travis d’Arnaud David Wright and Daniel Murphy on the disabled list. That they’re only two and a half back of Washington is something of a miracle. Imagine if they, you know, had a lineup.

Nationals 3, Braves 1: Stephen Strasburg came back from the DL and pitched five shutout innings, striking out six. He was backed by four hits from Anthony Rendon. The Braves threatened in the ninth, but it amounted to nothing. Storms delayed the start of this one by two hours, giving Braves fans extra time to dwell on how bad their lineup looks without Freddie Freeman in it.

Pirates 7, Reds 6: Down 4-0, the Pirates hung seven runs in the fourth inning and then hung on themselves as the Reds came close but not close enough. A two-run homer for Andrew McCutchen and a three-run shot for Francisco Cervelli. After McCutchen hit his homer he was almost the victim of a beaning when a breaking ball thrown his direction failed to break. So he did pushups.

Cardinals 4, Marlins 3: Giancarlo Stanton hit a homer approximately 8,000 feet, but he’s just one man. Carlos Martinez started poorly and got hit on the shoulder when squaring to bunt, but he settled down and struck out nine in seven innings.

Athletics 8, Rangers 6: Josh Phegley homered and had a two-run double. Oakland dug themselves too deep a hole in April and May but they’re 12-8 in June.

Cubs 1, Dodgers 0: Four in a row for the Cubs as they walk off on a Chris Denorfia sac fly. Strong pitching performances from Zack Greinke (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Jason Hammel (7.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) both went unrewarded with a decision. Los Angeles has dropped six of eight.

Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 5: Nolan Arenado hit two homers. He now has 19 on the year. Wilin Rosario, D.J. LeMahieu and Brandon Barnes all homered as well. The Dbacks hit three of their own to make it eight overall in the game. Which was in Colorado, by the way. In case you did not know that.

Astros 13, Angels 3: Luis Valbuena hit two homers. Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer to give the Astros a 4-0 lead early and they never looked back. Correa is at .308/.338/.569 with four bombs in 15 games. He had three hits in all. The Astros lead baseball with 107 homers. Which is a lot of homers.

Mariners 7, Royals 0: Rookie Mike Montgomery tossed a four-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts. He was a first round pick of the Royals back in 2008 and they traded him away. It was in the famous James Shields/Wade Davis trade, however, so I figure Kansas City is cool with that even if this one smarted a bit.

Padres 3, Giants 2: Madison Bumgarner was cruising until the eighth — by the time that inning had started he had been shutting out San Diego and had struck out 13 on his way to 14Ks in all — but then he gave up two runs which eventually forced extra innings. Alexi Amarista singled in the go-ahead and, ultimately, the winning run in the 11th.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Josh Donaldson

Blue Jays 10, White Sox 9: Walkoff number one: The Josh Donaldson Show. Donaldson hit two homers — bookends, really — as he lauched a solo shot in the first and then hit a walkoff three-run homer off David Robertson for the win. After the game he said “That’s probably one of the better feelings in baseball, to hit a walkoff homer. You don’t get the opportunity very often.” Except it’s the second time he’s done it this year and the fifth time in his career, so if you’re Josh Donaldson, you get that opportunity more than a lot of dudes, frankly.

Cubs 3, Nationals 2: Walkoff number two: Youth is Served: Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant both homered to tie the game at different points and Addison Russell doubled in Jonathan Herrera for the walkoff win. The Cubs have 13 one-run victories. Charmed life.

Reds 2, Rockies 1: Walkoff number three: The Futility-Interruptor. The Reds finally snapped their losing streak — it died at nine — thanks to a pinch hit Skip Schumaker walkoff double. After the game Schumaker said “winning never gets old.” Certainly not in Cincinnati it doesn’t.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: Walkoff number four: Everybody Hates Wilmer. Wilmer Flores — who a certain stripe of Mets fan loves to hate — singled home the winning run with two outs in the 10th. Is he the best shortstop ever? No. And his defense leaves quite a bit to be desired, but he’s got a .724 OPS and pretty excellent power numbers for a shortstop in this day and age. That ain’t nothin’.

Mariners 7, Rays 6: Not a walkoff, but if it was I’d call it The Kyle Seager Show or something. Seager hit a grand slam in the eighth and, after the M’s bullpen pooed all over itself in the ninth, Seager hit a solo shot in the top of the 10th which put Seattle up for good.

Rangers 4, Indians 3: Seven straight for Texas, who are now a .500 team. Not too shabby after starting things off as poorly as they did and suffering all of the injuries they’ve suffered. Mitch Moreland hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth and Prince Fielder continued to party like it’s 2009, hitting a three-run bomb. Fielder is 14-for-24 with five homers and 15 RBI in his last five games. How did you hit your home run, Mitch Moreland? “I was trying to get a good pitch, something I could drive.” Oh. How interesting.

Giants 6, Brewers 3: Madison Bumgarner didn’t shoot out the lights, but he won for the fifth time in six starts and was backed by a Hunter Pence laser beam and homers from Matt Duffy and Brandon Belt. What’s your secret, Madison? “That’s it, just making pitches and getting outs.” Oh. How interesting.

Astros 4, Orioles 1: Houston has now won 10 of 13, so maybe it’s time to stop asking if they’re for real. I mean, sure, they could crater and, in hindsight, we’d all say they weren’t for real, but it’s not like they’re winning via trick plays and opposing teams tanking to get draft picks. Here Scott Feldman was solid over six innings and Luis Valbuena drove in two.

Yankees 5, Royals 1: Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer in the first and drove in two more with a double in the fifth. On the year he’s only hitting .243, but the on-base percentage is a healthy .365 and he’s slugging a stout .588. He’s on pace for 49 bombs and 123 RBI. A product of being in The Best Shape of His Life?

Pirates 5, Marlins 1: The Buccos jumped all over Jose Urena early, leading 4-0 after two innings and then they cruised behind Jeff Locke and three relievers. Well, maybe they didn’t “cruise” as Locke needed 104 pitches and walked four guys, but they certainly rumbled along, as one may while driving an older SUV that could possibly use some new tires. Either way, that’s five straight wins for Pittsburgh.

Twins 2, Red Sox 1: If there are any immutable laws in the universe, one of them has to be “if you stake Mike Pelfrey to a two-run lead in the first inning, he’ll make it hold up.” OK, maybe my math is a bit off with that. And my history, frankly, but as far as I’m concerned, that’s some good science.

Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 4: Randal Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta each drove in two to back a dicey Jamie Garcia, who picked up his first win in nearly a year. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat for Yasmany Tomas: he hit two doubles and drove in three but he also struck out with the bases loaded to end the seventh and grounded out to end the game with the tying runs in scoring position.

Dodgers 8, Braves 0: I was on a radio show yesterday when someone asked me “what’s the matter with Clayton Kershaw?” I’d guess not much apart from not facing enough pushover lineups like the Braves and not being staked to enough big leads to allow him to cruise. Here both were in play, and Kershaw struck out 10 in seven shutout innings while every single hitter in the Dodgers’ lineup, Kershaw included, got a hit.

Padres 4, Angels 0: Scoreless for nine innings and then the Angels decided that Joe Smith needed to be in the game. That’s when Matt Kemp hit a bases-loaded double and that was that. Both Kemp and the Padres have been struggling. Perhaps that wakes them up.

Tigers 1, Athletics 0: David Price and Jesse Chavez dueled and David Price won. The only run in the game came via a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and even that one wouldn’t have scored if Josh Phegley hadn’t thrown the ball away, allowing the runner to make it to third base. Price tossed seven shutout innings and the Tiger bullpen locked it down. Which is not something you hear very often. Especially when Joba Chamberlain is involved.

A’s catcher Stephen Vogt’s story is one of perseverance, survival

Stephen Vogt Getty

OAKLAND -– It’s easy to define Stephen Vogt’s career by the long road he took to get to the majors.

He spent most of six years in the minor leagues, finally getting his first legitimate shot in the bigs with Oakland in 2013 at age 28. His story has been one of perseverance and survival.

Right now, the A’s catcher is gaining attention not for his background but what’s taking place in the present.

Vogt has put together one of the best all-around offensive seasons in the majors so far in 2015. Oakland went out and acquired players such as Billy Butler, Ike Davis and Ben Zobrist over the winter knowing they needed to replenish the heart of their lineup after trading away so many All-Stars.

But the man who has stepped up to grab the reins offensively was on their roster all along.

“You don’t see that much production out of a catcher,” A’s right fielder Josh Reddick said. “You expect catchers to hit .260, .270 and call a really good game, and he’s doing both of those right now. The damage he’s causing at the plate is just what we need in the heart of our lineup.”

Vogt, 30, is actually putting together some of the best across-the-board numbers in all of baseball. He entered Wednesday night leading the American League in RBI with 30. He ranks second in on base-plus-slugging percentage (1.098), is tied for fourth with nine homers and ranks fifth with a .337 batting average.

Vogt also leads all major league catchers in batting average, homers, RBI and OPS.

“I haven’t really though too much about it as to the ‘why’,” Vogt said. “I’ve typically always been a slow starter as far as seasons go. It feels good to be starting off pretty well. I don’t really know why there’s been more power, but I feel good at the plate. And with this lineup we have, I’m going to get pitches to hit.”

So good has he been that the A’s have been forced to re-think their plan to feature a straight platoon at the catcher position. Manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Vogt has earned the right to play on a regular basis. Josh Phegley drew the start in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to Boston against Red Sox lefty Wade Miley, giving Vogt a rest in a day game after a night game.

Phegley has done nothing to lose playing time as much as Vogt has commanded it with his hot bat. It’s quite the scenario considering that the A’s couldn’t have known for sure entering spring training what they would get from Vogt. He was coming off of right foot surgery in October to repair the plantar plate and was limited at catcher during the spring.

To this point, he’s held up well enough physically to start 27 of the A’s 36 games at catcher. And on Tuesday night he showed terrific mobility, springing out from behind the plate to field Pablo Sandoval’s tapper and throw him out at first. An inning later, he made a sliding catch of Blake Swihart’s foul pop near the first base dugout.

“He still gets a little sore when he’s out there several days in a row,” Melvin said. “We have to be careful with him and not over-do it, especially the way he’s performing right now. But I couldn’t be happier with his performance.”

This essentially is Vogt’s first full season in the majors. He played 18 games with Tampa Bay in 2012 and then emerged as an important contributor with the A’s in 2013 after being called up in June. Last season, he didn’t make the club out of spring training but was called up early on before the foot injury relegated him to first base, outfield and DH duties.

This season he’s been indispensable. Vogt filled in well as the No. 3 hitter when Zobrist first went on the disabled list, and now he’s settled in as the No. 5 hitter with the hot-hitting Reddick batting third.

But perhaps Vogt’s toughest job is learning all the new pitchers that joined Oakland’s staff this year, and playing counselor to pitchers -– particularly the relievers –- who have struggled so far in this 13-23 season.

“I think any time you’re trying to get to know a teammate, you have to get to know them on all levels,” Vogt said. “ Some of the guys in spring, you get to know them and they go out and pitch well. But then you need to get to know them when they don’t have their stuff. So there’s that element of getting to know them with the growing pains of a season.”