Kyle Hendricks

Justin Verlander

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Blue Jays 10, Tigers 5: I was in Detroit over the weekend and interviewed Justin Verlander on Saturday for an upcoming story I’m writing. Part of that conversation focused on what sorts of adjustments he plans to make as he ages, how he expects to change and maybe rely on secondary pitches more as his velocity decreases, etc. Short version: he doesn’t plan to change and still thinks he can do everything he could do several years ago. I mean, he wasn’t a jerk about it, but he more or less said that he sees no reason to make adjustments now.

The fastballs he tried to throw by Jays’ hitters in pitchers’ counts that they bashed the hell out of yesterday say something different.

Cardinals 3, Padres 1: Rookie Tommy Pham homered, doubled and drove in three in his third big league game. That has to be a stage name, right? Like his agent is some vaudeville veteran and has this thing about shortening names that are perceived as “too ethnic” because the houses in the sticks won’t book his acts? “Look, Tommy. I know you and the rest of the Phamtonestovich family are very proud of all of your accomplishments, but BELIEVE ME, you’ll want to be “Tommy Pham” when you play Peoria!”

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: De La Rosa beat De La Rosa in this one. Nice outing for De La Rosa. Tough break for De La Rosa, however. Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer. Off of De La Rosa, natch. After the game De La Rosa said he pitched well. De La Rosa, however, admitted he had some stuff to work on.

Rays 8, Yankees 1: The Rays end a seven-game losing streak, with Erasmo Ramirez’s only blemish coming on an A-Rod homer. That notwithstanding he pitched six innings of three-hit, one run ball. Ramirez is 7-2 with a 2.17 ERA since joining the rotation on May 14.

Brewers 6, Reds 1: And eight-game winning streak for Milwaukee, including all seven games of their road trip. Taylor Jungmann allowed one run on four hits in eight innings. They’re only two games behind the Reds for Not Last in the NL Central.

Red Sox 5, Astros 4: Hanley Ramirez hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh. Ryan Hanigan and Pablo Sandoval each had three hits for the Sox, who have won three straight series.

Phillies 4, Braves 0: Philly snaps a six-game losing streak by breaking through with a four-run tenth inning. Nick Masset allowed most of the damage via loading the bases and having his replacements allow inherited runners to score. Dana Eveland allowed one of those inherited runners across. Then after the game both were designated for assignment. Tough day at the office.

Pirates 5, Indians 3: The Indians scored three times off Gerrit Cole early but then he buckled down and retired the last 16 men he faced to win his league-leading 12th game. Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking double in a five-run fifth.

Orioles 9, White Sox 1: Adam Jones had two doubles, Steve Pearce had three hits and Jonathan Schoop hit a homer in his first at bat since mid-April as the Orioles avoid the sweep. The White Sox made four errors on the day.

Royals 3, Twins 2: Eric Hosmer doubled in Lorenzo Cain for the walkoff win. The Twins weren’t without highlights, however, as Ervin Santana came back from his 80-game drug suspension and went eight innings striking out eight.

Cubs 2, Marlins 0: The Cubs aren’t scoring runs but are still winning thanks to a nice streak from their starters. The latest nice outing: Kyle Hendricks shutting out the Marlins for seven and a third, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out six.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1: Rookie Mike Montgomery’s streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings ended on a Sam Fuld homer, but he was cool all the same, going five and two-thirds and getting his fourth win. The Mariners turned double plays in three consecutive innings.

Mets 8, Dodgers 0: Steven Matz looked great again, pitching six scoreless innings and striking out eight. Wilmer Flores went 4-for-5 and drove in three. The Mets took two of three in this series, which many were figuring would be a disaster following their awful homestand. I guess they just needed some California sun.

Angels 12, Rangers 6: Earlier this season when the Rangers were looking surprisingly frisky I and many others observed that the pitching wasn’t likely to hold up. Guess it’s ceasing to hold up now, as the Angels outscored the Rangers 33-8 in the three-game sweep. Albert Pujols hit his 25th homer while Kole Calhoun homered and drove in four.

Nationals 3, Giants 1: A three-game sweep in Washington, where the Nats have won nine straight. The Giants played the Sunday night game then had to fly back to California with no day off today. Sunday Night Baseball is dumb. UPDATE: Just learned that the Giants stayed the night in DC and then are flying back to San Francisco this morning. I can’t decide if that’s better or worse.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Mike Montgomery

Mariners 5, Padres 0: Mike Montgomery has made six big league starts. Two of them — the last two of them — are shutouts. This was a one-hitter, in which Yangervis Solarte’s ground rule double in the seventh was the only thing that Padres could muster off of him. Montgomery is the third M’s pitcher to have back-to-back shutouts, with the other two being Randy Johnson and Mark Langston. Johnson once had three shutouts in a row. Montgomery will get a chance to do it against Oakland on Sunday.

Rangers 8, Orioles 6: Game two in which, in my mind, the O’s and Rangers battle for the Rafael Palmeiro Cup, which goes to the winner of the season series between these guys each year. Sort of the Little Brown Jug of big-bopping, band box-dwelling, PED-fueled teams of the 90s. God, what a glorious time. Anyway, Mitch Moreland hit two homers for the second straight game and the Rangers had four homers against the Orioles for the second straight game, with Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos hitting dingers too.

Brewers 4, Phillies 3: This is, I dunno, the Ricky Bottalico Bowl. Same thing as the Rangers-O’s thing, but named after a guy who played for both of these less exciting teams. Here Aramis Ramirez drove in three runs and Ryan Braun had four hits. This one was delayed nearly an hour and a half by rain. Either from clouds or from God crying for having to watch these two squads play.

Cubs 1, Mets 0: Kyle Hendricks and three of his friends combined on the shutout, outdueling Jon Niese. If you’re a Mets pitcher you basically have to be perfect these days, it seems.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Break up the Red Sox, who have won three in a row and are now only six back. David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit homers and Eduardo Rodriguez allowed only one run over six innings. Not-so-fun fact for Toronto: Jose Bautista is hitless in 24 straight at bats.

Pirates 5, Tigers 4: The Pirates broke through in the 14th inning in spite of themselves. Tied 4-4 with Gorkys Hernandez on first, Josh Harrison hit a double. Hernandez started breaking back to first base because he thought the ball was caught for some reason. Then turned around and headed to third, missed second and ended up being called out. That sort of thing has to be totally dispiriting to a team playing after midnight on the road, but Neil Walker saved Hernandez’s bacon by doubling in Harrison for the eventual winning run.

Nationals 6, Braves 1: That’s nine straight for the Nats over the Braves, who are now legally foreclosed from referring to Washington as a “rival.” Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Braves’ only run came on an it-doesn’t-matter Juan Uribe homer in the ninth. Danny Espinosa was 3-for-5. Clint Robinson drove in two.

Twins 8, Reds 5: This one featured a two hour delay for a storm that never came. That’s some absurdist, existential stuff. It’s some Feudian and Jungian overtones away from being a Beckett play. Once it started, Torii Hunter hit his fourth homer in his past four games Eduardo Nunez had three hits and an RBI single and Kurt Suzuki drove in two. Phil Hughes was solid — the Reds closed a big gap late due to some sloppy Twins play after Hughes had left the game — and has allowed only two runs over his last two starts, which totaled 16 innings.

Marlins 5, Giants 3: An inside-the-park homer from Dee Gordon was the highlight here:


Is it rude of me to point out that maybe this should be a triple and an error due to the little glove-flippy nonsense going on by the Giants in the outfield? Oh, OK then. I won’t point it out. In Gordon’s defense, though, he booked it like crazy out of the box and never slowed down on the basepaths.

Indians 6, Rays 2: Danny Salazar was on his game and pitched two-hit ball into the eighth. He had some offensive help in the form of three homers backing him. And some defensive help in the form of plays like this gem from Francisco Lindor:


Astros 4, Royals 0: This practice run for a possible ALCS is not going too well for the Royals, as the Astros shut them out and win for the second straight day. Dallas Keuchel, of course, who has been nothing short of fantastic all year. Here he Here he shut KC out for eight innings, striking out seven and lowering his ERA to 2.03. George Springer hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve doubled in a run.

White Sox 2, Cardinals 1: A Tyler Flowers homer in the 11th was the difference here. And while Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision, he went eight innings, allowing only one run and striking out 12. That extends his double-digit strikeout streak to eight. The only other guy who has done that is Pedro Freakin’ Martinez.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4: Another extra inning game on a night with several. Yasmani Grandal was the hero for L.A., homering early and hitting a two-run double in the 10th inning, driving in four in all.

Angels 2, Yankees 1: Three runs in the game, all coming on homers. Albert Pujols and Erik Aybar went deep for Anaheim and Mark Teixeira hit one for the Bombers. Besides that one, however, Andrew Heaney was stingy, allowing only two hits and one run over seven while striking out seven. Huston Street got the save and has pitched in four straight games. Careful: relief pitchers don’t do that too often. You don’t want to take him out of his routine. He may retire.

Rockies 2, Athletics 1: Jorge De La Rosa tossed seven shutout innings. Rubby De La Rosa pitched for the Dbacks in their game against Lost Angeles. We need to get these two on the same team. the Rockies scored the run that gave them their margin of victory on a Fernando Rodriguez wild pitch.

Report: Dodgers, Cubs interested in Jon Niese

Jon Niese

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that both the Dodgers and Cubs have interest in Mets left-hander Jon Niese. It’s been no secret that the Mets would like to move Niese and/or Dillon Gee in the right circumstances as that would relieve the logjam in the starting rotation.

Niese, 28, has the prorated portion of his $7 million salary for the 2015 season remaining, plus $9 million in 2016 and a $500,000 buyout for either the ’17 or ’18 season. He has a 4.12 ERA this year along with a 58/27 K/BB ratio in 83 innings.

Though Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel have both been excellent in the Cubs’ starting rotation this year, Jon Lester — the club’s big off-season signing — has struggled, as have Kyle Hendricks and Travis Wood. The Dodgers have had dominating starting pitching at the top end with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, but lack depth and Niese would certainly help in that regard.