Tag: Kyle Seager

Josh Donaldson

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


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.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Shelby Miller

Braves 6, Marlins 0: Shelby Miller has a no-hitter broken up with one out to go. Sorry kid. Still, a 94-pitch shutout is nothin’ to sneeze at. It’s something that even has a cool name. And let the record reflect that Miller is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts while Jason Heyward is hitting .252/.310/.382. I’d rather have the Cardinals’ record than the Braves, but so far the Braves are winnin’ that trade.

Orioles 3, Angels 0: Mike Wright’s major league debut: seven and a third innings pitched, four hits no runs and his first big league strikeout came on a swing-and-miss by Mike freakin’ Trout. Not bad!

And since we mentioned a debut, let’s mention a finale. I won’t give anything too major away here in case people haven’t seen it, but I’m OK with how “Mad Men” ended. The big thing to remember: you don’t spend eight years pounding the twin ideas of cynicism and people’s powerlessness to change and then suddenly give your main character enlightenment or transcendence or something. If Don Draper had done anything other than what he did here it would’ve been a nice payoff for fans, yes, but it also wouldn’t have served the show’s central ethos very well. So, I liked it. If you require crazy twists, stunning personal journeys and catharsis, “Mad Men” really wasn’t your kind of show to begin with.

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 0: Sean O’Sullivan was hit way harder by his own catcher than he was by any Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks managed only five hits off of him. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit O’Sullivan in the throat when he tossed the ball back to him. He was shaken for a second but stayed in the game, delivering one more pitch to complete his six innings of work. The Phillies have won five in a row, you guys.

Royals 6, Yankees 0: The Royals were powered by a battery: Edinson Volquez tossed three-hit ball for seven innings and Salvador Perez homered and drove in two. The third 6-0 game of the day. The seventh shutout in fifteen games overall. Everyone was gettin’ away for getaway day, I guess.

Giants 9, Reds 8: The first half of the line score here is sort of messy, as the Giants had a five-run lead early and squandered all but one run of it in the third. Crooked numbers and disorganization. The last half of the line score is very satisfying for the sort of person who likes symmetry and order, as each team scored one run a piece in the fifth, seventh and eighth, leaving that one-run margin for San Francisco. Brandon Belt homered Nori Aoki drove in three.

Mets 5, Brewers 1: Noah Syndergaard got his first career win, allowing one run over six innings and striking out five. He also beaned Carlos Gomez in the ear flap, scaring the hell out of everyone, but thankfully Gomez is OK. It also led to this bit of good sportsmanship.

Rays 11, Twins 3: The Rays rattled 19 hits off of Twins pitching to avoid the sweep. James Loney had four of those hits and three RBI. Chris Archer allowed only one run in six innings. Also: the way “Mad Men” ended TOTALLY keeps the idea of “Don invents ‘New Coke’ in 1985, ruining his career” speculation in play! McCann-Erickson did that campaign! Don pitched the Max Headroom “Catch the Wave!” commercial, everyone loved it and then it totally fizzled. Or, perhaps, Peggy did that while Don was off on some bender or another journey around the country. Don watches it fail, comes back and pitches “Coca-Cola Classic.” If I were AMC It’d throw a truckload of money at Matt Weiner to do that as a six-episode mini-series 10-15 years from now.

Astros 4, Blue Jays 2: Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus homered and Collin McHugh allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and struck out nine. Mark Buehrle went the distance for Toronto and, though he lost, he served his second-best purpose and kept this game to a crisp two-hour, twenty-two minutes.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A.J. Burnett tossed seven shutout innings. Last August the dude said he’d probably retire, but came around to give it another go. Then in January he said he only had one more season left in him. So far, however, he’s 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 43/18 in 52 innings. That’s the sort of thing that can change a man’s career plans.

Rangers 5, Indians 1: Mitch Moreland had a two-run homer and hit another ball off the top of the wall. Carlos Carrasco pitched all eight innings the Rangers batted, making him the second dude on the day to do that after Buehrle. Going the distance in a loss is the new inefficiency.

White Sox 7, Athletics 3: The sweep. The first White Sox sweep in Oakland since 1997. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer. Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs over eight.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 0: James Paxton tossed eight shutout innings. Kyle Seager homered, drove in two and scored twice. Everyone has talked about how the Red Sox’ starting pitching stinks, and it has, but the offense is no great shakes either, ranking 11th in the American League in runs per game and 14th in slugging percentage. And yet they’re only three and a half back because the American League East is kind of a hot mess. But some hot messes are fun, so who cares?

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Mike Bolsinger and three relievers combined to three-hit the Rockies. Kyle Kendrick limited Colorado to a run and three hits over seven innings, but he walked five and one of those walks put a man in scoring position prior to the RBI single which proved to be the only run in the game.

Nationals 10, Padres 5: Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer, tripled and drove in four on his 3-for-4 day. On the year he leads the National League in games, plate appearances, runs, home runs, walks, slugging percentage and OPS. Clearly overrated.

Cardinals 2, Tigers 1: Ausmus. Matheny. The battle of the Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers concluded with King Handsome Ausmus’ squad taking two of three from Prince Handsome Matheny’s squad. Matheny prevailed here, however, as Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth and Lance Lynn allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth and hit an RBI to [altogether now] help his own cause. This will not, however, alter the handsomeness standings as it was a non-title match. All bets are off if the Tigers and Cardinals meet in the World Series.

2015 Preview: Seattle Mariners

Felix Hernandez

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 Seattle Mariners.

The Big Question: Did they add enough offense?

The Mariners surprised in 2014, but man, if they just got a lick of offense, they could’ve surprised a lot more. Their 87 wins and near-wild card birth was achieved almost totally on the back of their pitching staff. Overall, the M’s had the best staff in all of baseball, allowing only 3.42 runs a game. The offense, however, was forgettable at best. Seattle scored 3.91 runs a game, which was third to last in the American League.

Robinson Cano is back, of course. As is third baseman Kyle Seager, who was the only other regular besides Cano to post an OPS+ above 100 in full-time play. Other positive offensive contributors in 2014 included Michael Saunders, who only played have the season and who is now gone, and Logan Morrison who played in 99 games. To improve upon 2014’s performance, the M’s needed more offense. So they went out and tried to get some.

The biggest addition was Nelson Cruz, who hit 40 homers and slugged .525 for Baltimore last year. Also added was Seth Smith, who hit .266/.367/.440 for San Diego in 2014. Given that Austin Jackson only played in 54 games last year you can think of him as an addition too. Rickie Weeks was acquired as well, though he’ll be riding pine and hitting against lefties mostly.

I sort of don’t think that’s enough. Taking Cruz out of Camden Yards and putting him in Safeco Field is going to cause him to take a step back a bit, and that’s before you acknowledge that he likely overachieved a bit last season in the first place. Seth Smith is not a cure-all, and full seasons of Morrison and Jackson could, based on their track records, mean full seasons of anything from good production to less-than-mediocrity. For the M’s to take that next step, they’re probably going to need more than this. They’ll need better production from Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller and Mike Zunino or they’ll need to add a bat at some point during the season.

None of which is to say the Mariners are in trouble. Heck, with their pitching staff (discussed more below) they’re almost instant contenders. But they were a flawed team last season which, while likely better on offense as 2015 begins, may not be quite good enough.

What else is going on?

  • The pitching is, of course, ridiculously good. Felix Hernandez needs no introduction. Hisashi Iwakuma has been one of the best kept secrets in baseball over the past three years. His late-season falloff last year is a bit worrisome, but given how James Paxton came on late in the season, the M’s may not need him to be a number two starter like he was before. Paxton has an injury history, of course, but he has gobs of talent. But wait, there’s more! Taijuan Walker has dodged injury and perpetual trade rumors to, presumably, earn a slot in the rotation following a spring in which he has tossed 18 scoreless innings with a 19/4 K/BB ratio. J.A. Happ at the back of your rotation is way better than J.A. Happ at the front of your rotation, and pitching in Safeco should help him. Roenis Elias is hanging around when someone needs a break, gets injured or forgets how to pitch. An extremely solid crew.
  • The bullpen was every bit as strong as their rotation last season, with Fernando Rodney, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen, Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush all pitching well and all returning. Rodney is occasionally heart-attack inducing, but if he implodes, Farquhar can handle the job. Expect a bit of a step back for this crew, as all bullpen performances fluctuate from season to season, but it’s a strong unit.
  • Adding Rickie Weeks was fun. Because he’s a second baseman and the Mariners, you may have noticed, have a pretty OK second baseman. That makes Weeks a super-utility guy, who will probably get looks in the outfield. Which is hilarious given that one of the reasons he was on the outs in Milwaukee was because he basically refused to play in the outfield when they asked him to. One presumes that Weeks was aware of Mr. Cano’s presence before signing his deal with the M’s, so one presumes that he’s on board with the move to the outfield now. Should be fun, though. He’s only ever played 2B and DH.
  • Another smallish addition: Justin Ruggiano, who could platoon with Seth Smith and/or Dustin Ackley. Or maybe Weeks can platoon. A lot of flexibility here, it seems, and if Lloyd McClendon feels comfortable with doing some plate-spinning with this lineup, he may be able to squeeze a bit more production out of it even without another big name addition.

Prediction: It’s hard not to like this club’s chances to to compete for a playoff spot. I think they still have enough questions on offense to where the Angels get the nod, but I think the Mariners are contenders. Second place, American League West.

Troy Tulowitzki dazzles at the plate and in the field in his second Cactus League game

tulowitzki getty

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was eased into activities this spring after undergoing season-ending surgery last August to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. But he made his 2015 Cactus League debut on Monday and then truly made his presence felt in his second Cactus League game on Wednesday …

Tulo hit his first spring homer off Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez in the top of the first inning …

And then he robbed Kyle Seager of a hit with this leaping grab in the bottom of the first …

Tulowitzki also drew a walk in the top of the fourth before getting subbed out of the game in the fifth. The 30-year-old has averaged just 88 games over the last three seasons, but he looks to be 100 percent heading into 2015. Tulo was batting .340/.432/.603 with 21 home runs in 91 games last year before the hip injury and probably would have challenged Clayton Kershaw for National League MVP if his health cooperated.

Todd Frazier on Kyle Seager’s seven-year, $100 million extension: “I’m aware of it, of course”

todd frazier getty

Earlier this month, Seattle bought out all three of Kyle Seager’s arbitration seasons and four seasons of free agency with a seven-year, $100 million extension. Todd Frazier plays the same position as Seager, is only one year older than Seager, and had very similar numbers to Seager in 2014 …

Seager: .268/.334/.454, 25 HR, 96 RBI, 159 games
Frazier: .273/.336/.459, 29 HR, 80 RBI, 157 games

Frazier is arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, as Seager would have been. So you can imagine that the 28-year-old from Toms River, New Jersey is seeing dollar signs:

“I’m aware of it, of course,” Frazier said when asked about Seager’s deal. “Right now, I’m just worried about Redsfest. I’ve seen it. It’s pretty cool. I’m aware of it. I’m just trying to help out the Reds and the community. That’s all I can do, right now.”

The Reds, who signed Joey Votto to a $250 million contract extension in April 2012 and Brandon Phillips to a six-year, $72.5 million deal a few days later, will probably have to go year-to-year with Frazier for now.