Tag: Marlon Byrd

Carlos Gonzalez

And That Happened: Thursdays’s scores and highlights


Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: The Rockies’ nightmarish 11-game losing streak is over, thanks to Carlos Gonzalez’ three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. There was an 85-minute rain delay during the sixth inning. In Los Angeles. Everything Albert Hammond ever told me was a lie. Wait, maybe not everything. He also had a song called “I Don’t Wanna Die in an Air Disaster,” and I’ll take him at his word for that.

Cubs, 6, Mets 5: Dexter Fowler homered and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the seventh as the Cubs complete a four game sweep of the Mets. This after New York took a 5-1 lead in the fifth. Anthony Recker had a pair of solo home runs but, you know, also allowed that passed ball. After that play, every Mets fan I know on Twitter reverted to classic “everything is awful and we are doomed” mode. Which is to say, everything is normal again.

Padres 8, Nationals 3: Cory Spangenberg hit two homers. He also has a name that really belongs on a tight end in the NFL circa 1979 or so. Derek Norris homered, tripled and drove in five runs. His name is pretty standard-issue 2000-teens baseball.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 4: Astros batters were struck out 13 times by Jays pitchers. Jays batters were only struck out once by Astros pitchers. If you didn’t know the score and you were wagering I’d imagine you’d put a ton of money on the proposition that the Jays won this game, but such is life with the hacktastic Astros. Preston Tucker had three hits and an RBI and the Astros rallied for four runs in the seventh for the come-from-behind victory. They’ve won ten come-from-behind games already this year.

Cardinals 2, Indians 1: After being dominated by Corey Kluber on Wednesday, Trevor Bauer shut the Cardinals down again on Thursday, striking out ten and not allowing any runs while pitching into the eighth. Then, with his 110th pitch Bauer gave up a walk. Terry Francona took that as a sign that he was losing it and replaced him with Marc Rzepczynski, who promptly have up a two-run homer to Matt Carpenter and that’s all that ended up mattering. Baseball, man.

Phillies 4, Pirates 2: Aaron Harang tossed eight shutout innings as he continues to audition to be traded to a contender at some point this summer. He’s now 4-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Ryan Howard hit a homer which I guess still happens sometimes.

Tigers 13, Twins 1: Miguel Cabrera had two homers and five RBI as the Tigers’ offensive attack was ridiculous. But what makes the Tigers better this year than last may not be the offense but this sort of thing:


Royals 6, Rangers 3: I guess the Royals are the opposite. Known for their defense and stuff, what makes them better this year is that they’re beating the hell out of the ball. Tops in batting average in all of baseball, third in runs per game. Alcides Escobar drove in three on three hits and scored twice. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer. He’s got an 11-game hitting streak working.

Reds 4, Giants 3: Tim Lincecum had thrown 15 scoreless innings heading into the game but was a mess in this one, walking five, hitting a batter, throwing a wild pitch and allowing three runs in four and two-thirds. He also did this:


He plants his foot way farther ahead than a lot of guys do, so you have to assume there were some issues with the mound. Either way, not his best night. Marlon Byrd, in contrast, had a good night: He hit a two-run single and a tiebreaking solo homer.

Rays 6, Yankees 1: Erasmo Ramirez and Matt Andriese combined on a five-hitter to stifle the Bombers. The only misstep was a solo homer given up to A-Rod, but that was in the ninth inning and there was nothing doing for the Yankees otherwise. Rene Rivera provided all the pop the Rays needed and then some, hitting a three-run homer in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: Two good starting pitching performances in a row for Boston. What is this world coming to? Here it was Joe Kelly, allowing one run in six and a third. He got a no-decision, though, as it was tied into the ninth until Brock Holt doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a Rickie Weeks error. Big game for Shane Victorino who hit a solo homer in the fourth and made this gem of a play in the seventh, ranging to the track for the catch and doubling off the runner at first:

The best and worst MLB lineups have had to offer so far

Dee Gordon

This is a quick look at lineup spots by team through the first five weeks of the season, which have been the most productive and which have been the least. I’m just using OPS, so don’t take this as a study of any sort.

No. 1 hitters
1. Marlins – .894 (.422 OBP)
2. Cardinals – .894 (.387 OBP)
3. Rockies – .880 (.359 OBP)

league avg – .727 (.326 OBP)

28. White Sox – .580 (.287 OBP)
29. Reds – .500 (.233 OBP)
30. Athletics – .487 (.223 OBP)

The Marlins and Yankees are the lone teams getting a .400 OBP from the leadoff spot this year, and while that’s always been the ideal to shoot for, there’s hardly any chance of any team staying that high all season. Last year, only the Cardinals (.369) and Astros (.353) had even .350 OBPs from the leadoff spot.

No. 2 hitters
1. Reds – 1.084
2. Blue Jays – 1.001
3. Angels – .939

league avg – .751

28. Rangers – .560
29. Braves – .551
30. Brewers – .489

The Reds started off with Joey Votto batting second, and he was awesome, amassing an 1.173 OPS with a .474 OBP, six homers and 15 RBI in 17 games. So, of course, they dropped him back to third. Fortunately, Zack Cozart and Marlon Byrd have been pretty great in the two hole themselves, but that’s not going to last.

No. 3 hitters
1. Diamondbacks – 1.074
2. Cubs – 1.056
3. Dodgers – 1.045

league avg – .803

28. Nationals – .614
29. Rays – .557
30. Phillies – .515

The Diamondbacks are exclusively Paul Goldschmidt: he’s started all 32 games batting third.

No. 4 hitters
1. Mariners – 1.155
2. Nationals – .986
3. Royals – .975

league avg – .778

28. Twins – .608
29. Phillies – .576
30. Angels – .574

And the Mariners are all Nelson Cruz: he’s started every game in the cleanup spot and blown away the field.

What’s shocking, or at least would have been over the winter, is that this is the first of four appearances for the Angels in the bottom trio. The cleanup spot used to be Josh Hamilton’s. Now it’s 16 games from David Freese, 12 from Matt Joyce and five from Kole Calhoun (whom they much prefer hitting leadoff).

No. 5 hitters
1. Rockies – .949
2. Athletics – .949
3. Cubs – .846

league avg – .737

28. Angels – .614
29. Phillies – .588
30. Yankees – .576

Just because of the difference in hitting environments, Oakland’s .949 is more impressive than Colorado’s .949. They’re primary No. 5 hitter, Ike Davis, is at .867, but Stephen Vogt has provided quite a boost, with five homers in eight games batting fifth.

No. 6 hitters
1. Yankees – 1.023
2. Royals – .930
3. Dodgers – .869

league avg – .722

28. Cardinals – .549
29. Red Sox – .546
30. Reds – .535

The Yankees being dead last at No. 5 and way out in front at No. 6 is some sort of bizarre fluke. Brian McCann, primarily the No. 5 hitter, has a respectable .704 OPS in 21 games there, but Carlos Beltran (.407 in seven games) and Chase Headley (.435 in four games) have been horrible, dragging it down. On the other hand, both Beltran (.848 in nine games) and Headley (.824 in nine games) have been just fine as No. 6 hitters and they’re further bolstered by Chris Young (1.271 OPS, four HR in seven games) and Alex Rodriguez (2.528 OPS, three HR in three games)

No. 7 hitters
1. Dodgers – .933
2. White Sox – .828
3. Orioles – .787

league avg – .658

28. Red Sox – .434
29. Rangers – .425
30. Angels – .423

It’s the third of four appearances for the Dodgers in the top three. This one is truly a committee. Juan Uribe has started 15 of 32 games as a No. 7 hitter, but he has a modest .668 OPS. Alex Guerrero, Andre Ethier, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson have combined for 15 starts and hit .444 with five homers in 54 at-bats.

Boston, which entered the year with seemingly the game’s deepest lineup, shows up near the bottom for the second straight spot, courtesy of Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino and Allen Craig. Their No. 7 hitters have combined for seven RBI in 33 games, five of them coming in Daniel Nava’s six starts.

No. 8 hitters
1. Reds – .932
2. Dodgers – .898
3. Marlins – .846

league avg – .673

28. Diamondbacks – .474
29. Angels – .392
30. Cubs – .297

The Reds take the cake for the most inconsistency by lineup spot this year. They top the list at No. 2 and No. 8 while also being last at No. 6 and next to last at No. 1. They don’t have any lineup spot in the .700-.800 OPS range. Their presence here is Cozart doing Cozart things, with some help from Brayan Pena. Even Skip Schumaker went 3-for-5 with two RBI in his one game batting eighth and he’s 4-for-27 with no RBI over the rest of the year.

The Cubs at No. 30 gets a big asterisk here; they’ve exclusively gone with their pitcher batting eighth. For the record, their No. 9 hitters have a .630 OPS.

No. 9 hitters (AL only)
1. Angels – .721
2. Blue Jays – .671
3. Tigers – .648

league avg – .583

13. Royals – .484
14. Rays – .480
15. Indians – .476

We’re taking the NL teams out of this mix and just looking at the AL squads. Oddly enough, the Angels top the list; their No. 9 hitters, mostly Johnny Giavotella, have a higher OPS than any of the spots from No. 3 through No. 8.

So, the absolute best of the lineups to date:

1. Marlins – Dee Gordon
2. Reds – Joey Votto
3. Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
4. Mariners – Nelson Cruz
5. Rockies – Nolan Arenado
6. Yankees – Chris Young
7. Dodgers – Alex Guerrero
8. Reds – Zack Cozart
9. Angels – Johnny Giavotella

White Sox prospect Carlos Rodon gets the win in his first major league start

Carlos Rodon

White Sox prospect Carlos Rodon made his major league debut on April 21, but as a long reliever. In 6 1/3 innings over three relief appearances, he allowed two runs on nine hits and four walks with four strikeouts.

Rodon started the second game of Saturday’s double-header against the Reds, pitching in the place of the suspended Jeff Samardzija. While it wasn’t a permanent move into the rotation — the White Sox will likely move him back into relief duty — it was still an audition of sorts as the club tries to find out what their first-round pick (third overall) in the 2014 draft can do.

Rodon started off shaky, issuing a leadoff walk to Billy Hamilton. Hamilton, as he is wont to do, stole second. He then took third on a passed ball. Rodon walked Marlon Byrd to put runners on first and third with no outs for Joey Votto. Rodon bounced back, striking out Votto, then getting Todd Frazier to pop-up into a double play.

The 22-year-old lefty got into more trouble in the third, allowing back-to-back one-out singles and a walk before Joey Votto knocked in two runs with another single. But those would be the only two runs Rodon would allow in the outing. He finished with the win, having yielded the two runs on four hits and four walks with eight strikeouts in six innings. It wasn’t the best outing, but it wasn’t the worst either, and Rodon was able to miss some bats and work his way out of a very tough situation. Not bad feather to put in one’s cap after debuting in the majors.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Carlos Perez

Angels 5, Mariners 4: Have yourself a major league debut, Carlos Perez:


The 24-year-old catcher singled in his big league debut and then led off the ninth with this shot to win it for the Angels. He’s the first player to hit a walkoff homer in his debut since Miguel Cabrera did it in 2003. Not bad company.

Marlins 2, Nationals 1: Mat Latos and four relievers combined on a three-hitter. Stephen Strasburg left the game early for Washington with a pinch in his shoulder blades which his manager said has been bugging him lately. Matt Williams said after the game that “we’ll have to have the chiropractor look at him.” After that I suppose they’ll give him a Balsam Specific, some Smeckler’s Powder and, while they’re burning money, a Curative Galvanic Belt too. All of which is way better than what they did back when Williams himself played and guys were bled by leeches to be have him rid of all of their bad humours.

Red Sox 2, Rays 0: The Red Sox had only five hits, but two of them were Mookie Betts homers. Given that Rick Porcello tossed eight shutout innings, that was plenty. Check out the 1975 throwbacks the Sox wore:


They don’t look that great on Betts because he is neither (a) fat; nor (b) wearing a pullover that is a size too small, which was the style in the mid-70s. Plus, I seriously doubt he has big, blown-dry hair under that cap and almost certainly doesn’t smoke. Meanwhile, some guy whose heyday was 1975 is complaining about how today’s athletes can’t compare to the guys 40 years ago.

Braves 9, Phillies 0: Shelby Miller needed only 99 pitches to shut out the Phillies. Like, a real honest-to-goodness nine-inning shutout like the pitchers used to throw 40 years ago back when the athletes were way better than today. Miller, by the way, is 4-1 with a 1.66 and a 31/14 K/BB ratio in 38 innings. I still hated to see Jason Heyward go, but Miller has been a good pickup and by far the most reliable Braves pitcher this year.

Dodgers 8, Brewers 2: Zack Greinke allowed only an unearned run while pitching into the eighth, striking out seven. He also hit a double and flipped is bat like he was Yasiel Puig or something:


All of your “but the NL has better strategy!” arguments will never sway me, but pitchers flipping their bats and strutting around like they own the place after they get hits might.


Reds 7, Pirates 1: Marlon Byrd homered and drove in four. His RBI double put the Reds up by six runs, which led to some serious profundity from manager Bryan Price, who said “it’s a lot easier to manage a game with a six-run lead than a one-run lead or being down a run.” Really makes you think, man.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3: Eight shutout innings for Michael Pineda before the bullpen, uncharacteristically, allowed some late damage. Mark Teixeira hit a two run homer and A-Rod doubled in a run. Which, again, is the Yankees’ recipe for success this year: Pineda stepping up and the old guys not looking so old.

Mets 3, Orioles 2: Bartolo Colon became the first pitcher to beat the same opponent while playing for seven different teams. He didn’t get the chance to do it in his half season in Montreal, but you figure he would’ve beaten them there too. And while, yes, Greinke’s double and bat flip — plus Doug Fister getting a pinch-hit single in the Nats game — may bolster the NL rules argument, this still happened last night:


White Sox 5, Tigers 2: Jeff Samardzija allowed only two runs in seven innings, bouncing back from that bad start in an empty Camden Yards. The Chisox’ throwbacks looked better than the Red Sox’ by the way, because these throwbacks are always amazing:


Royals 5, Indians 3: More like Eric Homer, amirite? God, I’m sorry I even said that. That’s bad. But you know damn well someone has called him that at some point. Anyway, Hosmer had a three-run shot. Jason Vargas was touched by a Michael Brantley homer but otherwise cruised for six innings.

Athletics 2, Twins 1: Another strong starting pitching performance on a night with many, this one from Jesse Chavez who allowed only an unearned run in seven and a third. Billys Butler and Burns provided offense, with the former notching two hits and an RBI and the latter adding two hits and a stolen base.

Rangers 7, Astros 1: Probably the least-apt “against his old mates” game ever, as the Astros with Wandy Rodriguez back in 2012 may have been a team of Martians or Daleks or mole people or something compared to the roster they have now. Hell, you can’t even say he pitched against his old laundry, as the uniforms are all different too. Either way, Rodriguez allowed only one run over eight innings against his old club. At least assuming they didn’t reorganize and become some weird LLC or holding company or something since he left.

Cardinals 7, Cubs 4: Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer and drove in four overall as the Cards win their eighth in a row. Mitch Harris, a 29-year-old rookie and former Navy lieutenant got his first career win. The post-game pie in the face or beer shower doesn’t really compare to shellback initiations, I assume.

Giants 6, Padres 0: Ryan Vogelsong tossed seven innings of three-hit ball and the Giants won their fifth in a row. Third straight by shutout. That’s 20-straight scoreless innings for the Padres, who actually have a bit of lumber at their disposal.

Diamondbacks vs. Rockies: POSTPONED: Rain, feel it on my finger tips
Hear it on my window pane
Your love’s coming down like
Rain, wash away my sorrow
Take away my pain
Your love’s coming down like rain

Yeah, that’s Madonna. Wanna fight about it? Madonna is awesome.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Trevor Bauer

Indians 5, Astros 1: Trevor Bauer needs to get more economical with his pitches out there and walk fewer dudes, but I think the Indians will still take six no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts. The sole hit by the Astros was a ninth inning homer by Jed Lowrie off of Nick Hagadone-killed-our-chances-at-seeing-a-no-hitter.

Mets 6, Nationals 3: Matt Harvey vs. Stephen Strasburg was all Matt Harvey. Six innings four hits, zero runs and nine strikeouts. Three of them were strikeouts of Bryce Harper, all swinging, all on high fastballs. Which, you know, maybe he should start to lay off, bro.

Tigers 7, Twins 1: Hey, the Twins scored a run. It wasn’t earned, but don’t bother them with details. Before that run scored in the seventh, the Tigers established a non-Deadball era record for a shutout streak to begin the season: 24 innings. There was a three and a half hour rain delay but after it was over Brad Ausmus declared it “great weather for baseball.” Which is why you wait three and a half hours to play sometimes, I guess.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: Yet another opening series sweep. This one was full of all kinds of insane defense. We posted about Adam Eaton’s great catch yesterday. Lorenzo Cain ranged around quite a bit out there in center as well:

In any event, Edinson Volquez was thankful for the leather behind him as he tossed eight innings allowing only one run.

Rangers 10, Athletics 1: Four homers from the Rangers including a three-run shot from Shin-Soo Choo and a two-run shot from Mitch Moreland. Adrian Beltre and Rougned Odor added solo home runs. Beltre’s came in the same at bat where he swung so hard and so early at a breaking ball that he fell down to his knees and nearly did a 360 into the dirt. Next curve ball he saw he went down to his knees and jacked it over the fence in left-center. Watch:

In other news, Beltre is pretty amazing to watch and stories like these will be told by fans who watched him each January when the writers, inexplicably, fail to give him any Hall of Fame love.

Blue Jays 6, Yankees 3: Daniel Norris, who as everyone knows by now, lives in a van down by the river, can also pitch a little. Not a shutdown effort, but three runs while pitching into the sixth and striking out five is a fine effort after your offense dropped five on CC Sabathia. A-Rod hits his first dinger since 2013. Pathetically, of course, he does so in a losing effort, clearly because he wanted to show up his teammates. God that guy is the absolute worst.

Red Sox 6, Phillies 2: Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBI, all of those coming on a bases loaded triple. Best part of this game, however, were the retro caps the Phillies wore. 1915 models:

source: AP


Giants 1, Padres 0: No offense and four hours of play is the sort of thing that makes Rob Manfred wake up in a cold sweat, I’d imagine. Oh well, it happens. And it ends when someone like Justin Maxwell hits a pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the 12th inning. Or maybe him specifically as opposed to someone merely like him. The Giants only had six hits in the game and the game-winning “rally” happened thanks to an error which allowed Brandon Crawford reach second, an intentional walk and then the Maxwell hit. San Diego stranded six runners at third base, ten overall. Feel the excitement.

Reds 3, Pirates 2: Cincy sweeps the Buccos. Joey Votto hit a two-run shot and started off the opening series of the year 5 for 14 with four driven in. The game ended on a walkoff error, thanks to Gregory Polanco muffing a liner to right off the bat of Marlon Byrd with two men on.