Tag: Miguel Montero

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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Blue Jays 12, Angels 5: The Angels are skidding out of it, losing four in a row and falling into third place behind the Rangers. Here the Jays do what the Jays do best: bash the hell out of the opposition. They even spotted the Angels a four-run lead after an inning. I guess you need a handicap sometimes. Edwin Encarnacion went 4-for-4 with a homer and four RBI and the Blue Jays are now back in first place in the AL East. The Jays scored 36 runs in the three-game series.

Indians 4, Yankees 3: Francisco Lindor had three hits including the go-ahead homer in the eighth off of Dellin Betances of all people. He homered and had three hits on Saturday too. Bad news for the Yankees, apart from the fact that they lost this game, was that CC Sabathia was forced to exit in the third inning with right knee pain. That’s the knee he had surgery on last year, ending his 2014 season. He’s going to have an MRI, but he’s almost certain to hit the disabled list. That’ll leave the Yankees with a rotation of Tanaka, Eovaldi, Nova, Severino and Pineda. Which, um, not to be rude or anything, consists of five starters, all of whom have been better than Sabathia this year. Though the big man has had a couple of decent starts this year, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Or, at the very least, a sink-or-swim moment for the Bombers’ rotation.

Rangers 4, Tigers 2: The Rangers take three of four from a Tigers team which, for half a second, thought it might be righting the ship. Nah. Cole Hamels allowed two runs on eight hits over six innings and Mike Napoli and Chris Gimenez homered. Funny sequence here as Adrian Beltre got ejected for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. Except Beltre claimed it wasn’t him barking, it was Prince Fielder. Who, quite conveniently, had the day off yesterday. Even Fielder, quite conveniently, claimed it was him barking. Beltre:

“My teammate over there (Fielder) was the one who said something — he even said, ‘It was me, 84,’ but I guess I was the ugly one and got thrown out,” Beltre said. “I don’t know if he confused 84 with 29, we’re always wrong, the players. Umpires are always right.”

Then manager Jeff Banister was ejected for arguing and for not sending Beltre out of the dugout following his ejection. All kinds of lulz here, made all the funnier when you’re winning the game.

Diamondbacks 4, Reds 0: The Reds get swept, losing their ninth straight game. Chase Anderson threw shutout ball into the seventh inning. Not bad for a guy who was optioned to the minors on Tuesday and only was in this one because Jeremy Hellickson got hurt. But then again, it may be harder to face a Triple-A team than the Reds right now. At least the Triple-A team hasn’t given up.

Phillies 2, Marlins 0: Trading away all the guys who made the Phillies great for a few years has really sucked, but Phillies fans have to be at least somewhat optimistic about the future when they see stuff like Aaron Nola pitch eight dominant innings. Three hits, no runs and only one opposing runner advancing beyond first base. That’s the thing about a last place year: there’s always something to latch on to. Something that let’s you say “you know, it’s gonna be better.” And even if it doesn’t get better for a while, I think some of the purest joy of being a major league baseball fan is seeing some young kid come up and figure it out in the bigs. Some days he’s lost, some days he’s not, but when he puts a nice outing together like this, you don’t think about the losses. You don’t think about contracts and possible trades. You just think “look at this kid!” There’s always another kid to give you hope like that.

Twins 4, Orioles 3: Manny Machado was a shortstop prospect, but found his home at third base thanks to a combination of injuries and J.J. Hardy being too good to move off the position. Yesterday, after some substitutions, he played short for the first time in the bigs, taking the position in the twelfth inning and it cost Baltimore when he misplayed an Eduardo Escobar grounder, allowing Escobar to reach second base. Then Jimmy Paredes, playing Machado’s usual position at third base, made an error which allowed the go-ahead and eventual winning run to score. Hardy is hitting the DL now thanks to a groin injury. Miss U already, J.J. The Twins sweep the O’s in the four-game series.

Royals 8, Red Sox 6: The Royals mounted a four-run rally when they were down two in the ninth to win 8-6. Could’ve been more but leadoff hitter Omar Infante was thrown out at home trying to stretch a triple into an inside-the-park homer. Junichi Tazawa probably think he dodged a bullet with that, but three of the next four batters singled and then Eric Hosmer knocked in two of them in with yet another single. Following a walk, Mike Moustakas doubled in two more. Moustakas had four RBI on the day with an earlier RBI double and a homer as well.

Nationals 9, Brewers 5: On Friday Yunel Escobar collided with a fan while tracking down a foul ball and hurt his neck. That caused him to be out of this game, allowing Danny Espinosa to hit a three-run, go-ahead double in the third inning. Anthony Rendon and Wilson Ramos homered. The Nats are still five games back, though, because the Mets . . .

Mets 5, Rockies 1: . . . won their third in a row, sweeping the Rockies. Logan Verrett, making a spot start for Matt Harvey, looked a lot like Matt Harvey, at least in the box score, allowing one run over eight innings, striking out eight. Only five runs for the Mets after scoring 28 in the previous two games, though. Must be slippin’.

Astros 3, Dodgers 2: Jason Castro smacked a walk-off homer in the bottom of the tenth. This was the Astros’ fourth walkoff win in eight games. More importantly, it was the series sweep over the Dodgers, keeping their lead in the West at four over the surging rangers and five and a half over the other Los Angeles team.

Cubs 9, Braves 3: Five homers for the Cubs, two of which came off of Kris Bryant’s bat. Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero and Kyle Schwarber went yard as well. A scary moment here, however, as a fan was sent to the hospital after being hit by a foul ball. The second such incident in as many days.

Athletics 8, Rays 2: It was a close game until the bottom of the seventh when the A’s put up a seven-spot. Makes me think of a 7 and 7, which I remember my parents making for people at weird parties they held in the 70s but which I’m pretty sure no one drinks anymore. Hell, you can hardly find 7-Up anyplace anymore. What the hell happened to 7-Up? It was the un-cola.

Mariners 8, White Sox 6: Robinson Cano had a two-run homer and Nelson Cruz drove in two with a double. The M’s avoid a three-game sweep. Cano on why it’s nice to avoid a three-game sweep with a Sunday win:

“Like I told the guys in the dugout, it’s good to end it up with a happy Sunday,” Cano said. “You can have a nice evening. You don’t have to go to bed and, `What do we have to do win a game?”

Better yet, you can avoid a case of the Mondays.

Cardinals 10, Padres 3: Four runs in the first inning are all the Cards would need but they added six more anyway. Stephen Piscotty homered twice and drove in five. The Cards avoid a sweep and a case of the Mondays too.

Pirates 5, Giants 3: The Pirates scored three first-run innings off of Ryan Vogelsong and never trailed. Homers from Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez gave them a greater margin for error later. Not that they needed it. The Giants scored two unearned runs and the Pittsburgh bullpen allowed jack squat from the sixth inning on. The Pirates are only three and a half games back of the Cardinals now.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Hisahi Iwakuma

source: Getty Images

Mariners 3, Orioles 0: Hisashi Iwakuma with the no-no. He walked three and struck out seven. It’s been a not-great year for both Iwakuma and the M’s, but this will at least give them something to put on the highlight reel. You’ve probably seen the final out highlight a few times since yesterday, but don’t sleep on Kyle Seager’s sweet catch in foul territory in the ninth to keep things going:

Mets 3, Rockies 0: Midseason additions Juan Uribe and Yoenis Cespedes each knock in a run, Cespedes on a homer, and Jacob deGrom continues to be ridiculous, striking out 10 in seven innings. Question: did the Rockies even bring their bats to New York?

Indians 2, Yankees 1: The Yankees; offensive struggles continue, this time managing only one run against Danny Salazar and the Tribe. And with that New York falls out of first place in the AL East. Maybe, like the Nationals, they have a veteran on the team who thinks it’s actually better to be in second place. I sort of doubt it, but I didn’t think such a beast existed before yesterday, so who knows?

Blue Jays 10, Athletics 3: Ten straight wins for Toronto and that puts them in first place. Chris Colabello and Justin Smoak, each castoffs from other teams, went deep with three-run shots. Josh Donaldson, who the A’s figured would be cool to trade away, knocked in two more runs giving him 85 on the year. And R.A. Dickey pitched well, giving the Jays their sixteenth straight game in which their starter has allowed three or fewer earned runs. They have one more this afternoon against the A’s and then weekend they face the Yankees in Toronto. It’s gonna be nuts.

Marlins 14, Red Sox 6: The Fish put up a ten-run sixth inning during which rookie J.T. Realmuto drove in five all by himself. He drove in six runs overall on the day. All this from a guy whose name sounds like something a kid make up on the spot when caught by a security guard with a spray paint can or something.

“Hey, you! Put that can down! What’s your name, kid?”

“It’s um . . . J.T. . . uhhh . . .Re . . .al . . .muto.”

“No, wait a minute. I know your parents. You’re Beth and Ryan Hogard’s son. That’s it, I’m calling your father!”

“Aw, man.”

Meanwhile, David Ortiz hit two homers in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Astros 2, Giants 0: Five pitchers, led by Scott Feldman, combine to toss a five-hit shutout for the Astros. Chris Heston allowed a homer to Colby Rasmus but otherwise pitched well. Ya need help, though.

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 6: Down by one, the Phillies put up a four-run sixth inning capped by a Cameron Rupp three-run homer. He also had a sac fly in the game giving him four RBI. Rupp also made a nice swipe tag on a play at the plate that went to replay review and was upheld. Here’s Dbacks manager Chip Hale after the call went against him:

“I thought he was safe. I guess it wasn’t enough evidence,” Hale said. “That’s what you always hear. That’s their excuse. Not enough evidence. That’s the way it goes.”

You mad, bro?  The Phillies avoid the sweep. 

Reds 7, Padres 3: Matt Kemp hit a first inning three-run homer, but that’s all the Padres would do. Joey Votto hit a two-run homer. He also scored on a balk by James Shields, who has not won in 13 starts. Only three years left on that $75 million deal.


Rays 9, Braves 6: The Braves blew a four-run lead in the seventh when the Rays put up a six-spot. Curt Casali hit a two-run homer that inning along with a James Loney RBI double and a Logan Forsythe sacrifice fly. There was also a wild pitch and some clownshoes Braves defense in the mix. Personally, I spent my evening watching the Perseid meteor shower. It was far more engaging.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 2: Michael Wacha beats Gerrit Cole, giving the former his 14th win and leaving the latter at 14 wins, which ties both of them with Felix Hernandez for tops in the game. This was the Yadier Molina show, though. He had an RBI triple thanks to a poor decision in the outfield by Gregory Polanco, who let the ball get by him. He also stole a dang base — third base! — and threw out Polanco trying to steal.

Cubs 3, Brewers 2: Assuming, as it often safe to assume, that a wild pitch is a joint failure of catcher and pitcher, Miguel Montero contributed to this one going to extra innings when a wild pitch went past him in the ninth to tie the score. But he atoned just fine, thanks, by hitting the walkoff homer for the Cubs sixth straight win and their 12th in 13 games. Chicago is only a game and a half behind Pittsburgh for second place in the Central and first place in the NL Wild Card race.

White Sox 3, Angels 2: Avisail Garcia doubled in Jose Abreu in the 13th for the walkoff win. There was some controversy here in the ninth inning when the Angels tied it up, though. Angels shortstop Erick Aybar struck out to lead off the ninth against Dave Robertson. The ball was in the dirt, so catcher Tyler Flowers reached out to tag Aybar on the leg and was called out, but Aybar still broke for first base. A replay challenge ensued on whether the tag was made. After the out was confirmed, Mike Scioscia came out to argue and/or get an explanation from the home plate umpire. As he did so, he stood in front of home plate. After the game Robertson, who went on to blow the save that inning and force extras, called the move “bush league” by Scioscia, claiming that he was delaying the game by arguing and implying that he did so in that exact spot to keep Robertson from getting loose during the replay delay. Scioscia denied it. Fun, fun times.

Tigers 7, Royals 4: Detroit rallied with a four-run eighth inning and added one more in the ninth. The rally started against Edinson Volquez, who Ned Yost left to begin the eighth inning rather than go to Kelvin Herrera. Herrera was eventually called upon and let a couple of inherited runners score. Defensible given where Volquez’s pitch count was, I suppose, and the Royals lead in the Central is so big that it kind of doesn’t matter I guess. It’s the kind of decision that Yost would be wise to avoid when the games matter a bit more in October.

Twins 11, Rangers 1: Miguel Sano homered twice as the Twins win in a laugher. Both of his shots were absolute rockets that went upper deck. They were almost as impressive as the Perseid meteor shower.

Dodgers 3, Nationals 0: Clayton Kershaw with eight strikeouts in eight shutout innings. He was perfect through six. He also crossed the 200-strikeout mark and it was only August 12. It’s his sixth straight year of 200Ks, which matches Koufax and Tom Seaver for the lead in that department in the National League. I assumed Nolan Ryan, like, doubled up on that at some point but even he never had six-straight 200K seasons. Which is sort of amazing to me, but that’s how streaks go I guess. And that’s how crazy consistent Kershaw has been.

Miguel Montero is back with the Cubs, but Kyle Schwarber isn’t going anywhere

Miguel Montero Cubs

Miguel Montero insisted last week that he could play through a left sprained thumb and sure enough the Cubs have activated the veteran catcher from the disabled list one day after he hit a grand slam at Double-A.

Montero has been out since July 11 and returns after just four minor-league rehab games, but how much action he’ll see behind the plate is unclear because of rookie phenom Kyle Schwarber’s emergence in his absence.

Schwarber, who came into the season as one of the top 20 prospects in baseball and crushed Double-A and Triple-A pitching before being called up, has hit .342 with six homers and a 1.061 OPS in 25 games for the Cubs.

Schwarber’s defense behind the plate is considered raw and the Cubs have given him some time in left field to keep his bat in the lineup, but it seems clear that Montero (and veteran backup David Ross) will see fewer starts behind the plate than they did before Schwarber’s arrival.

Montero is owed $14 million in both 2016 and 2017, and while his .729 OPS this season and .761 career OPS can’t compare to Schwarber’s offensive potential it’s above-average production for a catcher.

Joe Maddon: Kyle Schwarber stays when Miguel Montero returns

Kyle Schwarber

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero, dealing with a sprained left thumb, will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Tennessee on Sunday, ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports. Montero has been out of action since July 11 with the thumb injury, but could make a return in mid-August.

Montero’s impending return has led to the inevitable question about rookie catcher Kyle Schwarber: what will the Cubs do with him? Maddon said that Schwarber will remain in the big leagues once Montero returns, per Rogers. Schwarber, the Cubs’ first-round pick (fourth overall) in last year’s draft, has burst onto the scene with a .323/.405/.523 triple-slash line with three home runs and 12 RBI. He was initially called up to serve as a DH in back-to-back interleague series, but has handled catching duties with David Ross in Montero’s absence.

Montero, 32, has hit .230/.337/.392 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI this season. Ross has hit .184/.298/.286 and might be the odd man out if the Cubs don’t want to fit three catchers on their roster.

Miguel Montero wants the Cubs to activate him so he can play through a sprained thumb

Miguel Montero Cubs

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero has been on the disabled list for two weeks with a sprained left thumb and the consensus seems to be that it will bother him for the remainder of the season, but he feels ready to return and wants to play through the injury.

Or as Montero told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com: “If I wait to be 100 percent, it’s going to be season-ending, pretty much.”

Montero spoke to a doctor who said he can play through the injury as long as he can tolerate the pain and according to the catcher “in my own mind, I think I can go right now.”

Montero’s injury cleared the path for stud catcher prospect Kyle Schwarber to be called up and he’s been fantastic, hitting .357 with a 1.035 OPS in 19 games. However, he’s also rough around the edges defensively behind the plate and has been seeing action in left field to keep his bat in the lineup.

Assuming that Montero can tolerate the pain and play at something close to 100 percent effectiveness the Cubs are definitely a better team with both Montero and Schwarber at manager Joe Maddon’s disposal, but given the injury and the physical demands of catching that seems like a big assumption to make.