Tag: Nick Hundley

Tigers celebrate

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Tigers 12, Yankees 4: J.D. Martinez hit three bombs. His fly ball in his last at bat fell short or else he would’ve had four, which we in the business call “pulling a Whitten.” Actually, that’s a lie. I’m the only one in the business who calls it a “pulling a Whitten,” but I am trying hard to make that happen. I figure if that dumb car commercial can call a control pitcher “a Rembrandt,” I can make “pulling a Whitten” happen.

Orioles 13, Blue Jays 9: Like Brunelleschi or Masolino da Panicale or whoever it was giving the world of art single-point perspective and dragging everyone into the Renaissance, the Orioles’ and Jays’ offenses are going to single-handedly pull us out of that mini-deadball era we’ve been experiencing. The O’s had 16 hits including Jimmy Paredes’ three-run homer and Chris Davis’ solo homer.

White Sox 3, Rangers 2: Gordon Beckham hit a walk-off solo home run on Father’s Day. He also had a walkoff hit on Mother’s Day. The White Sox play the Twins at home on September 13, which is Grandparents Day. Place your bets accordingly.

Indians 1, Rays 0: Compared to that walkoff balk in the Dodgers game on Thursday night, David Murphy’ walkoff sac fly was some pretty insane action. Cody Anderson pitched shutout ball into the eighth before that.

Reds 5, Marlins 2: Todd Frazier and Jay Bruce each hit two-run homers. Frazier has hit five homers in five days. Aroldis Chapman got out of a heck of a jam in the ninth, which he created himself, having loaded the bases while trying for an easy three-run lead save. But then he struck out Donovan SolanoDee Gordon and Derek Dietrich with 102, 101 and 103 MPH heat, respectively. It’s like he needed to give himself a difficulty to all of this.



Braves 1, Mets 0: The good Julio Teheran showed up, shutting out the Mets for seven and outdueling Matt Harvey. The Braves also bested the giant and went in with a Sicilian with death on the line to complete the three-game sweep. Next up: they get into a land war in Asia and win.

Nationals 9, Pirates 2: A day after you get no-hit you have the other guys put up a nine-spot on you in the first inning. It’s like two games in a row that you didn’t even need to bother playing, really. And that’s before you mention that Gio Gonzalez shut the Pirates out for seven innings. Just a bad couple of days at the office for the men in black.

Phillies 9, Cardinals 2: Adam Morgan made his big league debut and ended up out-pitching Michael Wacha by a good margin. This after being 0-6 at Triple-A. This was the first game won by a Philly starter since May 23. Andres Blanco homered while Ben Revere and Maikel Franco each got three hits.

Red Sox 13, Royals 2: David Ortiz hit a monster homer which put him past Stan Musial and Willie Stargell on the all-time list. Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts went yard as well. Betts doubled and tripled as well in an all-around hit parade.

Cubs 8, Twins 0: Jake Arrieta pitched a four-hit, seven strikeout shutout. Like a real one. Not a “shut the ___ out of ___ innings.” He went all nine, which is a thing one needs to specify in this age. The game was already out of hand when Dexter Fowler hit a grand slam in the eighth, but Dexter Fowler still hit a grand slam in the eighth.

Athletics 3, Angels 2: Scott Kazmir gave up one run in seven and a third. There was a 5:14 replay review here, and that’s kind of special.

Astros 6, Mariners 2: Colby Rasmus and George Springer each homered and six relievers managed to hold the Mariners to two runs in what was a bullpen game for Houston. In regards to that Arrieta comment, part of me fears that the future of baseball holds way more bullpen games. Like it will become a standard thing teams do, not just when they’re down a starter or something, possibly even being a rotation spot in and of itself. Which, even if it makes tactical sense, would be a bummer if, like me, you are really a starting pitching kind of guy.

Rockies 10, Brewers 4: Charlie Blackmon drove in four and Troy Tulowitzki knocked in three. Nick Hundley had four hits. Tulowitzki has reached in 21 straight games and is hitting .368/.419/.529 in the month of June.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 2: The Dbacks scored seven runs in the second but only three of them were earned. The came in part due to two San Diego errors, two walks and a hit batter, and A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt each singled home two.

Dodgers 10, Giants 2 : Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit each got beat up for five runs. Yasmani Grandal hit two homer. Jacob Justin Turner drove in three. Also: this was the ninth out of 15 games yesterday in which the losing team scored two runs. This is important. This means something.


Kenley Jansen struck out four batters in one inning in his season debut last night

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen throws to the plate during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, May 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Kenley Jansen made his season debut last night against the Rockies after returning from left foot surgery and he didn’t need much time to shake the rust.

Jansen tied a major league record by striking out four batters in one inning. Carlos Gonzalez struck out swinging to begin the eighth inning, but he ended up on first base after the ball got away from catcher Yasmani Grandal. Jansen then struck out Nick Hundley, Drew Stubbs, and D.J. LeMahieu (all swinging) to accomplish the feat. He needed just 14 pitches to get through the inning.

Jansen is the 74th pitcher to strike out four batters in one inning and the first since Oliver Perez last September. You can see the full list here. Here’s the video of Jansen’s inning:

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly decided to ease Jansen into things by having him pitch the eighth inning, but it’s safe to say that he’ll be closing games again really soon.

2015 Preview: Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies spring training in Scottsdale

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 Colorado Rockies.

The Big Question: Do the Rockies have a direction?

I have written the Rockies season preview pieces for the previous two seasons and it’s always the same thing. “If Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez can stay healthy, this team could be frisky.” Or something to that effect. It feels silly to say it again at this point, because we just can’t count on it. Tulowitzki was arguably the best player in the game prior to undergoing hip surgery last year, but he has averaged just 106 games over the past five seasons. Meanwhile, CarGo has averaged 110 games over the past four seasons and dealt with all sorts of physical issues last year before having knee surgery. Both players are healthy at the moment, but it’s worth asking at this point whether the Rockies will ever win with them on their roster. Or whether it was wise to even build around them. Coming off three straight seasons with at least 88 losses, it’s time to make some difficult decisions about where this franchise is headed.

Longtime general manager Dan O’Dowd and Bill Geivett both stepped down after last season, so the man tasked with making those decisions will be new general manager Jeff Bridich. While some clamored for an outside voice to take over, Bridich isn’t exactly that. He was previously the senior director of player development and has been with the organization since 2006. Still, the change doesn’t come without some hope. Geivett created an awkward atmosphere by having an office in the clubhouse and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal recently wrote that he regularly “butted heads” with manager Walt Weiss and others in the organization. Less drama would be a nice start. The Harvard-educated Bridich is currently the youngest GM in the majors at age 37 and his front office includes three others who are 36 or younger. This is a results-based business, so they still have to prove their doubters wrong, but it should be an interesting situation to follow.

After finishing last in the majors with a 4.84 ERA last season, pitching coach Jim Wright and bullpen coach Bo McLaughlin were both let go. Steve Foster, a former special assistant and pitching coordinator for the Royals, is now in place as pitching coach. Meanwhile, Darren Holmes, who was a part of the Rockies’ inaugural roster in 1993, has replaced McLaughlin. There’s optimism with these new hires, but solving Coors Field is a tremendous challenge and this pitching staff doesn’t inspire much in the way of confidence.

Jorge De La Rosa is currently dealing with a groin injury, so offseason addition Kyle Kendrick will be the Opening Day starter. Get excited? There is some youth and upside in this rotation with names like Jordan Lyles, Tyler Matzek, Jon Gray, and Eddie Butler, but ups and downs are to be expected. Butler recently had a recurrence of a shoulder issue, which isn’t a good sign. The Rockies are going to score runs because that’s what they do, but it’s likely going to be another ugly year on the pitching side.

What else is going on?

  • One positive for the pitching staff is that Wilin Rosario’s days as a regular catcher are likely behind him. The decision is long overdue, as he has struggled with pretty much everything behind the plate and needs to find a new position. Bridich didn’t do much in his first winter as GM, but he brought in Nick Hundley on a two-year, $6.25 million contract. He figures to carry most of the load along with Michael McKenry. They might not post the flashy power numbers like Rosario, but this is a net positive for the Rockies.
  • Some scratched their heads when the Rockies made a one-year, $15.3 million qualifying offer to Michael Cuddyer last fall, but it worked out great for them, as he declined in favor of a two-year deal with the Mets. The Rockies will now get a compensatory draft pick in this June’s draft and they still have plenty of talent in their outfield. CarGo is a known quantity when healthy while Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson are coming off breakout seasons. Drew Stubbs had a nice year in 2014 (though he did most of his damage at Coors Field) and is a perfectly-respectable platoon option with his ability to play all three outfield positions.
  • The move to Coors Field was exactly what the doctor ordered for Justin Morneau. After struggling through concussion issues dating back to 2010, the 33-year-old won the National League batting crown last season by putting up a .319/.364/.496 batting line with 17 home runs and 82 RBI over 135 games. Who knows what he has in store for a follow-up, but it’s nice to see his career get back on track.
  • LaTroy Hawkins saved 23 games last season as a 41-year-old and is set to enter this season as the Rockies’ closer. His low strikeout rate (5.3 K/9) is dangerous for someone who calls Coors Field home, so he’s no sure thing to keep the job, but he could climb into the all-time top-10 list for games pitched this season if he can stay healthy.
  • I was saving the best for last here. While Tulowitzki and Gonzalez have long been the faces of this team, Nolan Arenado is fixing to change that. He has won Gold Glove Awards in each of his first two seasons in the majors and took a big step forward offensively last season by batting .287/.328/.500 with 18 home runs and 61 RBI across 111 games. He doesn’t turn 24 until later this month and is the biggest reason for long-term hope with this franchise.

Prediction: If things break right, this roster is more talented that the Diamondbacks, so I’ll give them Fourth Place, NL West for now. But they could fall to last behind the Diamondbacks if Tulo and CarGo each miss significant time again or one or both of them are traded.

Two points of spring training optimism, one point of spring training pessimism


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Three other random observations from spring training this fine afternoon, all of which are very spring training-y kinds of thoughts.

1. This is Clayton Kershaw. He’s a bad, bad man:


But that bad, bad man also hung a curveball to Nick Hundley who deposited it over the fence, Matt Adams-style. I tweeted a joke about him being in postseason form after it happened and some people got genuinely irked. Some other people did the Twitter equivalent of nodding their heads. Combine that with this dumb article from Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday about how the Dodgers’ postseason failure last year was due to some character deficit or something, and you see the makings of the Post-Hoc Narrative Industrial Complex. Baseball just happens, man. Sometimes curveballs get hung.

2. There were two scouts here in the Cambelback press box a couple of hours ago, talking about a pitcher. The pitcher looked good. Sharp. They were impressed by his ticked-up velocity. They think he has a chance to really be special this year. The pitcher’s name: Barry Zito. Indeed, they each prefaced their compliments about the guy with things like “I know it’s Zito,” or “I know it’s just a couple of games in,” but their excitement was real.

In the past I’d chalk all of this up to spring enthusiasm and stuff, but man, Scott Kazmir happened, so I’ll believe anything anymore.

3. Down the road from here in Goodyear, the Cubs are playing the Indians. A few minutes ago Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Kris Bryant hit back-to-back-to-back homers off of Trevor Bauer.

I know there was already a ton of optimism about the Cubs heading into this season, but it’s probably off the charts in Cubs Country this afternoon.

I’ll be at Cubs camp in Mesa tomorrow to see how nuts it really is.

Orioles sign J.P. Arencibia

arencibia getty

Veteran catcher/first baseman J.P. Arencibia has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Orioles, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Matt Wieters’ uncertain health status has the Orioles in search of catching depth and they were unable to re-sign free agent Nick Hundley, who went to the Rockies on a two-year deal.

Arencibia is catching depth, but his defense behind the plate is pretty awful and aside from 20-homer power his hitting is perhaps even worse. He’s a career .207 hitter with a .658 OPS and ghastly 462/84 K/BB ratio in 443 games.