MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays are expected to activate Michael Saunders from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday. The Jays could have activated him for Friday night’s game, but as Chisholm notes, with the left-handed Drew Smily pitching for the Rays, it didn’t make too much sense to put the left-handed Saunders in the lineup.
Saunders tore the meniscus in his left knee in late February. He underwent surgery to remove the entire meniscus, which actually sped up his recovery process. There was some thought at the time that Saunders would be ready for Opening Day, but he’s only a few weeks late which is better than missing most or all of the season.
The Jays acquired Saunders in a December trade with the Mariners, sending pitcher J.A. Happ to Seattle. Saunders has battled many injuries over his career and owns a meager .685 OPS in 1,919 plate appearances spread out over parts of six seasons.
It hasn’t been the best year for Jose Fernandez, what with the Tommy John surgery and all. But it’s not like he’s been sitting and watching TV the whole time. He’s been doing stuff:
Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez is officially a U.S. citizen. USCIS held a special ceremony at their field office in Kendall Friday morning where Fernandez, along with 140 other South Florida residents, became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
The Marlins presented Fernandez with an American flag that previously flew over Marlins Park. Pretty cool.
Just looked back to see what other players we’ve posted about becoming citizens since the blog launched. I see Robinson Cano and Orlando Cabrera. David Ortiz did in 2008 back when I was writing a personal blog.
No reason. Just think it’s neat. Thanks to Old Gator for the heads up.
And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights
Giants 3, Dodgers 2: Joe Panik hit a walkoff sacrifice fly which scored Gregor Blanco. But dudes, Blanco should’ve been called out just before that when he “stopped” at third base on Brandon Belt’s single. UPDATE: OK, I’ve re-read the rule a couple of times and watched the replay a couple of times, and my view of this now is that, despite the contact, Blanco should not have been called out because third base coach Roberto Kelly did not “physically assist” Blanco in getting back to the bag. Read the whole justification and watch the video of the play here. Anyway, this was a big cluster and people will be, quite understandably, arguing about it for a while.
Mets 3, Braves 2: The Mets will never lose again. Of this I am almost certain. That’s ten straight. Lucas Duda hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning. Wilmer Flores of all friggin’ people hit a homer and drove in another run on a single. He has three on the year, actually. As for the Braves, it’s amazing how fast a brief hot start is forgotten and the expectations everyone has for you takes hold. Personally I was spared this spectacle as I went to go see The Mountain Goats in concert last night. There wasn’t much about baseball there — a lot about wrestling — but they did play one song that all Braves fans should keep at the ready between now and the first week of October:
“It wasn’t the plan to use Tony that long but it was a gritty performance on his part”
Rich Gossage just rolled over in his grave. And you may say “hey, Craig, Gossage isn’t dead.” He wasn’t, but he was watching the post-game presser, heard Hurdle say that and immediately died, so now he is and he’s rolling over because he still can’t even. Dan Quisenberry is dead, but he’s not rolling. He got friggin’ sick of all of that rolling and this point he just lies there, disgusted at what passes for gritty these days.
Twins 3, Royals 0: Mike Pelfrey pitched seven scoreless innings to notch his first win since 2013. The Twins scored all three runs in the first inning. Which is a good argument against time machines, really. If we had them someone, somewhere would’ve zapped ahead a couple of hours to see the outcome here, they would’ve texted someone at the ballpark about it, word would’ve spread and then there’d be no one there buying beer and hot dogs and crap. And that’s the real thing about time travel no one ever talks about. Sure, we hear all about, like, going back in time and killing your enemy’s grandfather so your enemy is never born or going forward and getting all of the box scores for the next decade, coming back and growing rich on your gambling “skill,” but the economic dislocation would be the biggest impact. That and everyone losing their ambition and will to live life going forward under the delusion that we can make things happen and otherwise affect some sort of positive change on this doomed world. Time machines would sap us of this fiction. We’d all die in our beds, as unmotivated to carry on as a bunch of flops in some 19th century opium den.
White Sox 6, Indians 0: Jeff Samardzija tossed six shutout innings, the bullpen kept it up for three more and Jose Abreu homered, doubled and drove in three. That is pretty much the Platonic Ideal of a Chicago White Sox win in 2015. They have, like, animated video simulations of this playing on monitors and glossy brochures in this freely available in the lobby of the White Sox offices for everyone to see.
Cardinals 7, Nationals 5: St. Louis jumped out to a 5-0 lead, let the Nats jump back to 5-5 and then pulled away in the eighth on a Kolten Wong double and added some insurance in the ninth because the Nats just don’t have a very good bullpen. Wong’s two-run homer was part of that jumping out part earlier and he ended up 3-for-4 on the night.
Marlins 6, Phillies 1: The Fish end their five-game losing streak. The Phillies are gonna end a lot of losing streaks this year, I reckon. Five unearned runs charged to the Phillies because, woof.
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2: Homers from Devon Travis and Justin Smoak. Travis has four homers on the year and they’re gonna take the Rookie of the Year line off the board at whatever degenerate casinos allow degenerate gamblers to bet on stuff like “who will win Rookie of the Year.” Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez walked seven guys. If you, like the Orioles here, walk seven times and lose, man, I can’t help you.
Yankees 13, Tigers 4: Six runs off David Price in the first inning ended this one before it began. Which is a shame given how cold it was — snowed here too — but the rules say you gotta play nine unless it rains. And Price sat in the dugout for all nine, even after he got pulled:
Price said he stayed in the dugout after being pulled, instead of retreating to the warmth of the Detroit clubhouse.
“You throw the ball as bad as I did and you give up more runs than you get outs, you don’t deserve to come up here,” Price said. “That’s why I stayed out there.”
Your sacrifice is bold and brave, good sir knight. Coffee is for closers, etc.
Rays 7, Red Sox 5: Tampa Bay was down 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when Jake Elmore — who just got called up before the game — homered and Brandon Guyer hit a two-run, pinch-hit single in a four-run sixth inning. The Rays break a four-game losing streak. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz homered in winning efforts in a losing cause.
Reds 2, Brewers 1: Billy Hamilton came home from third on a wild pitch with two outs in the ninth, sending the Brewers to their seventh straight loss. Maybe they need to listed to that Mountain Goats song. And make sure time machines aren’t invented. As for the Reds, that’s three straight wins since Bryan Price’s F-bomb dropping rant. One or two more of these and some jerk is gonna write the “Price’s rant motivated the Reds” column. I mean, there’s a non-zero chance I’m that jerk, but that won’t make such a column any less dumb.
Rockies 5, Padres 4: Corey Dickerson had two homers, with his second one serving to tie the game in the eighth inning. Then, in the ninth, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso smacked an RBI single for the walkoff. Both Dickerson and Nolan Arenado were out of the game on Tuesday due to various ailments. Both came back last night and came up big. Dickerson for his bombs, Arenado for some of his patented stellar defense, an RBI double and his run scoring on Descalso’s walkoff single.
Diamondbacks 8, Rangers 5: Archie Bradley walked five in the first three innings of work, including one walk with the bases loaded. That normally doesn’t bode well for your evening, but he gutted it out, lasted six innings allowing that lone runs and got the win. Four double plays by the Dbacks’ D helped, as did Chris Owings homering and hitting an RBI single.
Athletics 9, Angels 2: A pitcher’s duel until the seventh when the A’s scored five. They added three more in the eighth. As for the duel part, Sonny Gray allowed one run over seven innings, besting Jered Weaver who allowed one run in six before handing it over to the Angels bullpen to poo all over.
Mariners 3, Astros 2: Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth and put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, both times coming away with zero runs. That’s how you lose games, folks. J.A. Happ allowed two runs in seven and a third in a much-needed strong start for the Mariners.
Mariners 11, Rangers 10: Nelson Cruz hit two homers, drove in five and knocked in a walkoff single. On the year he’s hitting .354/.404/.854. Which is just a great, early-season small sample size line. Or a somewhat less valuable line than the one Barry Bonds put up over 573 games between 2001 and 2004 (.349/.559/.809).
Tigers 9, White Sox 1: Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam and a two-run home run. Not bad for a guy who I, and who everyone else I’ve been around when his name has come up in the past couple of months, always seem to say “oh yeah, he’s on the Tigers now. I forgot.”
Royals 4, Athletics 2: What a sh**show. A third straight day of sh**show, which started on Friday night when A’s third baseman Brett Lawrie slid hard/dirty into second base, hurting Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. Then, on Saturday, Yordano Ventura hit Lawrie with a 99 MPH fastball. Even? Nah. Yesterday Athletics starter Scott Kazmir hit Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain in the leg with a pitch. Then Royal reliever Kelvim Herrera threw a 100 MPH fastball behind Lawrie, which he claimed — and, to be fair, acted like — was a mistake. Ultimately, like, 58 dudes were ejected and the game was finished by little leaguers bussed in from Overland Park, Kansas. True story.
Nationals 4, Phillies 1: Stephen Strasburg struck out seven, walked two and allowed five hits while pitching into the eighth. The Nats took three of four from a Phillies club that’s gonna help a lot of struggling teams get well this year. Philly has scored 32 runs in 13 games.
Pirates 5, Brewers 2: A three-game sweep. The Brewers are 2-10, which is their worst start in history. When is the first Packers minicamp?
Orioles 8, Red Sox 3: Adam Jones went 4-for-5 with a three-run double and two-run homer, driving in five. He’s hitting .457 on the young season. That puts him on pace to hit . . . um, .457. Hmm. I guess it’s dumb to do the “on pace” thing, eh?
Yankees 5, Rays 3: I guess the Yankees just needed to get back to the Tampa area to right the ship. The sweep here, aided by two-RBI games from Chase Headley and Mark Teixeira. A-Rod doubled, walked twice and scored twice. Hard to believe, but this is the first time the Yankees have swept the Rays in a three or more game series in Tampa in ten years.
Mets 7, Marlins 6: The Mets set a record for Team Its Fans Worry About Most Despite The Fact That It Has Won Eight Games In A Row. Which, given that they keep losing players to injury in these wins, is quite understandable. Travis d’Arnaud broke his hand when he was hit by a pitch and Jerry Blevins was lost to a broken forearm suffered on a comebacker. Still, they’re 10-3 and have won their first seven home games.
Braves 5, Blue Jays 2: Jonny Gomes drove in four — a bases-loaded double and a sacrifice fly — and Shelby Miller pitched six effective innings. Gomes’ double came thanks to a misplay by Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey, who got turned around and tried to leap for the ball, only to fall down. Afterward Pompey said he’d been “playing somewhat scared” all season for fear of making a mistake. That’s . . . not the sort of thing that players should likely be telling the media, even if it’s true, I feel.
Twins 7, Indians 2: Torii Hunter hit a homer and the Twins won their fourth in the last five games. Trevor May allowed one run on four hits in six innings. The Cleveland offense has been horrid lately.
Astros 4, Angels 3: Garrett Richards made his first start since having knee surgery last year and gave up four runs — three earned — on five hits and four walks in five innings. A couple of the runs came as the result of a strikeout which catcher Drew Butera couldn’t handle, followed by a throw to first which went offline. Luis Valbuena homered for the Astros as well and Jose Altuve had three hits.
Padres 5, Cubs 2: Will Middlebrooks and Yangervis Solarte each hit two-run homers and Andrew Cashner allowed two runs, neither earned, in six innings. Jon Lester is 0-2 with a 6.89 ERA after three starts. Good thing six-year deals aren’t judged after three starts. He wasn’t as bad as he’s been, though. He allowed three runs and six hits in five and a third here. He also pulled a Terry Mulholland when a ball he fielded got stuck in the webbing of his glove and he tossed the whole glove to Anthony Rizzo for the out.
Diamondbacks 5, Giants 1: Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer and then blew everyone’s mind after the game when he said “any time you can get a win, it’s good.” Chris Owings had a two-run single. A.J. Pollock had three hits, scored twice and made a nice diving catch. Neither of them went all Confucius on us like Goldschmidt did, though.
Dodgers 7, Rockies 0: The Dodgers hit three homers in the sixth inning. Which coincided with the Calcaterra family dinner last night, which I unwisely allowed to take place with the TV on, leading to my kids running away from the table and yelling “Oh my God, ANOTHER one!” while their chicken got cold. Howie Kendrick, Scott Van Slyke and Joc Pederson did the damage here. Brandon McCarthy allowed three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked two.
Cardinals 2, Reds 1: A three game sweep for the Cards, thanks to Adam Wainwright (8 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K) outdueling Mike Leake. The game took only two hours and two minutes, which has to be a record for an ESPN Sunday night game. Hats off to these clubs for (a) letting us all switch to “Mad Men” earlier than we thought we’d have to; and (b) limiting the amount of things John Kruk and Curt Schilling could say.
Nelson Cruz launched two more home runs, then hit a walk-off single on Sunday
Between April 11-15, Mariners OF/DH Nelson Cruz homered in five consecutive games, including a two-home run game against the Dodgers. He entered Sunday’s game against the Rangers on a seven-game hitting streak, but hadn’t homered in two games. He changed that in a hurry.
Cruz belted a solo home run to left center in the first inning against Rangers starter Ross Detwiler, following a leadoff home run from Austin Jackson. Cruz homered again in the bottom of the third, a three-run shot to left field also off of Detwiler. With the game tied 10-10 in the bottom of the ninth, Cruz walked the Mariners off with an RBI single to left field off of Neftali Feliz. Cruz has a .354/.404/.854 triple-slash line with eight home runs and 14 RBI in 52 plate appearances across 12 games.
Here’s video of the walk off single:
Cruz, 34, signed a four-year, $57 million contract with the Mariners in December. With the Orioles in 2014, Cruz led the league with 40 home runs and also knocked in 108 runs.