Tag: Shin-Soo Choo

Mike Montgomery

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Mariners 5, Padres 0: Mike Montgomery has made six big league starts. Two of them — the last two of them — are shutouts. This was a one-hitter, in which Yangervis Solarte’s ground rule double in the seventh was the only thing that Padres could muster off of him. Montgomery is the third M’s pitcher to have back-to-back shutouts, with the other two being Randy Johnson and Mark Langston. Johnson once had three shutouts in a row. Montgomery will get a chance to do it against Oakland on Sunday.

Rangers 8, Orioles 6: Game two in which, in my mind, the O’s and Rangers battle for the Rafael Palmeiro Cup, which goes to the winner of the season series between these guys each year. Sort of the Little Brown Jug of big-bopping, band box-dwelling, PED-fueled teams of the 90s. God, what a glorious time. Anyway, Mitch Moreland hit two homers for the second straight game and the Rangers had four homers against the Orioles for the second straight game, with Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos hitting dingers too.

Brewers 4, Phillies 3: This is, I dunno, the Ricky Bottalico Bowl. Same thing as the Rangers-O’s thing, but named after a guy who played for both of these less exciting teams. Here Aramis Ramirez drove in three runs and Ryan Braun had four hits. This one was delayed nearly an hour and a half by rain. Either from clouds or from God crying for having to watch these two squads play.

Cubs 1, Mets 0: Kyle Hendricks and three of his friends combined on the shutout, outdueling Jon Niese. If you’re a Mets pitcher you basically have to be perfect these days, it seems.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Break up the Red Sox, who have won three in a row and are now only six back. David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit homers and Eduardo Rodriguez allowed only one run over six innings. Not-so-fun fact for Toronto: Jose Bautista is hitless in 24 straight at bats.

Pirates 5, Tigers 4: The Pirates broke through in the 14th inning in spite of themselves. Tied 4-4 with Gorkys Hernandez on first, Josh Harrison hit a double. Hernandez started breaking back to first base because he thought the ball was caught for some reason. Then turned around and headed to third, missed second and ended up being called out. That sort of thing has to be totally dispiriting to a team playing after midnight on the road, but Neil Walker saved Hernandez’s bacon by doubling in Harrison for the eventual winning run.

Nationals 6, Braves 1: That’s nine straight for the Nats over the Braves, who are now legally foreclosed from referring to Washington as a “rival.” Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Braves’ only run came on an it-doesn’t-matter Juan Uribe homer in the ninth. Danny Espinosa was 3-for-5. Clint Robinson drove in two.

Twins 8, Reds 5: This one featured a two hour delay for a storm that never came. That’s some absurdist, existential stuff. It’s some Feudian and Jungian overtones away from being a Beckett play. Once it started, Torii Hunter hit his fourth homer in his past four games Eduardo Nunez had three hits and an RBI single and Kurt Suzuki drove in two. Phil Hughes was solid — the Reds closed a big gap late due to some sloppy Twins play after Hughes had left the game — and has allowed only two runs over his last two starts, which totaled 16 innings.

Marlins 5, Giants 3: An inside-the-park homer from Dee Gordon was the highlight here:


Is it rude of me to point out that maybe this should be a triple and an error due to the little glove-flippy nonsense going on by the Giants in the outfield? Oh, OK then. I won’t point it out. In Gordon’s defense, though, he booked it like crazy out of the box and never slowed down on the basepaths.

Indians 6, Rays 2: Danny Salazar was on his game and pitched two-hit ball into the eighth. He had some offensive help in the form of three homers backing him. And some defensive help in the form of plays like this gem from Francisco Lindor:


Astros 4, Royals 0: This practice run for a possible ALCS is not going too well for the Royals, as the Astros shut them out and win for the second straight day. Dallas Keuchel, of course, who has been nothing short of fantastic all year. Here he Here he shut KC out for eight innings, striking out seven and lowering his ERA to 2.03. George Springer hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve doubled in a run.

White Sox 2, Cardinals 1: A Tyler Flowers homer in the 11th was the difference here. And while Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision, he went eight innings, allowing only one run and striking out 12. That extends his double-digit strikeout streak to eight. The only other guy who has done that is Pedro Freakin’ Martinez.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4: Another extra inning game on a night with several. Yasmani Grandal was the hero for L.A., homering early and hitting a two-run double in the 10th inning, driving in four in all.

Angels 2, Yankees 1: Three runs in the game, all coming on homers. Albert Pujols and Erik Aybar went deep for Anaheim and Mark Teixeira hit one for the Bombers. Besides that one, however, Andrew Heaney was stingy, allowing only two hits and one run over seven while striking out seven. Huston Street got the save and has pitched in four straight games. Careful: relief pitchers don’t do that too often. You don’t want to take him out of his routine. He may retire.

Rockies 2, Athletics 1: Jorge De La Rosa tossed seven shutout innings. Rubby De La Rosa pitched for the Dbacks in their game against Lost Angeles. We need to get these two on the same team. the Rockies scored the run that gave them their margin of victory on a Fernando Rodriguez wild pitch.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Corey Kluber


*The first recap of the morning was written, collectively, by everyone’s mid-50s-year-old drunk uncle who peaked during Reagan’s first term and has hated everything since*

Indians 2, Cardinals 0: Eighteen strikeouts and one hit allowed in eight innings? Bah! Call me back when he can go nine. Kids these days are soft! Coddled by their parents since preschool, begging out of their responsibilities the moment things start to get tough. Jack Morris had 175 complete games in his career! You can bet, knowing that his team had the lead in this one, that he’d pitch to contact late and save the bullpen!


Cubs 2, Mets 1: I was on a radio show yesterday that billed this as “Matt Harvey vs. Kris Bryant.” Thing about baseball, however, is that you can’t do that. You can’t tease any one baseball game as star vs. star because even if he’s fantastic like Matt Harvey was (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 9K), the first star may get a no-decision and not figure in to the game’s ultimate outcome. Likewise, the second star may go 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. Maybe that kind of tease gets some people to watch who wouldn’t, but if you promise greatness from superstars in baseball you’re going to, statistically speaking, end up burning your audience more often than not. At least the casual fans who were only attracted by you hyping the stars. And if you do burn fans enough, maybe they don’t stick around until the ninth inning and see a walkoff walk to Chris Coghlan. You can’t hype things like walkoff walks in advance because you never know what you’re gonna get. You can, however, hype the fact that you never know what you’re gonna get.

Angels 2, Rockies 1: Mike Trout put on a defensive clinic in extra innings. Two plays, each of which would’ve caused the Angels to lose the game if he did not make them. Wait, make that three: the home-run theft, the running catch with the man on third and then, after that catch, the throw home to nail the runner tagging up. And the dude didn’t even make it look hard:

Best all-around player in the game and it’s not particularly close.


Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 6: Michael Taylor hit a grand slam in the ninth inning with the Nats down one. No biggie.

Best part: he was only in the game because Bryce Harper had been ejected in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Reds 5, Braves 1: Rookie Raisel Iglesias baffled the Bravos, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings. Not to take anything away from him — he was great and the Braves sorta stink — but this was such a getaway day game. Lasted two hours and six minutes and after three games in Ohio where they dealt with rain, cold and then cold again, the Braves have an offday in Miami today. Mentally speaking they were on the dang beach and eating at Joe’s Stone Crab by the third inning.

Red Sox 2, Athletics 0: Wade Miley pitched shutout ball into the seventh. He wasn’t totally cruising — he allowed five hits and walked four — but he worked out of every jam he faced. The Sox needed that.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 1: The O’s scored five in the second thanks in part to three doubles. Miguel Gonzalez allowed only three hits while pitching into the seventh. The Jays’ only run came on a passed ball.

Phillies 3, Pirates 2: Jeff Francoeur nailed a runner at the plate for the final out of the game. An out which made Jonathan Papelbon the all-time Phillies saves leader:


Am I the only one who wondered if, maybe, since the ball was foul, Francoeur shoulda let it drop so that there was no chance the tying run could tag up and come home? Maybe that’s too harsh. You should take the outs that are given to you whenever you can. Instincts are hard to overcome and it’s possible that Francoeur didn’t know if he was in fair or foul territory by the time he got to the ball. Nice throw either way and obviously the good result. That cannon he carries is the biggest reason he still has a job in the majors. Good to see him get to use it.

Twins 6, Tigers 2: Ricky Nolasco wasn’t efficient or sharp in an absolute sense but he certainly was compared to the way he’s been pitching lately. Torii Hunter homered and Joe Mauer hit a three-run triple.

Rays 3, Yankees 2: Asdrubal Cabrera drove in a run on a double that served as his 1,000th career hit. Pretty sweet. The Rays have allowed the fewest runs per game in the American League this year.

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Dee Gordon had four hits, including two doubles, against the team that dealt him away this past offseason and Giancarlo Stanton had a two-run single. I assume even his RBI singles go 500 feet somehow. The Marlins avoid the sweep and snap the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak.

Rangers 5, Royals 2: Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo each homered and the Rangers won. That’s the sort of thing a lot of people expected to happen last year and it didn’t. See the above Mets-Cubs recap about the unpredictability of stars power.

White Sox 4, Brewers 2: Jose Quintana had a 3-0 lead before he tossed his first pitch and then proceeded to strike out ten Brewers in seven innings. F***ing Quintana. That creep can roll, man.

Astros 4, Giants 3: George Springer had been out a week with concussion symptoms but looked no worse for the cobwebs and rust, hitting the go-ahead homer in the eighth. Buster Posey had three hits, including a two-run homer in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Padres 4, Mariners 2: James Shields allowed one run in six innings and moved his record to 5-0. Weird thing: perfect record but has given up 12 homers this year which leads all of baseball. I guess if that’s the only thing you do wrong and if you get some run support you’ll be alright. Will Middlebrooks homered.

Shin-Soo Choo leaves game with back spasms

Shin-Soo Choo

Because apparently the Rangers’ injury woes are carrying over for another season, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo exited today’s game with back spasms just moments after left-hander Derek Holland was forced out of his start with shoulder soreness.

Choo had a rough first season of a seven-year, $130 million contract, playing just 123 games due to ankle and elbow problems and posting a career-worst .714 OPS.

Jake Smolinski replaced Choo in right field.

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.

2015 Preview: Texas Rangers

Jeff Banister

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 Texas Rangers.

The Big Question: Will this get worse before it gets better?

After five consecutive winning seasons, including back-to-back trips to the World Series, the Rangers’ run of success came to screeching halt last season as injuries decimated the roster. Texas players combined to spend 2,116 days on the disabled list, which is the highest total by any team since DL data started being tracked in 2002. And just one other team during that time, the Diamondbacks in 2004, was above 2,000 days lost.

It was a horror show and not surprisingly the Rangers fell from 91-72 in 2013 to an AL-worst 67-95. Ron Washington stepped down after eight seasons as manager and the Rangers fired interim manager Tim Bogar despite his success down the stretch, giving the job to Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister. When a consistent contender suffers a ridiculous number of injuries and loses 95 games the easy assumption is that they’ll bounce back in a huge way the next season. Sadly, that doesn’t seem likely for the Rangers.

They couldn’t even get out of spring training unscathed by the injury bug, as ace Yu Darvish was lost for the season before it began with Tommy John elbow surgery and former stud prospect Jurickson Profar was ruled out for a second straight season with shoulder problems. Left-hander Martin Perez isn’t unexpected back from Tommy John surgery until midseason and left-hander Matt Harrison is a question mark after spinal fusion surgery. It’s safe to assume the Rangers won’t have another 2,000-plus days of DL time, because it’s safe to assume that about any team, but this is hardly a healthy bunch and losing Darvish is a massive blow.

The good news on the health front is that Prince Fielder looks recovered from the neck injury that ended his season in May and Shin-Soo Choo is one season removed from being good enough that the Rangers gave him $130 million, so if they can get back on track and should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre can continue to hold off father time at age 36 the middle of the lineup can definitely do some damage. Their supporting cast (Ryan Rua, Robinson Chirinos, Elvis Andrus, Mitch Moreland) looks iffy in a lot of spots, though, especially without the promise of Profar emerging as a building block player.

As for the Darvish-less pitching staff … well, FanGraphs projects the Rangers to allow more runs than every MLB team but the Rockies this season and Baseball Prospectus is only slightly less pessimistic in projecting they’ll rank 24th in runs allowed. Derek Holland was injured for most of last season and offseason trade pickup Yovani Gallardo has seen his strikeout rate plummet–and they’re the two best bets in a rotation that’s also home to Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler, and Nick Tepesch. And the bullpen is relying an awful lot on a post-surgery Neftali Feliz returning to form.

What else is going on?

  • Allow me to double-back on the “should-be Hall of Famer Adrian Beltre” thing. Most people may not think of him as bound for Cooperstown, but Beltre is a four-time Gold Glove-winning third baseman with a .285 career batting average, 395 homers, and 2,604 hits. And he’s still an elite player, batting .324 with an .879 OPS last season to put 450 homers and 3,000 hits within reach. Among all third basemen in MLB history Beltre ranks seventh in Wins Above Replacement, behind only Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Chipper Jones, and Brooks Robinson. All of those guys are in the Hall of Fame or will be very soon. As if the third baseman one spot behind Adrian in eighth place, Ron Santo. Adrian Beltre should be a Hall of Famer.
  • Profar was the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball two years ago, so having to wait until 2016 to see what remains of his upside is sad. Texas still has a really good, really young middle infielder with tons of upside in Rougned Odor, who debuted last season at age 20 and held his own with a .700 OPS in 114 games as the youngest regular in the entire league. Odor’s approach at the plate is very raw and his K/BB ratios aren’t pretty, but he was one of just eight 20-year-old middle infielders in MLB history to play 100-plus games and post an adjusted OPS+ of at least 95. The last four to do so? Starlin Castro in 2010, Alex Rodriguez in 1996, Roberto Alomar in 1988, and Bill Mazeroski in 1957.
  • Gallardo was a really good, durable, and generally underrated starter for the Brewers, but his annual strikeout rate has dipped from 9.0 to 7.2 to 6.8 and his average fastball now clocks in at 91 miles per hour. He induces enough ground balls to avoid being totally wrecked by calling the Rangers’ power-inflating ballpark home, but switching from the NL to the AL may shine a light on the 29-year-old impending free agent’s deteriorating skills.
  • Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, Choo is owed $20 million per season through 2020, and Andrus is owed $15 million per season through 2022. Those are the three players around which general manager Jon Daniels has decided to build and if they don’t start making good on those long-term investments it’s going to be extremely difficult to turn things around quickly.

Prediction: Fewer disabled list stints and slightly fewer losses, but another last-place finish in the AL West.