Tag: Toronto Blue Jays

Justin Verlander

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Tigers 5, Angels 0: How Justin Got His Groove Back. Verlander, that is, who took a no-hitter into the ninth inning and ended up with a complete game, one-hit shutout. Back when I profiled Verlander here at HBT he was struggling mightily. In his last four starts he has given up one earned run in 29 innings. In six of his last seven starts he has given up either zero or one earned run. It’s too late to save the Tigers’ season, but there is no real path back to respectability and competitiveness for the Tigers without Justin Verlander pitching like an ace. To see him doing it once again has got to be encouraging.

Astros 6, Yankees 2: Two homers for Gattis as the Astros take the series. They now have one more win than they had all of last year. And, indeed, more wins with a month and change to play in 2015 than they had in any season dating back to 2010.

Mariners 8, Athletics 2: Felix Hernandez has had a pretty miserable August but he won his 15th here after allowing two runs in eight innings. Then again, he always seems to dominate the A’s. Nelson Cruz drove in three. He leads the league in homers is 39 and is only a few points behind Jason Kipnis for the batting title. The RBI title is probably a stretch for him — he can blame teammates for not being on base too much for that — but it’ll be hilarious if he wins 2/3 of the Triple Crown and finishes, like, fifth or sixth in the MVP voting.

Padres 6, Nationals 5: Justin Upton homered twice. He’s on pace for a 28 homer, 90 RBI season with a less-than-amazing average and a lowish OBP for a guy who is the biggest threat in lineup. In other words: the Platonic ideal of a Justin Upton season. The Nats are now 6.5 back of the Mets. It’s getting late boys.

Mets 9, Phillies 4: Seven scoreless innings from Bartolo Colon and a nice night from Michael Cuddyer, including a moon shot homer. The Mets have won eight straight over the Phillies, 11 of their last 12 against them this year and 23 of 28 against them over the past couple of seasons. Time to change the Wikipedia page from “Owner: Phillies limited partnership (John S. Middleton, Jim & Pete Buck,David Montgomery, Pat Gillick)” to “New York Mets.”

Indians 6, Brewers 2: Just glancing at “Indians Brewers” I got a shot of nostalgia for the old American League East. Oh well. Jason Kipnis homered and drove in three. Toby Harrah, Andre Thornton, Ben Oglivie and Don Money were unavailable for comment.

Rockies 6, Braves 3: Braves: you are only four games ahead of the Phillies, who are dead last in Major League Baseball. I would never advocate tanking for a draft pick, but I’m not gonna advocate NOT tanking for a draft pick either. Now, I’m gonna leave these suggested lineups and strategies on the table. Then I’m gonna leave the room. Whatever you do with them is your business and I don’t even want to know. Just know that they’re there and that whatever it is you decide to do, I will still love and respect you. Godspeed.

Dodgers 7, Reds 4: Scott Van Slyke, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig homered during a five-run fourth inning and the Dodgers’ bullpen slipped out of jams. From the game story:

Even though the Dodgers’ bullpen went into the game with the 13th-worst combined ERA in the National League, manager Don Mattingly doesn’t think it’s that bad.

“Things are never as bad as they seem or as good as they seem,” Mattingly said.

That’s pretty zen for a guy from Indiana.

Pirates 7, Marlins 2: Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in four. In April he hit .194 and his OPS was .636. OPS by month since then: .985, .933, .914, 1.088. Bryce Harper has had the better overall year and he has the age advantage, but at the moment McCutchen is the best all-around player in the National League and it ain’t even close, regardless of what he did in April.

Twins 5, Rays 3: Two homers for Eduardo Escobar as the Twins win again. If the season ended today they’d be the second wild card team, which is pretty wild. So much of this is attributable to young guys coming up and playing great right out of the gate, but you have to figure Paul Molitor wins Manager of the Year, right?

Blue Jays 12, Rangers 4: Edwin Encarnacion hit a grand slam. He has a 21-game hitting streak now. David Price allowed two runs over six innings for his 13th win. Price is 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA with a 41/7 K/BB ratio in 36 and a third innings since being traded to Toronto.

Red Sox 3, White Sox 0: Sox win. Rick Porcello returned and tossed seven shutout innings, outdueling Chris Sale. You’ve got serious problems to begin with if you bet on baseball, but if you did bet on baseball last night I imagine taking the White Sox over Boston given that matchup looked pretty enticing. Thoughts, prayers to my degenerate gambler friends.

Orioles 8, Royals 5: Wow, the Orioles scored some runs. I had forgotten they could do that. After scoring 15 runs in their past six games, all losses, they broke out big here with two-run homers from Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop. Schoop’s may still be flying. It was beeping like Sputnik and entered orbit just slightly lower.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 1: John Lackey allowed a run on seven hits and struck out four. His defense turned three double plays behind him, continuing what they did against Arizona on Tuesday night.

Giants 4, Cubs 2: Jake Peavy and the Giants end the Cubs’ six-game winning streak. Nori Aoki hit a homer as the Giants arrest a slide and win for the second time in seven games. The Dodgers can be had. The Giants have blown their chances to get ’em so far. But they could do it.

Jose Bautista is boycotting SportsNet because they won’t pay for Devon Travis’ suit

Jose Bautista

Players boycott media outlets fairly often. Sometimes it’s because of perceived slights or the perception of bias. Jose Bautista’s boycott of SportsNet, however, is a tad different:

Jose Bautista has refused to do one-on-one interviews with Sportsnet for the past three months in protest of the broadcaster’s refusal to pay the cost of a designer suit purchased by rookie Devon Travis as part of a TV segment aired on Sportsnet on May 19.

It was one of those “let’s go shopping with the baseball player” features. Shots of Travis trying on clothes, coming out of the fitting room looking dapper, etc. Except Travis ended up paying for the suit himself and Bautista thinks the network should’ve paid for the suit. He says he will not talk to SportsNet — the Blue Jays’ broadcaster — until they pay up.

At first blush it seems sort of petty — Travis makes half a million dollars a year — but I think Bautista has a point here, I think. SportsNet is a media company that pays billions for sports rights. Travis was giving them programming for their profit-making activities. From the story it doesn’t sound as if Travis was buying the suit anyway and SportsNet said “hey, can we film you?” It sounds like an idea the network had for a segment. If a billion-dollar cable network films a segment like that, don’t they pay for wardrobe? Don’t those makeover shows — which this was a derivation of — pay for the duds?

The linked article talks to a media ethicist who thinks it’d be wrong for SportsNet to buy the suit in that it may appear as if they were paying for an interview or something. That seems rather myopic here. It’s an entertainment segment. Produced by the network which is a rights partner and is owned by the Blue Jays’ owner. Given how rights-holder politics go, I’m guessing Travis didn’t feel the same level of freedom to tell SportsNet to go pound sand over this segment as he would some local affiliate from Manitoba. You do these things for the club and so you don’t piss off ownership.

Pay for the suit, SportsNet.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Houston Astros v New York Yankees

Astros 15, Yankees 1: The Astros beating the hell out of the Yankees is the secondary story here. The primary story is the benches clearing after the Yankees took issue with Carlos Gomez’s deportment. Sure, Gomez and Evan Gattis both homered and drove in four runs and sure Dallas Keuchel got his 15th win, but this happened too:


Which is absolutely dumb. The Yankees were mad at Gomez for being upset that he popped out. And after the game Joe Girardi actually said Gomez should “play the game the right” and to “show some professionalism.” This from the guy managing the bench where dudes not even playing in the game were barking at Gomez. Much the same came from Yankees catcher John Ryan Murphy — “there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game,” he said. Dude is 24. We’ve covered that kind of thing a bunch of times around here and I’ll have a bigger post on it later, but it’s beyond stupid. If the behavior of a guy on a team with a big lead bugs you, maybe don’t get your asses beat so bad by that team and it’ll never come up. How about YOU play the game the right way? Like literally correctly and in a fashion where you aren’t losing by a ton and thus quick to anger at any perceived slight?

Nationals 8, Padres 3: The Nationals got some offense — a Ryan Zimmerman grand slam chief among them — and Stephen Strasburg allowed two runs over six. Entering play last night the Nationals were only a game or so closer to a playoff spot than the Padres by the way. And they didn’t make up any ground on the Mets because . . .

Mets 6, Phillies 5: . . . the wheels fell off for Jerome Williams and Jeanmar Gomez in the sixth inning allowing the Mets to rally. Things got testy here too when, in the seventh, Hansel Robles quick-pitched Darin Ruf, causing Jeff Francoeur and the Phillies to bark and Larry Bowa to get ejected. Bowa got his money’s worth too:


Quick pitch politics are far more rare than bat-flip and frustration politics. So rare, in fact, that not even everyone knows the rules. Get this:

“I was surprised they were mad about it,” Robles said through an interpreter. “The batter was in the box and the umpire pointed to me.”

Said [Terry] Collins, “Until they make the (quick) pitch illegal, you can do it.”

It is illegal, Terry!

Rule 8.01(b) Comment: With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball. See Rule 8.05(e) Comment.

. . .

Rule 8.05(e) Comment: A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted.

Oh well.

Angels 8, Tigers 7: Man, what got into everyone last night? Bad vibes all around. Jered Weaver was seen yelling in the dugout after Mike Trout lost a ball in the lights. He also hit a batter and, a couple batters later, it looked like Miguel Cabrera was sort of pointing at him and taunting although that wasn’t 100% clear. In any event, Weaver pitched poorly but good enough to win as the Angels blew a 4-0 lead but then piled four more on. And Trout atoned for that ball he lost in the lights:

Indians 11, Brewers 6: Michael Brantley homered twice and Josh Tomlin survived giving up three homers of his own and got his first win at Progressive Field in a dog’s age.

Rockies 5, Braves 1: Braves third baseman Adonis Garcia had a couple of big hits right after he came up. But between is defense and the impending arrival of Hector Olivera, his days are numbered. Nights in which he commits three errors allowing four unearned runs merely hasten that process along. It was Atlanta’s 12th loss in 15 games. Wheeeeeee!

Dodgers 5, Reds 1: The Dodgers snap a five-game losing streak thanks to Alex Wood taking a shutout into the sixth inning and JimmyRollins and Justin Turner each hitting two-run home runs. The Dodgers turned three double plays behind Wood too, making life easier.

Marlins 5, Pirates 2: Dee Gordon stole four bases, reaching on a couple of infield hits. He’s also still batting .333 on the year which I wouldn’t have guessed. Haven’t paid that much attention to him since his hot start and since the Marlins feel out of relevance early in the year. I’ll be damned. Our friend Old Gator pointed out to me that in the 7th inning the Marlins had a triple, a walk and four stolen bases – and they scored zero runs that inning. That’s pretty hard to do, one assumes.

Twins 11, Rays 7: That’s five straight wins for the Twins, who are only a half game out of the wild card. Brian Dozier, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario homered.

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 5: Down by one in the ninth the Blue Jays rallied for two and the win. Troy Tulowitzki had three hits, including the game-tying RBI single in the ninth. The go-ahead run scored on an Adrian Beltre throwing error. Which, man, you don’t see that sort of thing happen too dang often.

White Sox 5, Red Sox 4: Sox win. Trayce Thompson drove in three runs. He was a homer shy of the cycle. He was called up at the beginning of the month and has gone 12-for-23 in part time play. The White Sox rattled off 15 hits in all.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Kansas City had a 3-0 lead after three innings and it held up. Leads hold up, even early leads with small margins, when you got Luke Hochevar, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis going for you. They didn’t even need Greg Holland. Ho-hum, Kansas City fans say, when do the playoffs start?

Cardinals 9, Diamondbacks 1: A four-run first inning was all the Cardinals needed. Tommy Pham singled twice and tripled, scoring three times. The Cards win their 80th game.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5: Oakland blew an early 5-0 lead. Robinson Cano doubled. According to the Associated Press, he became the first player to have at least 30 doubles in his first 11 seasons in the major leagues, passing Albert Pujols. In a year where you’re hitting .277, I suppose any accomplishment is worth celebrating.

Cubs 8, Giants 4: Jake Arrieta allowed only an unearned run over six innings, lowering his ERA to 2.22 and notching his 16th win on the year. Not that he needed to be so good as he had an 8-0 lead by the time the sixth inning rolled around. Kyle Schwarber homered. He does that a lot.

Devon Travis still experiencing left shoulder discomfort

Devon Travis

Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis missed part of May and most of June because of a left shoulder injury, and he was placed back on the disabled list on July 29 with the very same issue.

There seems to be no end in sight for this thing.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that Travis visited a specialist on Tuesday and was administered another cortisone shot. He needs more rest and rehab, and there are only five weeks left in the regular season.

Ryan Goins and Cliff Pennington have been filling in at second base for the Jays, who are currently in a dead heat with the Yankees for the American League East title. This is the latest Toronto has held a share of first place since 1993.

Travis, 24, has hit .304/.361/.498 with eight homers and 38 runs scored in 62 games this year as a rookie.

Brian Cashman has a fart machine

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Last week we linked a teaser to a big S.L. Price story in Sports Illustrated about Yankees general manager Brian Cashman. The takeaway there was stuff about how Cashman told Derek Jeter at point blank range that he’d rather have Troy Tulowitzki as his shortstop than Jeter. Of course this happened in the course of a contract negotiation and, hey, Jeter asked. Cashman just gave him an honest answer.

The full Price story on Cashman is up today. And it’s a good one, talking about how Cashman has survived so long in New York despite the turmoil, the pressure, the self-inflicted wounds and those inflicted by crazy people like Steinbrenner, Levine, A-Rod and God knows who else. Probably the best thing about Cashman I’ve ever read.

If for no other reason than it reveals that Cashman has a fart machine. Like, really. When talking about how Cashman relieves stress and likes to have fun, Price gives us this:

Or, in the final few minutes before first pitch one night in July, Cashman walks outside his office to the corner between suites 45 and 46, near the giant photos of Andy Pettitte being heroic. He backs up to a nearby wall. A cluster of fans wanders by, and he clicks the button on a key-ring-sized remote. The sound is loud, unmistakable: They start and redden and wonder, Who just…? Cashman howls. A woman walks over.

“What’re you doing?” she says.

“Putting my fart machine on,” Cashman says.

He keeps pressing the button. Heads swivel, eyes narrow: Did you…? A small crowd gathers. Jim Leyritz, World Series hero of 1996, big homer in Game 4, back in baseball after years of turmoil, wanders up. The two men talk pitching, but Cashman’s thumb has a job to do.

“I got my fart machine,” he says.

“Is that what that is?” Leyritz says.

“This is my therapy, right here.”

A couple and a child: Gotcha! Cashman scans the hall for the next victim. Is it time? … Now! “Too many burritos!” a man yells.

Hey, some people drink. Some people take pills. If using a fart machine is what makes a tough job work for Cashman, more power to him.