And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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What a dead night for baseball. Only six games plus the day tilt in New York. All night my Twitter feed was filled with people talking about the NBA (15%) and the damn spelling bee (85%).  And between the two of those things I don’t think there’s any more human misery possible to unleash on the world.

Whatever. Seven baseball games is better than none, so let us be thankful for what we have.

Giants 12, Cardinals 7: Three homers and six RBI for Aubrey Huff makes him easily the biggest RBI whore of the day (Update: I missed that Colby Rasmus had six RBI as well, so let’s call them co-RBI whores). For St. Louis, Lance Lynn not only makes his major league debut, but he makes it on short rest against the defending World Series champs. Oh, and his defense decided not to show up either. No errors while he was in the game but all manner of misplays that make Lynn’s line look misleading (5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 5K), though due to Huff’s heroics, it probably doesn’t matter.  While we’re talking about the Giants, after this mean-spirited display of jackassery, I kind of want Brian Sabean to get fired for some reason and never find another job for as long as he lives. There. How do you like it, Brian?

Mets 9, Pirates 8: I hit this one up yesterday. Shorter version: On Wednesday the Mets did a pretty decent Pirates imitation. On Thursday, the Pirates did a pretty decent Mets imitation. These are two teams that deserve one another.

Rangers 7, Indians 4: Indians’ pitchers did not strike out a single Rangers hitter. Hurm. Cleveland is 4-6 in their last 10. A mere bump in the road or are we on pumpkin watch?

Twins 8, Royals 2: The six-run third pretty much ended this one before it started. I guess if you have to look on the bright side for Kansas City it’s that Joakim Soria pitched two innings without getting his head blown off.

Astros 7, Padres 4: That’s four wins in a row for Houston, all on the road. I like to imagine that, if a team wins every game on a road trip, little music plays at the end and applause is heard sort of like when you clear all the coins in a row in Super Mario.

Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 1: A three-run first inning and thirteen hits overall made this an easy night for Washington. Another strong start for Jordan Zimmermann, and this time — unlike most of his good starts lately — he actually gets a win.

Mariners 8, Rays 2: Two home runs for Carlos Peguero and the M’s hit four overall off James Shields.  Meanwhile, a typical day at the office for Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 11K).

OK, now, can we get back to a nice 15-game schedule tonight? Thanks.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.