And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 10, Mets 0: Actual conversation that took place between a Mets fan I randomly met and I yesterday: the two of us trying to pinpoint exactly when the season ended for New York. Think hard about it: there are so many possible instances you can point to and say “There! Right there! That’s when it was clear that things were effectively over for the Mets.”

Mariners 3, Indians 2: Tribe closer Chris Perez comes into a tie game in the ninth, hits a dude, hits another dude, and then throws the ball away on a sacrifice attempt. I guess the error ended up not mattering — the g0-ahead run scored on a sac fly that would have plated the run even if the bunter was out at first on the previous play — but it added spice. The sweep by the Tigers was bad, but one gets the sense that we’re seeing the Indians’ season sort of ending before our eyes.

Brewers 8, Pirates 1, Pirates 9, Brewers 2: In the first game Chris Narveson allowed no runs in five and a third and drove in two for himself. I’m kind of a stats moron, but when I see something like that I feel like making up — with a totally straight face — some baloney metric about NL pitcher run differential or something and see if I can get anyone to run with it. Game two: Zack Greinke was rocked, allowing seven runs on seven hits. (and not driving in any, making his NLPRD a negative 7).

Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1: The Diamondbacks keep skidding out of control. They’ve scored seven runs in six games. Damn shame someone has to represent the NL West in the playoffs. Not that there’s anyone else that we can allow in in their place, what with there only being three good NL teams this year apparently.

Tigers 5, Rays 2: You’ll be shocked to learn that the Tigers won a Justin Verlander start (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8K). Jhonny Peralta drove in two. He’s having the quietest .315/.361/.512 season for a shortstop in recent memory.

Orioles 4, Twins 1: J.J. Hardy — former Twin — hit a homer. It inspired Gleeman to make the following observation during last night’s game:

J.J. Hardy has 24 homers in 383 at-bats. Twins’ entire infield, including anyone to play 1B, 2B, SS, or 3B, has 37 homers in 2,320 at-bats.

But no, the Twins had no use for the guy at all.

Braves 3, Cubs 0: Jair Jurrjens had been beaten up in four of his last five starts, so he needed this. Jose Constanza went 2 for 3 and scored a run and … left with an ankle injury. Even if you’re in the “he’s gonna turn into a pumpkin soon” camp, losing him for any amount of time wouldn’t be good because, you know, he still hasn’t turned into a pumpkin. Seems minor, though.

Rockies 9, Astros 5: The Astros had baserunners all night — they had 11 hits off starter Jhoulys Chacin — but couldn’t do much of anything with them. The Rockies got an early 6-0 lead off Brett Myers who, in hindsight, probably didn’t deserve that contract extension he received last year.

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1: St. Louis took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. After starter Chris Carpenter — who had shut L.A. out for eight innings — hit the first batter he faced in the ninth, La Russa did the “let’s use three pitchers to face three batters thing.” Arthur Rhodes struck out Andre Ethier, but then Fernando Salas surrendered a triple to Aaron Miles, he got yanked, and then Jason Motte induced a grounder that Rafael Furcal bobbled, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 0: C.J. Wilson and the trio of Uehara, Adams and Feliz shut out Boston. A three-run homer for Mike Napoli was the big blast.

The Phillies plan to spend money and “maybe even be a little bit stupid about it”

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In an age in which even baseball’s richest teams talk about tight budgets and keeping payroll low, it’s pretty rare to hear anyone connected with a front office talking about freely spending money. Phillies owner John Middleton, however, offered up something rare about the team’s approach to free agency.

“We’re going into this expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it,” he told Bob Nightengale or USA Today. He then added, “we just prefer not to be completely stupid.” That save aside, it was a pretty unusual sentiment these days.

“Stupid” could certainly mean Bryce Harper, who the Phillies have long been expected to pursue. It could even mean Harper and Manny Machado. Why not? At the moment the Phillies’ payroll for 2019 is looking to be just a shade above $100 million, so even adding, say, $70 million to that would not put them in an unreasonable position compared to other competitors. And that’s before you figure in any sort of back-loading or deferred money that Harper and/or Machado might agree to.

Or, even if they didn’t get one or both of those guys, they could spend that same kind of money on multiple free agents. Patrick Corbin? Marwin Gonzalez? A handful of others? We counted down the top 100 free agents last week and any number of them could be acquired given the sort of payroll flexibility a large market team like the Phillies appear to have. It merely requires the will to do it. A will which, it seems, John Middleton possesses.

How novel.