And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 7, Astros 0: Part of me feels like if the Rangers didn’t score all those runs in the eighth and ninth innings that Darvish would have been fresher and finished this thing off. Part of me feels like if he wasn’t facing the Astros that it would have been over in the sixth. But that’s all silliness. Yu was flat dealing and as the man said: one extra flare — just one gorp. A groundball. A groundball with eyes. A dying quail — just one more dying quail a week… and your perfect game is gone. But it was still friggin’ fantastic.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 1: This game, played indoors, was delayed 25 minutes at the outset. I can only presume this had something to do with Geddy Lee throwing out the first pitch. No doubt he threw the pitch, stepped aside for a 17 minute drum solo then, as the time signature changed three times in two minutes, he launched into some lyrics about a future dystopia. Then the game happened and R.A. Dickey’s knucklers led to J.P. Arencibia to allow about a gajillion passed balls. But relax, Jays fans: it’s only one game. There is not yet any unrest in the forest or trouble with the trees.

Orioles 7, Rays 4: A five-run seventh inning topped off with a three-run homer from Chris Davis kicks the O’s season off in style. This was the O’s first win not led by the bullpen and lady luck since 1970. True story.

Rockies 8, Brewers 4: Bad bullpen work for the second straight day for Milwaukee. It’s like 2012 all over again. Troy Tulowitzki hit a homer and drove in his third and fourth for the year, reminding people that, oh yeah, he’s amazingly good. Ryan Braun hit a homer too. Good thing the Rockies won this one or else Braun’s homer would have led a bunch of self-righteous columnists to call for the game to be vacated.

Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 1: Homers from Matt Holliday, Pete Kozma and Jon Jay. Including one that is totally gonna get this guy dumped.

Giants 3, Dodgers 0: Koufax on Monday, Marichal on Tuesday. Wait, I mean Kershaw and then Bumgarner (8 IP 2H, 0ER, 0BB, 6K).

Mariners 7, Athletics 1: Michael Morse had two homers and drove in four.  I have this theory that Morse is gonna have a big season for Seattle and, though he came there in a trade, will help convince some free agent hitters that it’s OK to sign with the Mariners because your offense won’t totally shrivel up. Granted this was a road game, but I still like my theory.

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.