And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 5, Rangers 4: Howie Kendrick with two homers, including the walkoff in the 11th. Kendrick after the game:

“It’s a great feeling to know that you can leave the other team on the field”

I hope someone brings the Rangers some food overnight. Maybe go back to their hotel, get guys a change of clothes or something.

Cardinals 2, Nationals 0: Adam Wainwright threw eight and a third scoreless innings striking out nine, and improved to 4-1 with a 1.93 ERA on the season. The Nats have lost eight of 11.

Pirates 2, Phillies 0: Jeff Locke and four relievers combine to shut out the Phillies. Michael Young kept his hitting streak alive — it’s now at four games — but an otherwise forgettable offensive night.

Twins 4, Marlins 3; Marlins 8, Twins 5: Oswaldo Arcia hit a massive homer in the first game. Right before he did it. Bert Blyleven speculated on-air as to whether Ron Gardenhire would have him bunt. Methinks that with that guy’s power that, no, Gardenhire is not gonna have him bunt. The Marlins take the nightcap with 16 hits. Which is probably their month’s supply of hits. Royals lead the division by a game with the Twins right on their tail. This is kinda fun while it’s lasting.

Athletics 13, Red Sox 0: Rain-shortened game or mercy rule invoked? NO MAN CAN SAY. Everyone will talk about how putrid Alfredo Aceves was — and after the game he had the nerve to ask why his teammates didn’t hit — but how about seven, three-hit shutout innings from Bartolo Colon?

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: It’s kinda early in the morning so my critical thinking skills aren’t totally sharp yet today, but when I see this in the game story:

It was the 100th consecutive game the Orioles have won when leading after seven innings

My b.s. detector starts to go off. Not because it’s not true — it is, in fact, a fact — but because it sounds too superficially impressive a feat for a team that, while good last year, hasn’t been dominant or anything. Someone can check it and tell me I’m wrong, but this smells like “a triple short of the cycle!” Meaning: a fact which sounds kind of impressive but which actually describes something which happens quite a lot.

Yankees 4, Rays 3: Ichiro had a two-run, RBI single in the ninth and, though he did not get the win, I think it’s fair to say that Phil Hughes out-dueled David Price. Has a lower ERA on the season than Price does too, if you care about such things (5.14 vs. 5.52).

Braves 4, Rockies 3; Braves 10, Rockies 2 : Atlanta takes the first chilly one thanks to homers from Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Dan Uggla. They take the second one thanks to homers from Justin Upton, B.J. Upton and Juan Francisco. It’s almost like this team hits a lot of homers or something.

Cubs 4, Reds 2: Carlos Marmol blew the save but got the win. He now leads the Cubs in wins. That’s fun. I’m sure no one else on the team thinks that’s fun but him, but it is fun.

Dodgers 7, Mets 2: Two homers for Mark Ellis. Clayton Kershaw was no great shakes, but after Jon Niese left in the third with a leg contusion, it was too much to ask for five Mets relievers to hold on.

Brewers 6, Padres 3: Nine in a row. Clayton Richard was a disaster in the first two innings and after that it was academic.

Astros 3, Mariners 2: Astros and Marlins win on the same day. Bet that doesn’t happen a lot this summer. Sadly, what proved to be the winning run came at the expense of Justin Maxwell’s broken hand on a HBP in the third.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 4: J.J. Putz blew a two-run lead in the ninth — and a four-run lead overall — but the Dbacks gritted this one out and won in 11, thanks to some heads-up base running by Didi Gregorius. He took second base on what should have only been a single after Andres Torres lollygaged his way to the ball, then scored the tying run on a wild pitch.  And if you think I’m beating this grit thing into the ground, well, I’ll stop when Diamondbacks players stop saying stuff like this after the game:

“That’s the spirit of this team,” [Brad] Ziegler said. “We’d prefer to jump out to a big lead early and kind of coast to the victory, but when that doesn’t happen, we know we have a lot of guys on this team that are going to fight to the last out.”

Indians vs. White Sox: POSTPONED: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing  Memory and desire, stirring  Dull roots with spring rain.

Royals vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: For the seven lakes, and by no man these verses. Rain; empty river; a voyage. Fire from frozen cloud, heavy rain in the twilight. Under the cabin roof was one lantern. The reeds are heavy; bent; and the bamboos speak as if weeping.

Pressure is on Phillies to finally spend “stupid money”

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For the Phillies, the term “stupid money” has defined their offseason. Coined in November when owner John Middleton said, “We’re going into this [offseason] expecting to spend money, and maybe even be a little bit stupid about it.” While Middleton caught himself, adding, “We just prefer not to be completely stupid,” it was a rare promise — especially these days — by a team owner appearing to actually commit to spending money. Austerity measures, it seems, have been implemented by most other front offices across the league.

One of two bombshells finally dropped on Tuesday: infielder Manny Machado reportedly signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The deal also apparently includes an opt-out clause after the fifth year. The other bombshell, of course, is free agent outfielder Bryce Harper.

While the Phillies have been more strongly linked to the superstar Harper, the club’s connection to Machado could not be overlooked. Several prominent members of the front office, including president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak, worked with Machado during his years in Baltimore. Upon learning today’s news, Klentak said (via Matt Gelb of The Athletic), “If the reports are true, this contract will exceed our valuation. Sometimes you have to walk away.”

The Phillies, mind you, spent the last five years actively and publicly rebuilding, which included a complete overhaul of the front office. All of that losing was designed to have the club be built up just in time for this offseason, featuring two mega-free agents in Machado and Harper. There are free agents every year. Few of them are of Machado and Harper’s caliber and at the age of 26. The free agent market has stagnated in recent years, in part, due to more analytics-focused front offices being hesitant to pay players lots of money beyond their prime years. Machado and Harper still have plenty of prime years left and, arguably, may not have even entered their primes yet. As far as free agency goes, there are no better bets than Machado or Harper.

So, the pressure is now on the Phillies to go get Harper and live up to Middleton’s “stupid money” proclamation. Despite adding J.T. Realmuto, Andrew McCutchen, David Robertson, and Jean Segura this offseason, PECOTA still projects the Phillies to finish tied for third place in the NL East at 85-77, just four games behind the projected first-place Nationals. The whole point of rebuilding is to avoid being an 85-win team, teetering on playoff contention. To these more analytically-oriented front offices, it’s either boom or bust. Failing to get Harper would not only make the spurt of activity over the last four months and the entire rebuilding scheme pointless, it would be a slap in the face to fans who endured the pitiful quality of play the club has shown over the last half-decade. Klentak, hired after the 2015 season, subjected fans to things like Jeanmar Gomez, closer; Rhys Hoskins, left fielder; and whatever the heck you call the last three editions of the starting rotation beyond Aaron Nola.

If the Phillies do fail to sign Harper, Klentak will likely say something similar to what he said today, that Harper’s ask didn’t match up with their internal valuations. There will be claims that the Phillies can still spend “stupid money” elsewhere in free agency, like going on a binge and signing Craig Kimbrel, Marwin González, and Dallas Keuchel. No one player left in free agency is a better bet than Harper and no group of players would impact the Phillies’ strength relative to their competitors more than Harper alone would. For the Phillies, it is now Harper-or-bust, and fans should revolt if the club opens the regular season not having signed a free agent superstar.