And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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The losing team scored two runs in eight of last night’s fifteen games. I have no idea if that’s uncommon or not, but I noticed it and I’m going to pretend it’s a sign or portent or something. Anyway:

Pirates 8, Giants 2: Welcome to the big leagues Gerrit Cole. The 2011 number one pick pitched shutout ball into the seventh before running out of gas, allowed two runs total, got the win and drove in the first two runs of the game with an RBI single.

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 3: Any time you have a fight where some of the most active participants include multiple former MVPs and a couple of guys with arguments for one, well, that’s something. Hats off to you, Don Mattingly, Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, Mark McGwire, Matt Williams, and Don Baylor! Show ’em how we do it, 80s-style!

Mariners 4, Astros 0: Aaron Harang got shellacked his last time out. This time? He tossed a two-hit, ten strikeout shutout in a game that lasted only two hours and fifteen minutes. He may be one of the more hard-to-predict pitchers of the past decade or so. Just never know what you’re gonna get with him.

Orioles 3, Angels 2: Miguel Gonzalez was sharp, allowing one run over eight innings. Nick Markakis delivered the go-ahead runs on a two-run single in the seventh.

Cardinals 9, Mets 2: Five unearned runs for the Cardinals, helped in part by a Daniel Murphy error at first base. Miss Ike yet? OK, maybe not. Allen Craig with a three-run homer. Michael Wacha got his first win and helped his own cause with an RBI.

Rays 8, Red Sox 3: Two homers for Desmond Jennings as the Rays rough up Jon Lester for seven runs in four and two-thirds. He hasn’t won since May 15.

Marlins 5, Brewers 4: Giancarlo Stanton returns and hits a two-run homer that put the Marlins in front for good. The Miami fans weren’t all that impressed with the return of their team’s best player, however: a paltry 13,110 bought tickets, the Marlins’ lowest attendance total of the year.

Indians 5, Rangers 2: The Indians snap their eight-game losing streak — and a 12-game road losing streak — behind Corey Kluber’s one-run performance over eight innings. Texas fans weren’t totally unhappy, though, as it was Yu Darvish bobblehead night. And that’s what it’s all about, yes?

Reds 12, Cubs 2: Four homers for the Reds as they continue their dominance of the Cubs. Four driven in for Zack Cozart.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 5: Chien-Ming Wang makes his 2013 debut. It wasn’t pretty — five runs and ten hits allowed in seven and a third innings — but he kept his team in the game. The winning run scored on a Ramon Troncoso wild pitch. In other news there was a fog delay at U.S. Cellular on Monday and a lighting malfunction delay on Tuesday.

Rockies 8, Nationals 3: Tyler Colvin homered twice and drove in four runs in his first game since being recalled from the minors. Carlos Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer. Remember when Dan Haren was good?

Tigers 3, Royals 2: Max Scherzer improves to 9-0 and shows that he doesn’t need crazy run support to win games. The Royals win streak ends.

Twins 3, Phillies 2: A three-hit night and the go-ahead RBI for Justin Morneau. The Phillies have dropped four in a row.

Padres 3, Braves 2: Andrew Cashner allowed only two runs in eight innings — his longest career outing — and the Padres scored single runs in the first, second and third, which is all they needed.

Athletics 6, Yankees 4: A late rally by the Yankees fell short as Seth Smith made a nice catch on what looked like it could have been a game-tying homer by Travis Hafner in the ninth. Derek Norris homered and drove in four runs, Bartolo Colon continued to be as solid as a rock and the A’s won their eighth game in their last 11. They have the franchise’s best record at this point of the season since 1992.

Indians trade Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers

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The Cleveland Indians have traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Texas Rangers. In exchange, Texas is sending center fielder Delino DeShields and pitcher Emmanuel Clase to the Indians. There are reports that the Indians will be getting more than just those two players, but no word yet. The deal is pending physical.

Kluber made only seven starts this past year thanks to a broken arm and a strained oblique muscle. When he did pitch he was no great shakes, posting a 5.80 ERA and 44 hits in 35.2 innings. Those were freak injuries that do not suggest long-term problems, however, so there’s a good reason to think he’ll bounce back to useful form, even if it’s a tough ask for him to return to the form that won him the 2014 and 2017 Cy Young Award.

Before his injury-wracked 2019 campaign, Kluber pitched over 200 innings in each of his previous five seasons so mileage could be an issue. For his career he’s 98-58 with a 3.16 ERA (134 ERA+), a 2.99 FIP, and a K/BB ratio of 1,461/292 over 1,341.2 innings in nine big league seasons.

Unless there is cash coming from Cleveland in the deal, the Rangers will be paying him $17.5 million this year and a 2021 option of $14 million pursuant to the five-year, $38.5 million contract he inked with Cleveland before the 2015 season.

DeShields, 27, is a career .246/.326/.342 hitter (76 OPS+) and that’s about how he performed in 2019 as well. He was demoted to Triple-A Nashville in May. Clase, who will turn 22 before next season, pitched 21 games, all but one in relief, for the Rangers in 2019 and will still be considered a rookie in 2020. He has been used mostly as a reliever in the minors as well.

Pending what else the Tribe is going to be getting, this appears to be a light return for a pitcher who, despite his 2019 injuries, should be expected to come back and be a workhorse. Unless there is some real talent coming back, in addition to DeShields and Clase, it would seem to be a salary dump for Cleveland and a steal for Texas. It is likewise perplexing how any of the many, many teams who could use starting pitching — the Angels and the Mets, among others, come to mind — could not top the package Texas offered.

As for the Indians, the commitment to Kluber for 2020-21 is $31.5 million if you exercise next year’s option, $18.5 million if you don’t. He’s one year and a freak injury removed from goin 20-7 with a 2.89 (150 ERA+), 0.991 WHIP, and 215 innings pitched. Cleveland is coming off 93 wins and should contend. Why you trade Kluber in that situation, regardless of the return, is a question they should have to answer to fans who expect to see winning baseball.