And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1: Eight innings, ten strikeouts no earned runs for Clayton Kershaw. Ho-hum. It’s his third straight start with double digits in strikeouts. Ho-Hum. He’s 16-3 with a 1.73 ERA. Ho-hum. The guy leads MLB in wins despite spending five weeks on the disabled list. Ho-effeing-Hum.

Pirates 3, Cardinals 1: Ike Davis with a long two-run shot in the second ended up being all the scoring the Pirates would need as Jeff Locke allowed only one run over seven, outdueling Adam Wainwright. After the game Wainwright said he had a dead arm. Which is way better than an undead arm. Although there are fixes for that too.

Rangers 12, Mariners 4: Rougned Odor hit a grand slam, Tomas Tellis drove in three and everyone on the Rangers was detained by the Seattle police for suspected fraud and identity theft because there is no way those are real people’s names.

Phillies 8, Nationals 4: The Phillies sweep the Nats, with Grady Sizemore’s two-run pinch hit homer in the sixth putting them ahead. If the Phillies keep winning like this Ruben Amaro is going to go into next season thinking that this group is totally dandy, isn’t he?

Yankees 8, Tigers 4: The Yankees banged out nine straight hits off David Price in their eight-run third inning. Meanwhile, every baseball analyst, present company included, is spending their morning deleting old posts and columns in which we claimed that the Tigers picking up Price ensured them a playoff spot and made them World Series favorites.

Rays 3, Orioles 1: Meanwhile, the other part of the David Price trade — Drew Smyly — was just dandy, allowing one run on two hits over seven innings. We pundits will not be deleting anything we said about Smyly. At least those of us who said that he was a really solid young pitcher who the Rays will be happy to have. He’s certainly been showing that so far.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: Jorge Soler was called up yesterday and made his big league debut. Not a bad one — 2 for 4 with a homer and an RBI single — but it wasn’t enough. Mat Latos stuck out ten and the Reds bats chased Jacob Turner in the fourth. Not that it was all his fault: the Cubs committed three errors. They threatened in the ninth too, but it came up short.

Braves 3, Mets 2: The Braves snap their losing streak thanks in part to a lead-saving, mind-blowing freakout of a play by Andrelton Simmons. I saw people comparing his range-right, jump-throw to first play to Derek Jeter. And I suppose it was in form. But I’d love to see a video overlay of Simmons’ play with any of Jeter’s from the past, oh, 15 years. I’d bet the farm there was none in which Jeter was a deep in the hole as Simmons was here.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 2: Danny Valencia had a pinch-hit, go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh. In a bleak season, Boston’s bullpen had actually been pretty OK until recently. Now even it is disappointing.

Padres 3, Brewers 2: Rene Rivera took care of everything here, tying the game with a home run in the ninth inning, and winning it with an RBI single in the 10th. He also allowed a run to score on a passed ball, so he really did dominate this game in every way.

White Sox 3, Indians 2: The Sox end a seven game losing streak that had them actually tied with the Cubs for the worst record in Chicago (which is a thing I just made up). Jose Abreu hit a pair of RBI singles. Corey Kluber lost his second straight start after not taking a loss since June before that.

Royals 6, Twins 1: Phil Hughes shut Kansas City down until the eighth inning, then they broke through for four runs against him and two more off the pen. Sal Perez and Billy Butler had the big hits. The Royals gain another game in the standings and they now lead Detroit by two and a half.

Giants 4, Rockies 2: Buster Posey had two homers on Tuesday and then broke a 2-2 tie — and ended the game — with a walkoff two-run homer. Tim Hudson, who pitched excellently despite the no-decision,  notched his 2,000th career strikeout. Bruce Bochy got his 1,600th career win.

Athletics 5, Astros 4: Sam Fuld broke a tie with a two-run homer in the ninth. Man, there were a lot of tie-breaking homers last night. The A’s have won 12 games this year when trailing after the seventh inning. That’s the most in baseball. Now they face the Angels in a [pick your adjective which generally means important] four-game series.

Angels 6, Marlins 1: Mike Trout notches his 30th homer of the year. Trout leads the majors with 71 extra-base hits and 283 total bases. I look forward to someone trying to construct an argument about how he’s not the American League MVP.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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