And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 3, Red Sox 1: Sox win! This on a Jose Abreu double which plated two in the top of the 10th. Tough, tough no-decision for Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright, who pitched nine innings allowing only five hits and one unearned run. The unearned run, however, came on a passed ball. Pitchers cannot be charged when a run scores on a passed ball, but a knuckler is often a person of interest in passed ball cases.

Indians 7, Rays 4: The Rays held a small lead or at least kept it tied until the eighth but then Francisco Lindor — who was 3-for-4 on the night — hit a solo homer. Four batters later Juan Uribe hit a two run shot. Both homers came off of Erasmo Ramirez. The name Erasmo, which is a regional derivation of “Erasmus,” means “beloved,” by the way. The diminutive of it is “Elmo.” Saint Elmo — also known as Saint Erasmus — was a 4th-century martyr who is the patron saint of sailors. Saint Elmo’s fire is said to be a sign of his protection. Here Erasmo was supposed to protect the Rays chances of winning the game — to serve as a fireman, as it were — yet gave up three runs. Bad relief pitcher performances are often referred to in terms of arson, with it being said that rather than putting the fire out, the pitcher “poured kerosene” on things or what have you. Which is to say that Erasmo Ramirez had quite the ironic night last night, bringing shame to his very name.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you don’t learn things while spending all day on the Internet.

Tigers 8, Mariners 7: Justin Upton hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning, but late leads tend not to hold for Detroit, so he had to go and hit a walkoff homer in the 12th. Upton has had a subpar season overall, but he has definitely come alive in June, hitting .288/.358/.562 with five homers and 20 RBI. In other news, Miguel Cabrera hit a home run that hit the concourse in deep right center at Comerica Park and then bounced onto Adams Avenue which, I can tell you my friends, is FAR. They estimated the distance to the concourse he hit at 461 feet.

Rockies 5, Marlins 3: My ex-wife, who is not a baseball fan, used to like to annoy me by intentionally referring to baseball stuff incorrectly. She used to call players “baseball mans,” uniforms “costumes” and runs “points.” Last night Rockies’ first baseman Mark Reynolds said after the game that “[i]n the heat of the game you’re just trying to score more points than the other team.” I hope he and my ex-wife are very happy together and I wish them nothing but the best in the future. In less important news, Reynolds hit two homers. Between this and Justin Upton’s performance it was a big day for guys who played for the Diamondbacks between 2007 and 2010.

Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 1: Jake Lamb smacked a two-run homer and Shelby Miller returned from the DL looking like a different pitcher (i.e. one who knows what he’s doing), allowing one run and walking only one in six and two-thirds. Pitching against the Phillies would help anyone look good, but definitely an improvement.

Pirates 1, Giants 0: Madison Bumgarner made only one mistake: giving up a solo homer to Erik Kratz. Sometimes you only get one mistake, though, and it turned out Bumgarner’s was the only one that mattered in this game. Jeff Locke allowed no runs in six and two-thirds and the Buccos’ pen took it the rest of the way.

Rangers 4, Orioles 3: A Dante game in that these guys weren’t even supposed to be here today. This being a makeup game from a rainout earlier in the season. Still counts for the Rangers’ seventh win in a row, however. The O’s took an early three-run lead but Texas won by one, as they have the last four contests in which they played. I’ll now go play The Kinks’ “Living on a Thin Line,” which is one of the more underrated Kinks songs out there. Indeed, I think their late period arena rock/Arista Records phase is underrated overall and is due for a critical reevaluation. As Ray Davies — whose birthday it is today, by the way — once said, you didn’t see The Stones, The Who and the Beatles consistently producing new, contemporary and at times excellent work well into the 80s. The Kinks should be given credit for remaining a legitimately working band far longer than the others did rather than trading on their history and nostalgia and stuff.

Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss homered and the Cards’ early 3-0 lead held up. Held up for a long time as there was no scoring here after the third inning. People often talk about how cool it would be to have time machines, but they would be disastrous for games like this one. Someone — maybe the Cubs’ bullpen catcher or something — would invariably be sent forward a couple of hours to the end of the game to see what happened. When he came back and said “hey, this was decided after three innings,” why wouldn’t Joe Maddon change his strategy and either forfeit or send out position players to pitch to save his pen for tonight or something? What I’m saying is that time travel would undermine the very basis of competitive sports, which is the uncertainty of outcome. Maybe Joe Maddon would counter with some theoretical talk about timelines and how there is no such thing as predetermination. Maybe I’ll get a press pass for tonight and ask him his thoughts on that.

[Craig gets an email from Major League Baseball permanently and forever denying him press credentials. Craig nods and understands]

Astros 10, Angels 7: Houston had a 7-0 lead after five innings and a 10-2 lead after seven, but this ended up looking closer on the scoreboard anyway. Doug Fister was strong, allowing two runs over seven innings for his eighth win. The Astros haven’t lost one of his starts his last ten times out. Jose Altuve, Jason Castro and Carlos Correa each hit home runs.

Dodgers 4, Nationals 1: Clayton Kershaw is starting to get bored with this league, I think. On a night when he didn’t he have his best stuff and wasn’t working as efficiently as he usually does, he was still basically unstoppable. Seven innings, one run, eight strikeouts, no walks. He’s 11-1 with a 1.57 ERA. In other news Kenley Janson got his 162nd career save, setting the Dodgers all-time saves record. Justin Turner homered. He’s hit five in his last eight games.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.