And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 4, Brewers 0; Cubs 4, Brewers 1: Trevor Cahill and four relievers shut out Milwaukee in Game 1. Jason Hammel shut ’em out for seven innings in the nightcap. Aroldis Chapman saved both ends of the doubleheader. Anthony Rizzo pulled some parkour crap on a catch in foul territory.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 3: Mookie Betts with two homers and five RBI. Hear me out here, but I’m beginning to think he might be fairly good. He’s on a 38-homer pace at age 23. He’s hitting .426 with 12 homers and 18 RBI in 11 games against the Orioles this season. Look forward to a good 10-15 years of dreading this guy, Baltimore fans.

Blue Jays 12, Yankees 6: Rebuilding ain’t all about seeing nice young players come up and do well early, Yankees fans. It’s also about blowing 6-0 leads after five innings and allowing eight-run eighths. Russell Martin homered twice. Troy Tulowitzki had four hits. My friend Jake, a Yankees fan, has never had to witness a rebuild in his adult life, but he’s already feeling how they go in his bones. Here he is tweeting right after Martin’s eighth inning homer made it 6-4 and Josh Donaldson had reached base:

Yeah, he called it. There’s a certain warmth in knowing these things.

Dodgers 15, Phillies 5: All Chase Utley did was come back to Philly, hit two homers, drive in five and get a warmer reception from the Philly crowd than any Phillies player has since, like, 2011. The Dodgers, by the way, are now in first place in the National League West.

Indians 3, White Sox 1: Corey Kluber allowed one run over six innings while striking out seven while Francisco Lindor, Mike Napoli and Jason Kipnis each drove in a run. Kluber is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA in his last seven starts. The Indians now have a six-game lead in the Central.

Royals 6, Tigers 1: Raul Mondesi‘s first big league homer — off of Justin Verlander of all people — was one of four dingers hit by the Royals. Meanwhile Danny Duffy continued his sharp pitching of late, allowing one run on three hits and two walks in seven and two-thirds, striking out five.

Twins 4, Braves 2: The first round of the battle of the two worst teams in baseball goes to Minnesota. I was going to skip this entire series on general principle, but then Atlanta goes and calls up Dansby Swanson, so I’ll probably watch tonight. I haven’t reduced myself to such a low level since . . . the Braves played Minnesota three weeks ago. Dammit, baseball, you’re the worst. Why can’t I quit you?

Reds 6, Marlins 3: Associated Press headline:

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A “Barnhart Slam” would make a great name for (a) a small, rural semi-professional wrestling event, possibly at a county fair; or (b) a breakfast special at Barnhart’s Country Kitchen, just off Route 16, five miles south of Turkey Knob. Cecil Barnhart runs both the restaurant and the wrestling show. He’s got his fingers in a lot of pies. Made his money in mining equipment, I hear. Got a pretty daughter.

Rays 15, Padres 1: A big day for dudes hitting two homers. Brad Miller did it too, joining Utley, Martin and Betts. I think that’s all anyway. Even Longoria, Nick Franklin and Corey Dickerson also went long. Longoria had three hits and tied Carl Crawford for the most games played for the Rays, all-time. That’s somethin’.

Rangers 5, Athletics 4: Danny Valencia singled in the tying run in the ninth to force extras and the A’s added two runs in the 10th to make it 4-2. That’s a great position to be in. At least if your bullpen doesn’t then give up four walks, a two-run single and then hit a batter with the bases loaded to end the game. That’s the second walkoff HBP to happen in the past eight days. The Reds did it to the Cardinals last week. In other news, Coco Crisp got the start a day after complaining to the press that the A’s are benching him to keep his 2017 option from vesting. Squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Cardinals 8, Astros 5: Jedd Gyorko has hit three homers in his past four games. Here it was a three-run shot to give the Cards breathing room in the sixth inning. Tommy Pham went deep too, tying things up after St. Louis fell behind by two. The Cardinals maintain their one-game lead for the second Wild Card slot.

Rockies 6, Nationals 2: DJ LeMahieu had three hits and reached base for the ninth straight plate appearance, raising his average to .342, which is good enough for second in the National League. He was 3-for-3 with a walk here, went 4-for-4 on Monday and walked in his final plate appearance on Sunday. Ten pitchers were used in a game that lasted less than three hours. I guess Dusty Baker and Walt Weiss were running to the mound each time they made a call to the bullpen.

Mets 7, Diamondbacks 5: Noah Syndergaard allowed two earned runs while pitching into the sixth inning but, more impressively, hit a deep two-run homer in the fifth, his third of the year. Kelly Johnson homered too as the Mets built a six run lead by the sixth inning and then held on as a the Dbacks’ rally fell short.

Angels 7, Mariners 6: Hey, the Angels won! First time after 11 straight losses. Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and Cliff Pennington hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning as the Angels rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the fifth and a 6-5 deficit in the seventh.

Pirates 4, Giants 3Jung Ho Kang hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth as the Pirates win for the fifth time in six games, knocking the Giants out first place for the first time since May 10th. San Francisco has the worst record in baseball since the All-Star break at 9-20.

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.