And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Hanley Ramirez hit two homers and drove in four runs, with his first homer bringing the Sox back to within one run after being down 4-0 in the fifth inning and his second homer breaking a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning. The Red Sox sweep and the Yankees have lost five in a row overall, sending them four back in the Wild Card race. Just a brutal weekend for the Bombers.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: The Cubs have lost four of six and everyone’s yawning. They do that two or three weeks from now, they’re labeled a grand disappointment. Which is a good time to talk to you about the nature of playoff baseball and predictions and things. If you hear some talking head musing that the Cubs — or any team for that matter — looks invincible heading into the playoffs, just remember that yesterday Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on in the ninth to end the game. Playoff series can turn on a pitcher or two making a couple of key pitches and a bat or two going cold for, like, a day. If that happens in September, no one notices or cares. You get a couple of those breaks in a couple of games in October, however, and 100+ win teams get sent home in a division series by a Wild Card winner. In other news, Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in six innings and lost while seeing his ERA go up. This is why I never set high standards. It just leads to disappointment later.

Tigers 9, Indians 5: This one sure got chippy. Trevor Bauer had no idea where the ball was going and hit three dudes, including Ian Kinsler in the head. And now Kinsler is showing concussion symptoms, so that’s just grand. Justin Upton hit a ball about 900 miles and stood and admired it and after the game Brad Ausmus said this kind of thing can inspire a team. I dunno, man, call me in two weeks if the Tigers are in the Wild Card game. Everything else is just spin.

Royals 10, White Sox 3: Kendrys Morales drove in four runs and notched his 1,000th career hit. After the game, Morales said “First and foremost, I didn’t even know I had 999 hits.” If I was a big leaguer I’d probably look at my Baseball-Reference.com page every single day. That, along a complete lack of physical gifts, athletic skills and a work ethic, is probably a reason I’m not a professional baseball player.

Reds 7, Pirates 4: The Reds wore green jerseys. I thought it was because they wished it was March again, back when there was still hope and everything was new. Now it’s late September and two weeks from this moment these guys will be packing up equipment bags or hopping flights home. The playoffs are great but not everyone gets to play in them. Oh well. For the record the green jerseys were for “ShamRock the Ballpark” which was part of an Irish heritage weekend. As for the game, Joey Votto homered and Tucker Barnhart drove in four.

Mets 3, Twins 2: When your pitching staff looks like a M*A*S*H unit you can take solace in the fact that you’re playing the Twins and still sweep the series. Michael Conforto hit a two-run RBI single and T.J. Rivera homered while Mets pitchers Ba Ling Wyre and Duc T. Ape kept the Minnesota bats at bay.

Orioles 2, Rays 1: Manny Machado homered in the sixth, Mark Trumbo homered in the eighth and six O’s pitchers stifled Tampa Bay, led by Wade Miley‘s four scoreless innings to start things off.

Braves 6, Nationals 2: The game took two hours thirty six minutes. Rain delays amounted to two hours and fifty seven minutes. In all, it only went seven innings because of the rain. Adonis Garcia drove in three and Matt Wisler was effective. That was helped by the fact that Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon got the day off and Ryan Zimmerman only pinch hit.

Marlins 5, Phillies 4: Down 4-2 in the eighth, Christian Yelich hit a game-tying home run and J.T. Realmuto hit a go-ahead RBI single later that inning. The Marlins are still be referred to as Wild Card contenders by some people. Not buying it, but they haven’t given up either.

Athletics 5, Rangers 2: Two homers for Khris Davis, giving him 40 on the year. A quarter of them have come against Texas. Colby Lewis walked five dudes, three of which came in one inning. I think he needs a bit more tuning up before the playoffs.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 0: Alex Meyer and four relievers combine for the shutout. It was Meyer’s first major league win. Toronto has lost four of six and are now in the second Wild Card position, a game behind Baltimore and two up over Detroit and Seattle. The Blue Jays have not won a series in September.

Cardinals 3, Giants 0: Alex Reyes tosses seven shutout innings in his third big league start and Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer as St. Louis takes two of three from San Francisco. The Giants are now five back of the Dodgers and are a mere game ahead of St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants now go to L.A. to face Clayton Kershaw tonight, so that’s fun.

Mariners 7, Astros 3: Seth Smith hit two homers and drove in four as Seattle salvages the third game of the three game series. Luckily for them both the Tigers and Jays have been struggling.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: The sweep. Mark Reynolds homered. That’s good! Then later he got hit by a pitch and broke his hand. That’s bad! He sounded upbeat after the game, though, saying that he’s “going to get it better and get ready for next year.” That’s good! Next year he’ll be a year older with no guarantee of a job anywhere, though. And will contain potassium benzoate.

*blank stare*

That’s bad.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 9: Brandon Drury hit a walkoff single with two outs in the 12th. He had three other hits in the game, including a homer. Drury has been on absolute fire lately, which is a good thing for a utilityman on a bad team to be late in the season. It’s the sort of thing that ensures you’l be in someone’s plans over the winter.

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.