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Braves trade reliever Jim Johnson to the Angels

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The Los Angels Angels announced a few minutes ago that they have acquired righty reliever Jim Johnson and international pool space from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for minor league lefty Justin Kelly.

The Braves, were blasted back to the stone age as far as international pool money is concerned, but that’s for the signing period beginning next summer. They still had still had money on the books for the 2017-18 period, though not much. That goes to the Angels now.

As for the ballplayers, Johnson saved 22 games for Atlanta last season, posting 5.56 ERA in 61 games. Not a great line to be sure, but over the past two seasons he has improved on a 2014 and a partial 2015 season in which he seemed lost at sea. Los Angeles fans may remember his awful partial season with the 2015 Dodgers, but that seems to be in his rear-view mirror for the most part now.

Kelly, a 33rd round pick of the Angels in 2016, started six games and came out of the pen in 19 games across five different levels of the minors this past year.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.