And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 14, Marlins 2: The Cubs knocked Jarlin Garcia around for seven runs and then did the same thing to Tyler Cloyd to end their five-game losing streak. Ian Happ led the way with two homers and five driven in and Kris Bryant and Javier Baez went yard as well. “It was nice to see Happy get going again,” manager Joe Maddon said of Happ after the game. I realize that lazily adding a “y” to the end of a guy’s name is what passes for a nickname these days — it’s a sad state of affairs — but “Happy” used to be a legitimate nickname for a, well, happy guy. Or perhaps an ironic nickname for a grumpy guy. This underscores just how pathetic today’s nickname game is, doesn’t it? Hundreds of perfectly good nicknames out there waiting to be used and they’re being wasted, in this case, accidentally, with no thoughtfulness or regard for poetics or cleverness. I’m genuinely angry about this.

Phillies 11, Giants 0: Odubel Herrera and Carlos Santana combined to drive in nine of the Phillies’ 11 runs with five and four, respectively. Two homers for Herrera, one for Santana and Cesar Hernandez added one of his own. With all of that they didn’t need Zach Eflin to toss six and two-thirds shutout innings while striking out nine but he did anyway. He was backed up by three shutout innings from the pen, one-third of which came from Zac Curtis. I’m guessing we haven’t had too many instances of Zachs/Zacks/Zacs relieving one another in baseball history, but I bet we’ll see the line graph on that angle upward over the next few years.

Mets 7, Reds 6: Adrian Gonzalez hit two bombs, Michael Conforto hit one as well and Jay Bruce, playing in his old stomping grounds in Cincinnati, hit a two-run shot of his own. The crowd cheered for Bruce, chanting his name like they used to when he played there all the time. Cut ’em some slack: they have little else to cheer for these days. The Reds are 8-27. It’s the worst major league start in five years, matching that of the 2003 Tigers. That team went 43-119.

Twins 6, Cardinals 0: Fernando Romero and two relievers combined for the shutout and Robbie Grossman and Bobby Wilson each drove in a pair. This was Romero’s second career start, and he didn’t allow any runs in the last one either. Baseball is supposed to be harder than this. But when you get this kind of help, you’re living a charmed life:

I have no idea who the color commentator is there (UPDATE: It’s Torii Hunter), but a tip-o-the-cap for the “This is beautiful! What is that, velvet?” line from “Coming to America.”

Rangers 7, Tigers 6: Down 5-1 in the sixth, the Rangers rallied with four runs that inning — all coming on two-out hits — and then two in the seventh. The seventh inning rally consised of Delino DeShields reaching via a two-out error and scoring from first on a Shin-Soo Choo single. The next man up was Jurickson Profar who knocked in Shoo with a tiebreaking triple.

Astros 16, Athletics 2: George Springer went 6-for-6 with four singles, a double and a home run, driving in six runs on the night. We still have a couple of weeks before we’ll all be dropping the “it’s early, but . . .” from our analysis, but it’s worth noting that Springer began the day hitting .264 and ended it hitting .292. Marwin Gonzalez homered and drove in five. The Astros had 20 hits on the night.

Nationals 8, Padres 5: Matt Adams homered twice for the second time in a week, driving in five. He’s now hitting .307/.422/.747 and is on a 45-home run pace despite being on a 338-at bat pace. Not too shabby. San Diego fans got to watch Trea Turner, who was drafted by the Padres in the first round back in 2014 and soon traded away, hit a homer and hometown product Stephen Strasburg allow three runs over seven. Turner, you may remember, was the player to be named later in the trade that sent Wil Myers to the Padres. That was one messed up situation.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.