And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 25, Mets 4: Well that sure was a butt-kickin. Like, it was already a butt-kickin’ when it was 19-0 after five innings and then Jose Reyes was brought in to pitch in the eighth and coughed up six more runs. In all it was the Mets’ most-lopsided defeat in the team’s 57-season history, and in case you were unaware, there has been a lot of futility packed in to those 57 seasons. As this one wore on, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen of the SNY broadcast team read verbatim from the team’s media guide to kill the time as the theme from “Masterpiece Theatre” played in the background. Which, hats off to them for doing anything to make this all entertaining. Daniel Murphy hit two homers and drove in six runs, Anthony Rendon had four RBI and Ryan Zimmerman, Matt Adams and Mark Reynolds homered. Adams and Reynolds’ should only count for half, though, as they came off of Reyes. I dunno, there was blood all over the box score. That’s why I link it up top. If I spend to much more time on it I may get nauseous.

Meanwhile, in games that were not a complete and utter joke . . .

Giants 3, Padres 2: Giants starter Derek Rodriguez allowed one run over seven and was in line for the win before Manuel Margot and the Padres scored in the eighth to force extras. In the top of the tenth Evan Longoria led things off with a triple, however, and he was eventually plated by a Brandon Crawford single to give San Francisco the winning margin and the sweep of the two-game series.

Phillies 3, Red Sox 1: In contrast, Jake Arrieta‘s one run over seven held up for the W, as he was backed by RBIs from Jorge Alfaro, Scott Kingery and Carlos Santana, ending the Phillies’ four game skid. After the game Gabe Kapler said “We are a bunch of fighters . . . there’s a lot of grit and determination and heart in that room and those are the things we can be very proud of in this moment.” What, no moxie? For shame.

Yankees 6, Orioles 3: A four-run fifth led by a Miguel Andjuar three-run homer keyed the Bombers offense and Masahiro Tanaka‘s six shutout innings kept the O’s off the board until they were already in too deep a hole to climb out of. Jace Peterson knocked in two of Baltimore’s three runs and scored the third on an error. Given all of the trades the Orioles made yesterday it’s frankly amazing that someone any of us had heard of did that for them. I expected their box score to have names like “Guy,” “Dude Man,” and “The kid, you know, with the hair?” all over it.

Athletics 6, Blue Jays 2Trevor Cahill allowed two runs on five hits and struck out six in six innings and Khris Davis homered and had three hits in all. Matt Olson had two RBI, Mark Canha doubled twice and stole home and Marcus Semien added two hits. It was Bob Melvin’s 600th win as the Athletics’ manager. If he keeps the job for three more seasons — and he’s likely to — he’ll eventually pass Tony La Russa, who had 798 in green and gold. He’ll need about 36 more seasons, at .500 ball, to catch Connie Mack. That would make Melvin 92 years old or so when he broke the record. Which sounds rather silly. Of course Connie Mack himself was 87 when he was forced out of the dugout, and I’m guessing a 92-year-old Melvin will have more of his faculties about him then the 87-year-old Connie Mack did, so let’s do this thing!

Pirates 5, Cubs 4: David Freese doubled in Gregory Polanco twice and Polanco and Francisco Cervelli homered as the Pirates stay hot. There was a call late that went in favor for the Cubs on the field but was overturned on replay. After the game Joe Maddon said “I went up and looked at it. The call on the field has integrity and I’d really need to see why that was changed.” I don’t know what that means, “the call on the field has integrity.” It means little I suppose, but even the implication that replay calls are somehow less legitimate than ump calls is one of the many reasons why the whole manager challenge thing is dumb. If the replay crew was just part of the umpire crew and was considered its eyes and ears instead of some sort of big brother figure from on high we’d never talk about it. It’d be just like any other umpire calls we debate.

Tigers 2, Reds 1: Matt Boyd tossed eight shutout innings and got a homer from Niko Goodrum and an RBI double from Mike Gerber to back him. Homer Bailey went the distance — eight innings since the Tigers didn’t have to bat in the ninth — and took the tough loss. Can’t remember the last time I saw a couple of regular guy pitchers, as opposed to dueling aces, go eight innings against one another.

Rays 10, Angels 6: The Rays put up a seven-run fourth inning and chased Tyler Skaggs that frame after he gave up ten runs in all. Carlos Gomez had two hits in the big inning, Matt Duffy had three hits and Jake Bauers homered. Mike Trout homered and doubled and Kole Calhoun had three hits including a two-run homer in the losing cause.

Braves 11, Marlins 6: Kolby Allard made his big league debut as the Braves starter and allowed five runs — four earned — in five innings. That won’t normally get you a win, but since his teammates unleashed a 19-hit attack, he was fortunate enough to get the W. Ronald Acuña, Nick Markakis and Johan Camargo all went deep for Atlanta and Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run double. Ender Inciarte had four hits and Freddie Freeman had three as the Braves won their third in a row.

Royals 4, White Sox 2: Danny Duffy pitched shutout ball into the sixth as Ryan O’Hearn, making his big league debut, and Brett Phillips each hit two-run homers for the Royals. The Chisox lost their fifth in six games.

Indians 6, Twins 2: Trevor Bauer battled himself a bit, walking a few and striking out fewer, but he allowed only two runs while pitching into the seventh. Jose Ramirez had three hits and drove in two, Greg Allen had three hits and scored three runs and Edwin Encarnacion drove in a three late insurance runs with a two-run single and a fielder’s choice.

Diamondbacks 6, Rangers 0: Zack Godley struck out ten and allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings. A.J. Pollock homered. Nick Ahmed drove in two on a double and scored on a wild pitch. This win put the Dbacks back into first place in the NL West, with an assist from . . .

Brewers 1, Dodgers 0: . . . Wade Miley, who tossed seven shutout innings, the Brewers pen, which tossed two more and Lorenzo Cain, who doubled in the game’s only run in the third inning. Miley is now 4-0 with a 2.06 ERA in seven starts in Los Angeles and, somehow, has a 2.01 ERA in five starts overall this season despite walking more guys than he has struck out.

Rockies 6, Cardinals 3Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez each homered and Jon Gray pitched into the eighth inning, winning his fourth straight decision. The Rockies finished July with a 17-6 record and are now tied with the Dodgers, a half game back. The NL West race is gonna be fun over the final two months of the season.

Astros 5, Mariners 2: Houston snaps its five-game losing streak. Evan Gattis and Josh Reddick each hit two-run homers and Reddick added an RBI single. Charlie Morton struck out eight while allowing two runs over six. Their lead goes back up to four over Seattle in the West.

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.