Before talking about baseball things this morning, we at MLBDD would like to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by Monday's bombings in Boston.
The loss of human life is always tragic, but losing friends and loved ones in a senseless, despicable attack like yesterday's inhabits a realm all its own. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families: may you find the strength to persevere through this incredibly trying time.
Red Sox 3, Rays 2 - Ryan Dempster pitched a gem and was on his way to his first win with the Red Sox, but Andrew Bailey couldn't hold the lead in the ninth. Mike Napoli came through with a walk-off double to give the Sox the sweep.
Cardinals 10, Pirates 6 - St. Louis scored early and often Monday, plating all 10 of their runs in the first three innings. A throwing error by Bucs shortstop Clint Barmes in the second proved to be the game-changer, as it led to five unearned runs.
Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3 - Mark Buehrle tossed 6⅓ innings of two-run ball to take the win in his first start against his former club. Maicer Izturis and J.P. Arencibia went deep to help the Jays' cause.
Reds 4, Phillies 2 - An uncharacteristic loss of control from Cliff Lee -- a wild pitch and a walk -- put the Reds on the board in the seventh and ultimately knocked the southpaw out of the game. The 10-pitch free pass to Jay Bruce was Lee's first since Sept. 17 of last year, ending his walk-less streak at 169 batters.
Nationals 10, Marlins 3 - The Zimmerman(n)s put the Nats back on course Monday. Third baseman Ryan had a four-RBI day while right-hander Jordan tossed a complete game to take the series opener over Miami.
Twins 8, Angels 2 - Well, so much for the Angels turning things around. Joe Blanton turned in his third ineffective start in three tries, surrendering home runs to Trevor Plouffe and Joe Mauer in a 4⅔ effort. Mauer finished a triple short of the cycle.
Athletics 11, Astros 2 - Nate Freiman's first career home run -- a three-run blast -- was part of a six-run first put the game on ice early. Astros starter Erik Bedard last just ⅓ of an inning before getting the hook.
Padres 6, Dodgers 3 - Southpaw Eric Stults did it all for the Padres on Monday, putting together a quality start and blasting a three-run bomb to end their winless skid at five games. No brawls were had this time.
The Big Three
1. It seems that Matt Garza doesn't even have to be healthy or throw a pitch to garner interest from teams around the league. It must be the beard, terrible as it is. (Seriously, what is going on with that thing?) The right-hander is still on the mend from a lat strain suffered during his first bullpen session of the spring, but apparently is already on the wish lists of a few teams. It's always been assumed that Garza would be a hot commodity at this year's trade deadline if healthy, so that clubs are keeping an eye on him now shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. If Garza is able to return in mid-May (as is planned), the Cubs continue to suck, and he puts together several strong outings before the the All-Star, then he'll probably be suiting up elsewhere come July 31. I'm incredibly down on the idea of the Angels picking up another starter on the verge of free agency at the deadline, but if their rotation continues to be terrible then Anaheim seems a pretty likely destination.
2. The Miami Marlins are getting a lot of calls on outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, but they are standing pat in their plan not to move him... for now. The Marlins/Stanton scenario is not really a matter of if they will trade him, it's more a matter of when. And apparently the when isn't right now. If teams call back in five months or so, around the time when Miami starts averaging fewer than 10,000 fans a game, perhaps Loria and company will have a different answer. The cost for Stanton -- so long as his shoulder injury doesn't linger -- is going to be through the roof, so wherever he ends up the Marlins are going to get a mammoth prospect haul in return. When word broke that the Mets were kicking the tires on Stanton, for instance, both Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud's names were thrown into the ring. The number of teams that could seemingly afford to give up two major prospects like that and not take a step backwards in the process are few. I'd put all my monopoly money in on the Rangers.
3. When not spending his rehab time (allegedly) trying to get his hands on incriminating Biogenesis documents, Alex Rodriguez is apparently using a treadmill. The Yankees' third baseman was cleared by his doctor to step up his recovery program to running slowly, which seems to me to be another step towards not actually retiring. May have to check my sources on that one though. Small rehab updates like this are likely to trickle in over the next several months, even though A-Rod isn't slated to return until after the All-Star break. I promise we won't bombard you with updates every time he ventures outdoors or eats a bowl of Frosted Flakes without injuring himself. I can't promise the same from other news sites, however, so tread carefully.
In Other News...
1. Ted Lilly has changed his mind, likely saving his career in the process. The left-hander made a to-do over the weekend by refusing an assignment to Triple-A for a rehab start, but now has decided to make that start after all. Had Lilly not agreed to pitch, the Dodgers likely would have been forced to let him go, seeing as how injured and aging $12 million pitchers aren't really hot commodities on the trade market.
2. Red Sox right-hander John Lackey has resumed a throwing program and could be back in Boston's rotation soon if his sore biceps continues to cooperate. With Franklin Morales also set to return soon, Boston's pitching staff could be in really good shape by the end of the month.
3. The Toronto Blue Jays have inquired into Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky in their search for a suitable replacement for Jose Reyes. Alex Anthopolous initially tried to put in a claim on him and got upset when informed that Pastornicky wasn't actually on waivers (not really).