A rare enforcement of Rule 6.08

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I missed this on Sunday, but two extraordinary things happened during the Sox-Rangers game:

First, a pitched ball hit a player — Kevin Youkilis — yet he was not
awarded first base because the umpire ruled that Youk made no attempt
to avoid being hit, as he is required to do by Rule 6.08(b)(2).
In reality, this could and should be called on every other HBP, but I
can’t recall the last time an ump actually enforced the rules. For
those who care, one of the most famous invocations of Rule 6.08(b)(2)
came on May 31, 1968
when Don Drysdale hit a guy that would have forced in a run, thus
ending his scoreless innings streak at 44. The ump ruled that the
batter didn’t try to avoid the pitch, however, and called it a dead
ball. Drysdale went on to retire him and went another 14 innings
without allowing a run.

Second, Terry Francona — who ran out to argue the non-call on the Youk play — later admitted that he was wrong:

“I don’t know if you can go out and yell at a guy and then go back
out and apologize. It’s probably a little unprecedented to run back out
and scream you’re sorry.”

Yep.

Oh, I also like this play because the ump who got the call right — Tim
Timmons — makes his offseason home about two miles from my house.
Throws a big Halloween party every year. I’ve never been invited, but I
hear it’s pretty sweet.

So nice call, Tim. And, just so you know, I’m not doing anything
this Halloween. You know. Just in case you’re having that party again.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.