The Yankees' protest: more trouble than it's worth

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The Marlins screwed up a double switch yesterday, and Joe Girardi protested:

New York manager Joe Girardi protested the game because of a mixup
with the Marlins lineup in the eighth inning, when a Florida player was
removed in a double switch but took his position on the field anyway .
. .

. . . In an odd mixup, Chris Coghlan started the top of the eighth
in left field after Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez had removed him in a
double switch. Alejandro De Aza batted for pitcher Renyel Pinto in the
seventh and was supposed to take over in left, but never ran on the
field.

Leo Nunez threw a pitch, then Girardi came out to protest. After
about a 5-minute delay, Coghlan was removed, Jeremy Hermida went to
left field and the Yankees played the rest of the game under protest.
They were trailing 6-3 at the time.

I guess you sort of have to protest that, but even if Girardi is
successful, and the game result nullified, I’m not sure New York comes
out ahead. That’s because the game would be resumed at some later date
with the Marlins ahead by three in the eighth inning. The chances of
the Yankees coming back from that aren’t all that great, really, and
when you add in the facts that the game would have to take place on an
off day during the height of the summer or the height of the pennant
race, would require superfluous travel, and would tax the bullpen, one
wonders if it’s really worth it. At the very least, if you’re the
Yankees you’d hope that the protest is successful, and the resumption
of the game is scheduled for the day after the end of the season. If
New York is out of the playoffs by one game, great, resume the Marlins
game. If not, let it slide.

Mets beat Phillies to clinch wild card tie

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 30: Jose Reyes #7 and Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets celebrate their win against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 30, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Mets defeated the Phillies 5-1. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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The magic number to clinch a wild card spot is still 1, but the Mets have at least secured a wild card tie after defeating the Phillies 5-1 on Friday night.

Jay Bruce powered the offensive drive, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and his 33rd home run of the season, ripped from an Alec Asher fastball in the seventh inning. On the mound, right-hander Robert Gsellman limited the Phillies to seven hits and one run over six frames, striking out seven batters in his eighth appearance of the year. Behind him, a cadre of Mets relievers turned out three scoreless innings to preserve the lead and anchor the Mets in the wild card standings.

The Cardinals aren’t out of the race quite yet, and can still force a tiebreaker with the Mets if they manage to win the remainder of their games this weekend and the Mets lose the rest of theirs. Any other scenario will ensure the Mets’ exclusive rights to a wild card spot next week. While a wild card clinch is unlikely to happen tonight, with St. Louis leading Pittsburgh 7-0 through 7.5 innings and just entering a rain delay, it remains a distinct possibility over these next two days.

Carlos Rodon strikes out 10 consecutive batters

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Carlos Rodon #55 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning on September 30, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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In a season that boasts the likes of Max Scherzer (he of the 20-strikeout masterpiece) and Clayton Kershaw (he of nine separate games with at least 10 strikeouts), there hasn’t been anyone who’s done exactly what Carlos Rodon did this week.

During Friday’s series opener against the Twins, Rodon retired seven consecutive batters via strikeout. His streak — and the beginnings of a perfect game, if you can call it that after just 2 ⅓ frames — ended on a Logan Schafer double that found right field well before Rodon managed to put up two strikes. With seven consecutive strikeouts, Rodon became the first American League pitcher to strike out seven batters to start a game since right-hander Joe Cowley did it for the Sox back in 1986. Had Schafer whiffed on a couple more fastballs, Rodon would have tied Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom for most strikeouts to start a game in major league history.

Not only did Rodon manage to quell the first seven batters in Minnesota’s lineup, but he extended his strikeout streak to 10 consecutive batters dating back through his last start against the Cleveland Indians. Per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, the last major league pitcher to do so was reliever Eric Gagne, who accomplished the feat for the 2003 Dodgers during his first and only Cy Young Award-winning season.

Any way you slice it, this is an impressive look: