And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Phillies 2, Giants 1: Fast Eddie beats Vincent. Or if you
prefer, Jheri Curl beats Mullet. OK, fine, so Lincecum’s isn’t really a
mullet. Maybe if it was he wouldn’t have given up that double to Ryan
Howard. Or did you not think of that?

White Sox 5, Cubs 0: Nothing like interleague play in September!
The Cubs struck out 9 times against six hits. I’m assuming that at this
point Lou is marking off the days until October 4th on his calendar
with little X’s.

Marlins 8, Braves 3: This clubhouse disarray business seems to
be working well for the Marlins: Hanley Ramirez gets a key pinch-hit
single, Dan Uggla doesn’t accost his team’s best player. Hell, it’s
paradise. The real key to this game, though, was Kris Medlen: middle
reliever. Though as Mac notes, this one is probably on Bobby for going to him on three straight nights.

Yankees 10, Blue Jays 5: When a team can throw a poo-poo platter
consisting of Gaudin, Aceves, Robertson, Bruney, Marte at you and still
cruise, you have to start thinking “team of destiny.” Posada: 4-5, 2B,
HR, 4 RBI. Somebody wake me when New York loses, because this is
getting monotonous.

Red Sox 6, Rays 3: This is not the same David Price the Red Sox
remember from last year’s playoffs (5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). Not the same
Rays either. They’re basically over for the year, but they’ll be back.

Mets 8, Rockies 3: Wright went 3-for-4 in his second start since
coming off the 15-day disabled list. More importantly, he ditched the
big ass helmet. “It’s just not comfortable,” Wright said of the new
helmet that will be required in the minors next season. “The last thing
I need to worry about in the box is to try to shove it on my head. I
will stay with the one I used today.” I’m sure the fact that everyone
told him that he looked like a total tool in it had nothing to do with
it.

Tigers 4, Indians 3: Magglio Ordonez batted twice after entering
the game as a pinch hitter, so we can assume that either (a) the Tigers
have decided that they’re going to let him trigger his option; or (b) a
guy with a lead pipe is going to be waiting for him in the St. Pete
Marriott sometime this weekend.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: Smoltz wasn’t battered or anything, but
he did lose, proving that, at least for one afternoon, the NL isn’t the
equivalent of the old American Association. Casey McGehee hit a two run
homer, and drove in nine of the Brewers’ 13 runs in the series.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2: Thanks to Jon Garland (two earned
runs on five hits over seven) and Ron Belliard (2-3, 3 RBII) Ned
Colletti probably went to bed feeling pretty proud of himself.

Mariners 7, Athletics 4: Two run homers from Bill Hall, Franklin
Gutierrez and Kenji Johjima power the M’s. Game story: “The Mariners
were to take public transportation on the BART train to and from the
games for the rest of the series with the Bay Bridge connecting San
Francisco and Oakland closed for work all weekend.” There aren’t any
hotels in Oakland? What’s wrong with this place?

A scout thinks the Astros strike out too much. The Astros have the lowest strikeout total in baseball.

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Great moments in scouting. MLB.com’s Richard Justice spoke to an unnamed scout about the Astros, currently holding the American League’s best record at 76-47. The scout said that the Astros strike out too much and it will catch up with them. Justice pointed out that the Astros have the lowest strikeout total in baseball. The scout responded, “I don’t believe that.”

Justice, of course, is correct. The average major league team has struck out 1,006 times entering Sunday’s action. The Astros have by far the lowest total at 827, followed by the Indians at 881 and the Pirates at 882.

This scout doesn’t represent all scouts, but this is one of the major problems that advocates of statistics were trying to highlight before Sabermetrics became popular a decade ago. It’s a pattern. Person believes thing. Person either cherry-picks evidence to defend belief or is shown evidence that belief is not factually true and ignores it. Person refuses to change belief, using one of many excuses.

The other problem this highlights is the fallacy of “the eye test,” which is shorthand for treating a scout’s observations as sacrosanct due to his or her experience and knowledge of the game. In this case, the scout ignored easily accessed information, went with his gut, and turned out to be completely wrong. Furthermore, if “the eye test” were legit, the scout would’ve known that, for example, Yulieski Gurriel and Jose Altuve hardly ever strike out (11.1 and 12.4 percent strikeout rates, respectively). In fact, no one on the Astros’ roster (min. 230 PA) has a strikeout rate above 21 percent; the league average is 21.5 percent.

This isn’t to impugn the practice of scouting as a whole. There are a lot of things scouts can tell you about a player that data cannot and that has value. But for easily-researched claims like “the Astros strike out too much,” there’s no reason to trust a scout over the stats.

Mets acquire Jacob Rhame from Dodgers

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The Mets acquired right-handed reliever Jacob Rhame from the Dodgers, the team announced on Sunday. Rhame is the player to be named later in the trade that sent outfielder Curtis Granderson to Los Angeles on Friday night. He’s expected to report to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

Rhame, 24, pitched through his second Triple-A campaign with the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2017, collecting two saves in 41 appearances and logging a 4.31 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 48 innings. While his ERA saw a sharp spike from its modest 3.29 mark in 2016 (perhaps thanks in part to a midseason DL stint due to an undisclosed injury), he’s controlling the ball better than he has in several years and has drawn some attention with a fastball that occasionally touches 98 MPH on the radar gun.

The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been at its finest over the last few weeks, ranking 16th among its major league competitors with a collective 4.50 ERA and 2.4 fWAR, but likely isn’t looking to add an extreme fly ball pitcher to its staff just yet. Until he gets his big league break, Rhame will beef up Triple-A Vegas’ relief corps alongside fellow right-handers Yaisel Sierra, Joe Broussard and Josh Ravin.