Through three games the White Sox’s offense has scored 12 runs while batting .154, and manager Ozzie Guillen is already threatening changes after the lineup combined for 12 strikeouts last night:
When we built this club, I didn’t want people to strike out, and we did too much. If they continue to strike out like that, then we find another approach. With the ball club we have, we can’t be striking out like that. … And they can say whatever they want to say–good pitching, cold weather, whatever it is. Too many strikeouts.
When you talk about this ball club, we can’t have the luxury to strike out with people on base. I think this ball club, we have to put the ball more in play, make things happen. … I’ve seen so many strikeouts with people on base. I know it’s the third game of the season and I know it’s cold, but we had too many strikeouts.
Fair enough, Ozzie, but what do you think of all the strikeouts?
Certainly no manager likes it when his team strikes out a dozen times in one game–and particularly a manager who had one of the lowest strikeout rates in baseball when he was a player–but the White Sox had a total of just six strikeouts in the first two games, have the fourth-fewest strikeouts in the league overall this season, and are actually the only team in the league with more walks than strikeouts right now.
In other words, imagine how worked up Guillen will get if the White Sox actually do start striking out a lot. Incidentally, when Guillen and the White Sox won the World Series in 2005 they had the sixth-most strikeouts in the league.
Update (11:09 PM EDT):
From unlucky to lucky, the Cardinals maintained their position in the National League Wild Card race with walk-off victory over the Reds on Thursday night.
The Cardinals went into the top of the ninth with a 3-2 lead over the Reds, but saw the game tied when Scott Schebler dribbled a two-strike, two out ground ball down the third base line. It seemed as if the baseball gods had turned their backs on the Cardinals.
In the bottom of the ninth against reliever Blake Wood, Matt Carpenter drew a one-out walk. Randal Grichuk then struck out, leaving all of the Cardinals’ hopes on Yadier Molina. Molina went ahead 2-0 in the count, then ripped a 95 MPH fastball to left field. The ball bounced high and over the left field fence for what seemed like an obvious ground-rule double. Carpenter motored around third base and scored the winning run.
The Cardinals poured onto the field in celebration and the umpires walked off the field. Manager Bryan Price wanted to have the play reviewed, but when he went onto the field, the umpires were nowhere to be found. Price chased after them but to no avail. As the Cardinals left the field and the stadium emptied, the Reds remained in the dugout. The Reds’ relievers were left in a bit of purgatory, standing aimlessly in left field after exiting the bullpen. Finally, the game was announced as complete over the P.A. system at Busch Stadium. The results are great if you’re a Cardinals fan, but terrible if you’re a Mets or Giants fan.
As Jon Morosi points out, the rules clearly state that the signage above the fence in left field is out of the field of play. The umpires got it wrong.
Price, however, also took too long to speak to the umpires. Per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
If this happened between two teams playing a meaningless game, it would’ve been a lot easier to swallow, but Thursday’s Reds-Cardinals game had implications on not only the Cardinals’ future, but the Mets’ and Giants’ as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman went 0-for-4 during Thursday’s win against the Phillies, snapping his hitting streak at 30 games. It marked the longest hitting streak of the 2016 season. Freeman’s streak of 46 consecutive games reaching base safely ended as well.
The longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves history belongs to Dan Uggla, who hit in 33 consecutive games in 2011. Tommy Holmes hit in 37 straight for the Boston Braves in 1945.
During his hitting streak, Freeman hit .384/.485/.670 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 26 runs scored in 136 plate appearances. That padded what were already very strong numbers on the season. After Thursday’s game, Freeman is overall batting .306/.404/.572 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI< and 101 runs scored in 677 plate appearances.