I don’t know if this makes me a cynic, an optimist or what, but the first thing I thought today when I realized that Jim Joyce was going to be working behind the plate was “boy, I bet the Tigers get a wide strike zone today!” I mean, I want to believe that people don’t try to make up for mistakes like that, but people are people, ya know?
For what it’s worth the game wasn’t close — the Tigers killed the Indians 12-6 — and the strike zone, while not the best in the world, didn’t seemed skewed in the Tigers’ direction or against the Tribe.
Here are starter Rick Porcello’s pitches plotted over at Brooks Baseball. Just about as many missed balls as missed strikes. Joyce obviously gives the pitcher the benefit of the doubt on the left edge and harms him on the lower right, but it’s not like this is a crazy or unprecedented game for anyone. Indians’ starter David Huff had a little better zone. Of course he got clobbered, but that’s not Joyce’s fault.
I dunno. Probably expecting too much — or too little, maybe — out of people to even make such an inquiry, but it’s a fun one all the same. If anyone else with better Pitch f/x-fu than me wants to take a crack at it and tell me what I missed, by all means, let me know in the comments.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.