And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Phillies 2, Indians 1: If you’ve got to set the record for all time home runs allowed, you’re probably best served, mentally speaking, to do it in a game you win 2-1, which is what Jamie Moyer did last night. The 505th of his career went to Russell Branyan. Number one was hit by Count Campau back in Moyer’s American Association days. There should be an asterisk on that one, though, as Moyer really had no business facing such competition at the time. He was but 17 years old and was pressed into service because so many older players were conscripted to fight the Spanish menace in tropic lands.

Padres 2, Rays 1: As of this past Friday we could still call Mat Latos an overlooked stud. It’s going to be hard to keep the “overlooked” part in there if he keeps this up (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8K).

Mets 14, Tigers 6: Look, you’re gonna have these kinds of nights, Tigers. Just suck it up and then send your big ace Justin Verlander out there next time to — what? You mean that was Verlander out there last night? Wow. By the way, I’m going to guess that someone, somwhere will write the “why can’t the Mets hit the long ball?” column this morning as they scored all 14 runs without the aid of a homer,

White Sox 9, Braves 6: I guess Tommy Hanson had to have his worst career start some night. Just too bad it had to happen on a night the Phillies and the Mets both won. Nine runs on thirteen hits in three and two-thirds. Oy vey.

Yankees 9, Diamondbacks 3: When A.J. Burnett got shelled the other night
it launched approximately 1,346 DEFCON-1 level articles about what
should be done with him and the Yankees, how horrible life was and if
there was still a God and everything. Thank goodness Andy Pettitte restored
order, because I don’t know if I could take that kind of drama again
today. In other news, it must be very exhausting to be part of a fan
base that feels so damn entitled that a single loss or a run-of-the-mill rough
patch from a starting pitcher is worthy of such sturm und drang.

Rangers 6, Pirates 3: The Rangers lost big in the courtroom yesterday, but they did much better on the diamond. Thirty-seven days until Steelers camp opens.

Giants 3, Astros 1: Maybe Tim Lincecum just needed that ball to smack him in the shoulder last Thursday in order to knock him back on track. Dude turned in his best outing in a month (8 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 7K), outdueling Roy Oswalt (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5K).

Cardinals 9, Blue Jays 4: Four homers for the Cardinals (Holliday, Molina, Rasmus, Lopez). Two homers for Jose Bautista, who is now at 20 on the year. Jaime Garcia’s ERA bloats from 1.59 to 1.79. DFA the guy.

Marlins 10, Orioles 4: I’m guessing Hanley Ramirez’s hamstring feels better (3 for 4, 2B, 3 RBI).

Nationals 4, Royals 3: Matt Capps must get bored with simple three-run-lead saves because he always seems to challenge himself by doing things like giving up two runs on four hits in the ninth only to lock it down right after. He’s like a cat toying with a mouse, really.  Or something.

Mariners 2, Cubs 0: Five straight wins for Seattle, three of which have come via shutout. Indeed, the M’s have only given up two runs in the last week.

Reds 4, Athletics 2: Dallas Braden still hasn’t won a game since his perfecto and the A’s are totally skidding, having lost nine of 11. Braden’s description of his day: “Plenty of speed bumps. The car ran
pretty good. Turn 1 was good, Turn 2 and 3 had some speed bumps. I got
into Turn 4, 5, a couple speed bumps, Turn 6 kind of flattened out.
Overall, bumpy track.” Six turns? I hate to stereotype, but if I were a betting man I would have wagered that Braden would have used a NASCAR super-oval analogy as opposed to what appears to be a Grand Prix/Formula 1 kind of thing.

Angels 6, Dodgers 3: The Dodgers are skidding too, having lost five straight. Clayton Kershaw was fantastic his last time out but got beat up for five runs in just under seven innings, relinquishing a 3-0 lead to which he was staked.

Brewers 7, Twins 5: Like Kershaw, Scott Baker had a great outing last
time. Like Kershaw, Baker was staked to a 3-0 lead. Like Kershaw, Baker
couldn’t hold it. Maybe my favorite random game note of the year in this one: “Brewers’ fourth-round draft pick Hunter Morris was at Miller Park. He
said he didn’t have any plans for his $218,700 signing bonus.”

Rockies 2, Red Sox 1: Enjoy that run you got off Jhoulys Chacin, Red Sox, because that may seem like good eatin’ compared to what you get off Ubaldo Jimenez tonight. Now having said that, Jimenez will probably have his worst outing of the year.

Study: West teams at a disadvantage due to jet lag

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 14:  A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 14, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Delta Air Lines Inc. reported that their second quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 4.1%, and also announced that they decided to reduce its United States to Britian capacity on its winter schedule because of foreign currency issues and the economic uncertainty from Brexit.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Every year, when the schedules are released, we often hear about the teams that have it worst. Almost always, those teams are West teams. According to MLB.com, teams in the West division of their respective leagues had the top eight most travel-heavy schedules in 2016. The full list:

Team League Division Miles
Mariners AL West 47,704
Angels AL West 44,945
Athletics AL West 42,119
Rangers AL West 41,128
Dodgers NL West 40,294
Giants NL West 39,341
Astros AL West 38,553
Padres NL West 37,363
Rays AL East 36,916
Red Sox AL East 36,896
D-Backs NL West 35,312
Yankees AL East 35,252
Marlins NL East 35,226
Rockies NL West 33,287
Blue Jays AL East 32,895
Orioles AL East 32,322
Braves NL East 29,236
Royals AL Central 29,077
Twins AL Central 28,948
Phillies NL East 28,351
Mets NL East 26,832
White Sox AL Central 26,538
Cardinals NL Central 26,451
Pirates NL Central 26,134
Brewers NL Central 25,620
Tigers AL Central 25,450
Indians AL Central 25,176
Reds NL Central 25,108
Nationals NL East 24,664
Cubs NL Central 24,271

The averages by division:

  • AL East: 34,856 miles
  • AL Central: 25,176
  • AL West: 42,890
  • NL East: 28,862
  • NL Central: 25,517
  • NL West: 37,119

The maps aren’t up for 2017 yet, but rest assured that West teams will once again have it worst. It’s easy to see why, taking a look at the map on MLB.com. If you draw a line to split Texas in half and go straight up through North Dakota, there are only eight teams to the left of that line, leaving the other 23 condensed on the right side. When West teams aren’t playing intra-division games, they are traveling. That’s often not the case for East and Central teams. The Phillies and Pirates, for example, don’t even have to leave the state to play each other.

As Gizmodo points out, a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a link between jet lag and performance. Sleep scientist Ravi Allada of Northwestern University analyzed 4,919 games, finding that teams that traveled East performed worse than those that traveled West. Allada and his colleagues adjusted for home field advantage and park effects.

Specifically, teams that traveled from the West to the East lost more often than East teams traveling West. They gave up more runs and scored less runs. They hit for a lower batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. They gave up more home runs, accounting for most of the decline in run prevention.

There was a peculiar finding. Allada found that jet lagged home teams performed worse than jet lagged visiting teams. He hypothesizes that “teams may be more cognizant of their schedules when traveling away, thus mitigating jet lag effects,” he told Gizmodo.

The Braves ask Cobb County for $14 million more

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The Braves’ new ballpark in Cobb County Georgia is the gift that keeps on taking.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have asked Cobb County for $14 million for roads, walkways and other pedestrian improvements around the stadium the team has already paid for but which it says the county is responsible. The county says it’s not responsible for them and that it has already paid nearly $70 million for transportation improvements around the ballpark, including on privately-owned property in the mixed-use development.

The reason this isn’t settled: at the time the deal between the county and the team was struck, there was a provision for the county to pay for $14 million for certain improvements. The Braves, this past September, told the county that it wants to be reimbursed for these projects under that provision and that the $70 million the county has already spent shouldn’t count. For reasons, I guess. It’s a bit complicated, but the AJC story lays it out pretty well. The upshot seems to be “why didn’t the Braves say they wanted the county to pay for these things long ago?”

The answer to that question, I suspect, is “because the Braves have been treated as entitled corporate welfare recipients since this deal was announced and they have learned that they can get away with almost anything.”