And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

13 Comments

Giants 7, Dodgers 5: So the pitching matchup I was so looking forward to kind of fizzled out, but that didn’t keep this one from being interesting.  Clayton Kershaw hit Andres Torres in the first. Then Tim Lincecum smacked Matt Kemp and Denny Bautista threw some inside heat to Russell Martin. Kershaw then did the expected thing and hit Aaron Rowand. The upshot of all of that was Joe Torre, bench coach Bob Schaefer and Kershaw were all ejected.

Don Mattingly took over as the Dodgers’ manager and — just like he did the last time he had the reins — he screwed up. This time he accidentally turned one mound visit in the ninth into two when he turned around on his way back to the dugout, thereby losing Jonathan Broxton. George Sherrill had to come in — cold, because he wasn’t warming up — and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Torres, which ended up giving the Giants the game. Look, I love Mattingly, but is this really the guy everyone considers to be Torre’s heir apparent?

Rockies 10, Marlins 0: I was reading some Nate Robertson/trade deadline speculation yesterday afternoon. This ain’t gonna help it. The Rockies crush the rec-spectacled one, led by Melvin Mora’s five RBI. Melvin Mora had a big game? Quick! Someone call President Bush! It’s 2003 and we can still avoid blundering into the quagmire that is the Iraq war!

Rangers 8, Tigers 0: All Tommy Hunter does is win ballgames. That’s seven straight in the toilet for the Tigers. Armando Galarraga and Casey Fien combine to give up seven runs right after being called up from Toledo. All I can figure is that they both stopped in at some bar in Monroe on the way back up to the ballpark and weren’t 100% at go time.

Braves 4, Padres 1: The Padres threatened in the first inning, but a potential run was killed when David Eckstein was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera to end the inning. You can’t win, Melky. If you strike Eckstein down, he shall become more
powerful than you could possibly imagine
. Braves now have the best record in the NL.

Angels 10, Yankees 2: As I write this particular entry it’s about 10:45 P.M. Eastern time last night, so I haven’t yet had the benefit of reading the New York tabloids yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the day’s meme: Phil Hughes has now pitched 100 innings! His arm is going to fall off! Pettitte’s hurt! Burnett is a basket case! The Yankees must trade all warm bodies for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly and the corpse of Red Ruffing! Maybe that’s not it, but you know there will be a meme. See, the Yankees are expected to go 162-0, and if they lose, writers must search for the root cause. Every. Single. Time.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 1: Jamie Moyer had to leave after one inning due to an elbow strain. Overheard in the clubhouse after the game: Moyer arguing with the training staff about whether to treat the strain with some Lister’s Carbolic Unguent, a Balasam Specific or Smeckler’s Powder. And I’m not going to say that Phillies fans are starting to lose faith or anything, but last night one of the biggest Phillies partisans I know tweeted “I just took a dump. I named it Baez.”

Pirates 11, Brewers 9: It was 9-0 Pirates at the end of the first inning, but the Brewers had gotten within one run by the 6th. That and $8 gets you a domestic beer in a plastic cup, however, and the Brew Crew weren’t able to complete the comeback. Oh, and no one is paying attention because it’s the Pirates and everything, but Pedro Alvarez is having a hell of a July. Last night adds to it: 2 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Travis Hafner doubles in Carlos Santana in the seventh to but the Tribe over the top. In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t,
the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are
threatening to climb out of the cellar.

Blue Jays 13, Royals 1: Royals’ starter Anthony Larew left the game early when he was drilled by a comebacker. Just kind of set the tone for the beating the Royals took.

Cubs 14, Astros 7: Anyone else notice that Aramis Ramirez has basically been Ted Williams in July? Three for seven, three homers and seven RBI last night to add onto what has already been a stellar month.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Like I’ve always said: when Barry Enright takes
the hill, you probably should just pack it in and save your energy to
fight another day. OK, that’s not totally fair — Enright has been good
this year — but the Mets only getting one run off him in eight innings
doesn’t exactly bathe them in glory. Their best shot to break through in
this one came in the first when they had the bases loaded and only one
out, but both Ike Davis and Jason Bay whiffed and the threat was over. 1
for 6 with runners in scoring position overall last night. Just some
bad baseball from New York lately.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0: John Danks shuts down the punchless Mariners over seven and two-thirds and Chicago beats Seattle in a cool 2:11. One of the only really crisp games in all of baseball last night.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4: Neither Tim Wakefield nor Dallas Braden were particularly sharp, but the bullpens kept things scoreless between the fourth and the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff won it with a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. His sac fly in the third had tied the game as well. I want to say that he did the tie-it-up, win-it thing a few weeks ago too, but I’m too lazy to look.

Reds 8, Nationals 7: The game itself lasted two hours and forty-eight
minutes. The rain delay in the middle was two hours, thirty-two minutes.
You had to be a brave and hearty soul to stay for that one. Mike Leake
got the win despite the Reds’ pen giving up six runs as soon as the
delay was over. He’s 7-1 now.

Orioles 11, Rays 10: Seven homers, 13 innings and four hours, thirty-eight minutes of baseball. I guess that’s some people’s idea of a good time. Carl Crawford left the game in the first inning and went to the hospital after getting hit in the groin on a pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta. The game was so long that Crawford came back to the ballpark before it was over and gave this choice quote regarding the throw: “You couldn’t hit it in a better spot.”  Really, Carl? I can think of a hundred places that would be preferable.

Report: MLB approves new rule allowing a dugout signal for an intentional walk

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
10 Comments

ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.

MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this:

Tony Clark responds to Rob Manfred’s claim that union had a “lack of cooperation”

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, JAN. 18-19 - This Jan. 15, 2014 photo showing new baseball union head Tony Clark during an interview at the organization's headquarters, in New York. Clark has big shoes to fill _ and not just as Michael Weiner's replacement as head of the baseball players' union. Moving from Arizona to New Jersey, the former big league All-Star also needed to find size 15 snowshoes.  (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
AP Photo/Richard Drew
2 Comments

Earlier, Craig covered Rob Manfred’s comments in which he accused the Major League Baseball Players’ Association of “a lack of cooperation” concerning some proposed rule changes. The union would need to agree to any such changes, which have included automatic intentional walks, limiting mound visits, pitch clocks, and swapping batting practice times for home and visiting teams.

Manfred went on to say that MLB will impose those rule changes unilaterally next year as allowed in the latest collective bargaining agreement.

Tony Clark, the executive director of the MLBPA, responded to Manfred’s comment. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

“Unless your definition of ‘cooperation’ is blanket approval, I don’t agree that we’ve failed to cooperate with the Commissioner’s office on these issues.”

“Two years ago we negotiated pace of play protocols that had an immediate and positive impact. Last year we took a step backward in some ways, and this off season we’ve been in regular contact with MLB and with our members to get a better handle on why that happened.”

“I would be surprised if those discussions with MLB don’t continue, notwithstanding today’s comments about implementation. As I’ve said, fundamental changes to the game are going to be an uphill battle, but the lines of communication should remain open.”

“My understanding is that MLB wants to continue with the replay changes (2min limit) and the no-pitch intentional walks and the pace of Game warning/fine adjustments.”

Clark’s response isn’t anything too shocking. Manfred’s accusation was pretty baseless, but it’s behavior to be expected of a commissioner who comes down on the side of the owners over the players almost always.