And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rockies 10, Reds 5: Ubaldo Jimenez won his first one in over a month, but it had a lot more to do with the offense behind him because he was all over the place. He walked six, allowed seven hits and was a hair’s breadth from getting the hook early on. Tulowitzki homered, tripled and drove in three runs and Carlos Gonzalez was 3 for 5 with a couple of RBI.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 6: The Cards pick up a game — they’re now six back — thanks to a six-spot in the eighth inning, capped by a Yadier Molina grand slam. After the game, Molina said “from now on, we have to win, that’s a rule.” Jeez, bro, if you had simply made that rule a month ago y’all wouldn’t be down six games right now, would ya?

Padres 4, Dodgers 2: The streak, she is broken. San Diego lost five and a half games of their lead in the process, but they retain a one-game advantage over the Giants. The win may have been significant from a historical perspective as well, as at least one team — the 1982 Braves — lost ten in a row and still made the playoffs, but no one has dropped eleven straight and done so. Not that it couldn’t have happened to the Padres, of course, but The Fates, man, they don’t like to be tempted like that.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: Just your typical seven-pitcher shutout for the Giants, led by Madison Bumgarner. Ian Kennedy certainly deserved a better fate than his no decision (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER). Certainly deserving better were two children who were hurt in the fourth inning, one by a flying bat, one by a foul ball, with each child being taken to the hospital.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: We must give a golf clap to Brett Anderson for a nice outing, but really, shutting down Seattle these days is no big trick. Indeed, it’s been 12 games since they scored more than three runs.

Cubs 5, Astros 4: Geovany Soto got barreled over blocking home plate in the fourth — he held on to the ball to make the out — and then hit the game winning homer in the eighth. But then again, he’s a catcher, and that’s what they do.

Twins 5, Royals 4: Jim Thome hit a home run in the fifth inning that went so far it had to clear Canadian customs before it could land. Jason Kubel’s, however, was the go-ahead homer. The Twins have won 17 of 20.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: Rangers manager Ron Washington, talking about the Jays’ offense after the game: “They got seven and six came via the long ball.” Hey Ron: I’ll refrain from filling our your lineup card if you refrain from doing my job, OK? Thanks.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: The Braves strand so many guys at first or second base that I’m beginning to think that their hitting coach is Lysistrata.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1; Phillies 7, Marlins 4: A split doubleheader combined with the Braves loss pulls Philly to within a half game of Atlanta. Marlins rookie Adalberto Mendez shut the Phils down before leaving the first game with a leg injury. Roy Oswalt continued his winning ways in the nightcap, allowing four runs and six hits and striking out seven in seven innings.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. Alex Rodriguez surpassed 100 RBI for the 13th straight season. Note: when a player people like hits a lot of RBIs, he’s a “run producer.” When Alex Rodriguez does it, he’s a selfish stat-hound.

White Sox 5, Tigers 4: A.J. Pierzynski hit the go-ahead single in the 10th inning and had three RBIs overall as the Sox with their seventh in a row. According to the game notes, Vizquel passed Rafael Palmiero for most games by a player born outside the United States in baseball history. I don’t know that I would have gotten that one right if you had given me five guesses. I would have probably guessed Tony Perez and maybe Julio Franco or someone like that ahead of those guys. Which makes no sense, because intellectually I realize that Vizquel has had a longer career than them. I think it’s a mental block because I’ve been an adult for basically all of Vizquel’s entire career so it doesn’t seem as long. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.

Nationals 13, Mets 3: Rookie Danny Espinosa had a grand slam, a solo shot, a double, a single and six RBI. The Nats won their 60th game of the year, which is something they hadn’t done since 2007.

Red Sox 12, Rays 5: Boston jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never really looked back. Not a bad output for a lineup that only had four Opening Day starters in it.

Indians 3, Angels 2: Shin-Soo Choo broke a 2-2 with an RBI single in the ninth. The Angels’ offense continues to sputter. From the AP game story: “Cleveland’s starters have a 3.20 ERA over the last 12 games, allowing
three runs or fewer in all but one start. Every starter in the past 14
games has gone at least five innings.” [Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson’s voice]: I did not know that. That’s some wild, wild stuff.

Mike Matheny tried to have his own son picked off at first base

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a son, Tate, who was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State University. Tate, an outfielder, spent the 2015 season with Low-A Lowell and last year played at Single-A Greenville.

Now in spring camp with the Red Sox, Tate is trying to continue his ascent through the minor league system. On Monday afternoon in a game against his father’s Cardinals, Tate pinch-ran after Xander Bogaerts singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Mike wasn’t about to let his son catch any breaks. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

That’s right: Mike tried to have his own son picked off at first base. That’s just cold, man.

Tate was erased shortly thereafter when Mookie Betts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Tate got his first at-bat in the seventh and struck out.

Do we really need metal detectors at spring training facilities?

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Craig Calcaterra
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MESA, AZ — Over the past couple of seasons we’ve, more or less, gotten used to the sight of metal detectors at major league ballparks. And the sight of long lines outside of them, requiring us to get to the park a bit earlier or else risk missing some of the early inning action.

Like so much else over the past fifteen and a half years, we’re given assurances by people in charge that it’s for “security,” and we alter our lives and habits accordingly. This despite the fact that security experts have argued that it’s a mostly useless and empty exercise in security theater. More broadly, they’ve correctly noted that it’s a cynical and defeatist solution in search of a problem. But hey, welcome to 21st Century America.

And welcome metal detectors to spring training:

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Beginning this year, Major League Baseball is mandating that all spring training facilities use some form of metal detection, be it walkthrough detectors like the ones shown here at the Giants’ park in Scottsdale or wands like the one being used on the nice old lady above at the Cubs facility in Mesa.

I asked Major League Baseball why they are requiring them in Florida and Arizona. They said that the program was not implemented in response to any specific incident or threat at a baseball game, but are “precautionary measures.” They say that metal detection “has not posed significant inconvenience or taken away from the ballpark experience” since being required at big league parks in 2015 and believe it will work the same way at the spring training parks.They caution fans, however, that, as the program gets underway, they should allow for more time for entry.

And that certainly makes sense:

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I took this photo a few minutes after the home plate gate opened at Sloan Park yesterday afternoon. As I noted this morning, the Cubs sell out every game in their 15,000-seat park. That’s a lot of wanding and, as a result, it could lead to a lot of waiting.

But the crowds here all seemed to get through the line pretty quickly. Perhaps because the wanding is not exactly a time-consuming affair:

Not every security guard was as, well, efficient as this guy. But hardly anyone walking through the gate was given a particularly thorough go-over. I saw several hundred people go through the procedure soon after the gates opened and most of them weren’t scanned bellow the level of their hip pockets. I went back a little closer to game time when most people were already in the park and the lines were shorter. The procedure was a bit more deliberate then, though not dramatically so. This is all new for the security people too — spring training just started — and it’s fair to say that they are trying hard to balance the needs of their new precautionary measures against the need to keep the lines moving and the fans happy.

On this day at least it seemed that fan happiness was winning. I spoke with several fans after they got through the gates and none of them offered much in the way of complaint about being wanded. The clear consensus: it’s just what we do now. We have metal detectors and cameras at schools and places of work and security procedures have been ratcheted up dramatically across the board. That we now have them at ballparks is not surprising to anyone, really. It’s just not a thing anyone thinks to question.

And so they don’t.