I’d love to say the Rangers’ 6-5 extra-inning win over the Yankees last night (or this morning) was exciting and dramatic — and it certainly had its moments — but unfortunately the five-hour, 12-minute marathon was completely dominated by pitching changes. The two teams combined to set an American League record by using 19 pitchers. The Rangers established a new franchise record by using 11 of them.
This morning, Peter Gammons said it best when he tweeted:
Pennant races lose integrity when 11 pitchers get used to win in Sept. Please, MLB, care
There’s an easy way to fix this. Simply determine the maximum amount of players allowed to be active for a September game. 25? 30? Whatever. Just pick a number. Not only is it the fair way to do things, but it will also ensure that we won’t have to sit through a repeat of the ridiculousness that we just witnessed.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.