Seattle's pathetic lineup shut out as Felix Hernandez takes a "loss" in 1-0 game

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I really hope some of the Baseball Writers Association of America members and Cy Young award voters who still focus on a pitcher’s win total watched this afternoon’s Mariners-Blue Jays game.
Felix Hernandez tossed a complete game, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings, and got saddled with a “loss” because Seattle’s historically inept offense was shut out by five Toronto pitchers.
Hernandez is now 12-12 despite a league-best 2.31 ERA in a league-high 242 innings. Clearly he just doesn’t “know how to win.”
After all, if Mariners catcher Adam Moore had hit a double with two runners on base in the eighth inning instead of taking a called third strike right down the middle of the plate, clearly that would make Felix Hernandez a better pitcher and more deserving of the Cy Young award. Or something
Or if the Mariners’ hitters could have rallied in the ninth inning off Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg, that would have turned Hernandez’s “loss” into a “no-decision” or even a “win.” You know, because things that happen after a pitcher throws his final pitch are crucial to evaluating his performance. Or something.
How pathetic, both for the Mariners’ offense and for anyone who still relies on wins and losses to evaluate a pitcher. When eight innings of one-run ball equals a loss, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider how much weight you place on the concept of a “loss.” And when 242 innings of a 2.31 ERA equals 12 wins, maybe it’s time to do the same with the notion of a “win.”
Today marked the fifth time this season Hernandez has failed to get a “win” while allowing zero or one run in seven-plus innings and the 14th time this season he’s failed to get a “win” while throwing a Quality Start. And he’s still yet to get a “win” when allowing more than two runs, because his teammates rarely score more than two runs. For comparison, CC Sabathia has seven wins while allowing more than two runs. In totally unrelated news, the Yankees’ lineup leads the league in scoring.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.