Jered Weaver

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Angels 4, Rangers 1: Jered Weaver remains insanely good, winning his fifth while pitching a complete game, striking out eight and walking no one while allowing a lone run. Your move, Dan Haren.

Marlins 6, Pirates 0:  Man, they were right about Charlie Morton looking just like Roy Halladay! Both of them got beat up while surrendering six runs on ten hits in their most recent starts. The resemblance is uncanny, really.

Tigers 3, Mariners 2: Rick Porcello had his strongest outing of the year so far, getting tons of groundouts and pitching into the seventh. It ended up being a decent enough west coast swing for Detroit, which has somehow won six of nine despite seeming to have the air of a team in crisis. That sometimes happens when teams from back east head out west. We sort of ignore their games unless there’s a real reason to focus on them the next morning, be it a big win or an ugly loss. Win 3-2 games? Eh, that may have been on Mars, and we thus pay little attention.

Phillies 4, Brewers 3: This was a fun one to watch live while simultaneously surfing the web yesterday. Chris Narveson was cruising and a bunch of people were tweeting about how deceptive he was and effective he was and how people should take notice. And I swear, just as I was reading one of these pro-Narveson pieces, he gave up the three-run jack to Placido Polanco, which tied the game. This is my favorite moment from the game, though. Braun ended up being safe at home, but I feel kind of Ed Sedar. You get the sense that he’s used to being overruled. Maybe by Mrs. Sedar. The exact moment of mental detachment is so easy to see. It wears so sadly comfortably on him.

Nationals 8, Cardinals 6; Cardinals 5, Nationals 3; The Nats should have won the first one in a walk, seeing as though they jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the third. It was somewhat close, though, thanks to some bad defense and bullpen work by the Nats in the middle innings. Jake Westbrook is a mess right now. Mitchell Boggs got his first save as the Cardinals new closer in the second game. At this time I would like to remind everyone that split doubleheaders always make me feel like life is nothing but a futile and pointless struggle. I like doubleheaders — don’t get me wrong — but the natural order of things demands that baseball players go to sleep having moved one step forward or one step back. A split doubleheader opens the door to too much existential thought.

Rockies 10, Giants 2: Lincecum and Sanchez stymied the Rockies, but they got to Cain (4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER). For those who care, Jorge De La Rosa got the best of Mark DeRosa in the battle of the De/Rosas.

Cubs 2, Padres 1; Padres 5, Cubs 4: Reed Johnson hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning for the first game. A game in which Dustin Moseley got no run support for the fourth straight outing. He’s got a 1.40 ERA and nothin’ to show for it. The Padres got back at the Cubbies in the nightcap, jumping out to a four-run lead against James Russell, who showed once again that, as a fill-in starter, he makes a pretty good reliever. And yes, more existential thought here.

Astros 4, Mets 3: Where do you go from “blah, blah, blah, blah?”  I mean, as I explained I liked that approach, but it seems that with a team like the 2011 Mets, you may not want to shoot the wad with your apathy and disgust in game 17. Anyway, maybe you don’t leave R.A. Dickey in as long as Terry Collins did. Or maybe that’s hindsight. R.A. Dickey is awesome.

Orioles 5, Twins 4: The Twins were the cure for whatever ailed the Orioles. Baltimore has taken two in a row from Minnesota after dropping eight straight. Matt Weiters had a two-run homer and has six RBI over his last two games. The Twins need special graphing calculators with an extra battery pack to calculate six RBI.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2: Bartolo Colon made his debut as a Yankees starting pitcher and he did better than Phil Hughes had done (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  Curtis Granderson had a homer, a triple and a couple RBI as he continues to hit with some serious power in the early going.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 3: Hey, the Sox won a road game! Against Gio Gonzalez, no less, who had been as hot as any pitcher in baseball not named Jered Weaver. Homers by Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie did him in.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: The once-hot Reds have lost six of seven and are now a .500 team.  Ian Kennedy was smacked with a comebacker on the mound but stayed in the game and got the win.

Rays 4, White Sox 1: That’s seven straight in the terlet for Chicago and eight wins in nine games for Tampa Bay. The Rays are now at .500 and, unlike the Reds, are happy about that fact. A.J. Pierzynski got ejected in the bottom of the six for arguing balls and strikes. Ozzie Guillen on why A.J. got run: “he said not a nice thing to the umpire.” That’ll getcha every time (NSFW language!)

Indians 7, Royals 5: Luke “Opening Day Starter” Hochevar ran out of gas in the sixth inning and the Tribe made him pay for it. But was it really running out of gas, or was it brain lock on Hochevar’s part? He balked twice in the sixth inning, the second one bringing a run home. Those who saw the balks (I didn’t) said they were legit, non-ticky-tack calls. Then, despite allowing four runs in that ugly sixth, Ned Yost allowed Hochevar to come out for the seventh, and he promptly walked the first two hitters he faced who also came around to score. Not sure what Ned was thinking, but given that the Royals mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, one wonders if the outcome would have been different if Yost had gone to one of the live young arms in his pen a bit more quickly.

Dodgers 6,  Braves 1:  Derek Lowe had nothing going for him other than his usual copious amount of frothy sweat. L.A. treated him like a batting practice pitcher, snagging five runs on nine hits in three innings. Normally this would make me mad, but I feel for the Dodgers. They’re orphans now, so they should be treated with patience and care.

Rob Manfred wants a new, unnecessary rule to protect middle infielders


Commissioner Rob Manfred is at the Cards-Cubs game this afternoon and the sporting press just spoke with him about the fallout from the Chase Utley/Ruben Tejada play from the other night. Not surprising.

Also not surprising? Manfred’s desire to implement a new rule in an effort to prevent such a play from happening again. Or, at the very least, to allow for clear-cut punishment for someone who breaks it:

Which is ridiculous, as we already have Rule 6.05(m) on the books. That rule — which is as clear as Crystal Pepsi — says a baserunner is out when . . .

(m)A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play:

Rule 6.05(m) Comment: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.

That rule totally and completely covers the Utley-Tejada situation. The umpires were wrong for not enforcing it both then and in the past, but that’s the rule, just as good as any other rule in that book and in no way in need of replacement.

Why not just enforce that rule? What rule would “better protect” infielders than that one? What would do so in a more straightforward a manner? What could baseball possibly add to it which would make plays at second base less confusing rather than more so?

I suspect what Manfred is interested in here is some means to change this from a judgment call to a clear-cut rule. It was that impulse that led to the implementation of clocks for pitchers and batters and innings breaks rather than giving umpires the discretion to enforce existing pace-of-play rules. It was that impulse which led to a tripartite (or is it quadpartite?) means of determining whether a catcher impermissibly blocks the plate or a runner barrels him over rather than simply enforce existing base-blocking rules.

But taking rules out of the subjective realm and into the objective is difficult or downright impossible in many cases, both in law and in baseball. It’s almost totally impossible when intent is an element of the thing, as it is here. It’s likewise the case that, were there a clear and easy bright line to be established in service of a judgment-free rule on this matter, someone may have stumbled upon it once in the past, oh, 150 years. And maybe even tried to implement it. They haven’t, of course. Probably because there was no need, what with Rule 6.05(m) sitting up there all nice and tidy and an army of judgment-armed umpires standing ready to enforce it should they be asked to.

Unfortunately, Major League Baseball has decided that eschewing set rules in favor of new ones is better. Rules about the time batters and pitchers should take. Rules about blocking bases. Rules about how long someone should be suspended for a first time drug offense. Late Selig and Manfred-era Major League Baseball has decided, it seems, that anything 150 years of baseball can do, it can do better. Or at least newer and without the input of people in the judgment-passing business like umpires and arbitrators and the like.

Why can’t baseball send a memo to the umpires and the players over the winter saying the following:

Listen up:

That rule about running into fielders that you all have already agreed to abide by in your respective Collective Bargaining Agreements? We’re serious about it now and WILL be enforcing it. If you break it, players, you’re going to be in trouble. If you refuse to enforce it, umpires, you’re going to be in trouble. Understood? Good.


Bobby M.

If players complain, they complain. They don’t have a say about established rules. If, on the other hand, your process of making new rules is easier than your process of simply enforcing rules you already have, your system is messed up and we should be having a whole other conversation.

Anti-Chase Utley signs at Citi Field were brutal and hilarious

Chase Utley sign

Obviously Chase Utley was not the most popular figure in Citi Field last night. The fans booed him like crazy and chanted for him to make an appearance after the game got underway.

They made signs too. Lots and lots of signs. The one at the top of this article is the only one the Associated Press saw fit to grab a photo of, it seems. But there were more and, unlike that one, they were less than tame.

My favorite one was this one, held by a girl about my daughter’s age. It’s direct. It’s totally unequivocal. It gets the point across:

There’s no arguing with that. Utley could show up with a team of lawyers and after five minutes in front of this girl he’d be forced to admit, both orally and in writing, that, yes, he Buttley.

The New York Post categorizes many more of them here. Including one that didn’t make it into the park which said “Chase Utley [hearts] ISIS.” It was confiscated by Citi Field personnel. Why?

The sign, which actually used a “heart” drawing for loves, was confiscated by Citi Field security after she got inside Monday night. Culpepper was annoyed but gave a frank explanation.

“My guess is Isis doesn’t want to be associated with Chase Utley,” she said, calling him, “my least favorite player ever.”

Somebody call the burn unit.

NLDS, Game 4: Dodgers vs. Mets lineups

Clayton Kershaw

Here are the Dodgers and Mets lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in New York:

CF Kike Hernandez
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Adrian Gonzalez
3B Justin Turner
SS Corey Seager
RF Yasiel Puig
C A.J. Ellis
LF Justin Ruggiano
SP Clayton Kershaw

With a left-hander on the mound for New York the Dodgers are stacking the lineup with right-handed bats, using an outfield of Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano, and Kike Hernandez rather than Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, and Joc Pederson. Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager are the only lefty bats in the lineup. A.J. Ellis gets the start over Yasmani Grandal by virtue of being the personal catcher for Clayton Kershaw, who’s pitching on short rest.

RF Curtis Granderson
3B David Wright
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Yoenis Cespedes
C Travis d'Arnaud
1B Lucas Duda
SS Wilmer Flores
CF Juan Lagares
SP Steven Matz

Obviously facing Clayton Kershaw is much different than facing Brett Anderson, but they’re both lefties and manager Terry Collins is using the same lineup as Game 3 with one slight change: Travis d’Arnaud and Lucas Duda flipped in the batting order.