Ramon Santiago

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

26 Comments

I had every recap done this morning, hit “save” and then just as that happened something barfed on itself in Google Chrome and I lost it all. So if these recaps seem superficial, it’s only because I’m trying to type them with one fist punched in the monitor.

Tigers 2, Rays 1: A wilder one than the score suggests, with Ramon Santiago plating the winning run with an RBI triple in the tenth. A key play: Magglio Ordonez nailing Justin Ruggiano at the plate to complete a double play with the bases loaded. Watch for yourself. No great angles on that clip, but he looked safe to me on the second view following the Maddon argument.

Indians 1, Yankees 0: Four Indians pitchers — led by Carlos Carrasco — combine to toss a five-hit shutout. Well, seeing as though Carrasco gave up all five hits, I guess it wasn’t totally equitable. The bigger deal than the Yankees failure to generate any offense was Derek Jeter’s early exit due to a sore calf.

Pirates 3, Mets 1: Paul Maholm pitched seven shutout innings — and Mike Pelfrey was nearly as good — but Maholm had at least a bit of support. The Mets and Pirates split the series. Both of these teams are seeking .500 baseball like it’s the Holy Grail, and each time they get close it slips through their fingers. So totally expect a Pirates loss tonight.

Reds 6, Dodgers 4: Bronson Arroyo and Hiroki Kuroda met a couple of weeks ago and had a pitcher’s duel. They met last night and had … something else. Still, since Arroyo drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh, I’d say it’s safe to say that he won the pitchers-helping-their-own-cause duel.

Padres 3, Rockies 1: Anthony Bass wins his major league debut after throwing 5.1 strong innings in Coors Field of all places. Then he’s promptly demoted. Life’s hard out there for a spot starter.

Astros 8, Braves 3: Four RBI for Hunter Pence, who extended his hitting streak to 23 games.  Derek Lowe follows up his near no-hitter by laying this moderate-sized egg. Which is quite a Derek Lowe thing to do.

Cubs 1, Brewers 0: Randy Wolf and Ryan Dempster put up a bunch of zeroes but the Cubs break through with the game’s only run on a fielder’s choice in the eighth. How very 2011 of them.

Diamondbacks 12, Marlins 9: Teams combine for 30 hits and 21 runs. How very 2001 of them.

Angels 6, Mariners 3: Vernon Wells with two homers. He credited his game to watching hours of video earlier in the day. I bet he was watching old “Monty Python” episodes. Those always put me in a good mood too.

Rob Manfred on robot umps: “In general, I would be a keep-the-human-element-in-the-game guy.”

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5:  Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred talks with media prior to a game between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
15 Comments

Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.

The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?

Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.

The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.

I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.

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
25 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: