Hall of Fame Induction Day always sneaks up on me. I rarely read or hear about it until the week leading up to it. Which, in today’s media environment is kind of strange when you think about it. But it has done it again: Hall of Fame Induction Day is this Sunday.
For those who totally tuned out the crazy arguing back and forth back during election time or simply buried it deep, deep down somewhere where the vitriol can’t hurt you, please recall that Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick are going into the Hall. It will be a joyous occasion. Well, at least until the ceremony is over. At that point the members of the Blyleven-for-the-Hall Industrial Complex which has grown over the years may find themselves empty and adrift. What these brave warriors will do with no battle left to fight frightens me to some degree, I’ll admit. And that’s the case even though I consider myself to be a low-ranking foot soldier in that army.
Actually, now that I think about it, this will be one of the last inductions which will not be accompanied by cries of bloody murder on behalf of those who should be in but aren’t because of the PED mess, so I presume that — if we can make it past this next year — the Blyleven Brigade can scale up to fight that battle and thus won’t be loose and aimless on our city streets. Probably safe for all of us.
That business aside, congratulations, inductees.
UPDATE: He’s perfect through eight! He has ten strikeouts on the night. One more inning to go. And, of course, the Dodgers need to give him at least one run or else this thing doesn’t end in nine. Note: No Dodgers pitcher has tossed a perfecto since Sandy Koufax did it against the Chicago Cubs on September 9, 1965.
9:09 PM: Dodgers starter Rich Hill is facing off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight. And he’s not having any trouble with them: he’s absolutely perfect though seven innings. He’s needed 73 pitches to get that far, so if he can keep the perfection up he certainly has enough in the tank to finish it.
Thing is: he may not even get the win. That’s because Pirates starter Trevor Williams has blanked the Dodgers through eight, scattering seven hits and four walks yet, somehow, not allowing a run to score.
The Pirates are coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth. We’ll keep you posted.
On September 20, 2015, Zach Britton blew a save against the Rays. Little did he know that he wouldn’t blow another save until August 23, 2017, converting 60 consecutive save opportunities.
Britton took the mound with a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Athletics. He yielded a single to Jed Lowrie, a double to Boog Powell, an RBI single to Marcus Semien, and a sacrifice fly to Matt Joyce to allow the A’s to close the two-run deficit. In the next at-bat, he uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Khris Davis before being removed from the game. Miguel Castro relieved Britton, but walked Ryon Healy on four pitches to load the bases. Castro wriggled out of the jam by getting Matt Olson to pop up and striking out Matt Chapman, stranding two of Britton’s runners.
Britton entered Wednesday’s action 11-for-11 in save chances on the season with a 2.88 ERA and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained left forearm.