Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Pirates 1, Reds 0: Pittsburgh keeps rolling, as four pitchers combine to shut out the Redlegs for the second night in a row. This is all pretty trippy, but I’m curious to see what happens to the Buccos when they start a ten-game stretch against St. Louis, Atlanta and Philly beginning this Friday.

Rangers 7, Angels 0: Texas apparently does not lose baseball games anymore. Twelve straight for the Rangers, this one behind eight shutout innings from Alexi Ogando.

Mets 4, Cardinals 2: Jose Reyes comes back and gets two hits and scores a run, Carlos Beltran comes back and goes 3 for 3. In fact, every Mets starting position player got a hit and Dillon Gee pitched seven strong innings.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 2: Baltimore finally figures out how to beat Boston, besting them for the first time in seven meetings. Two runs in seven innings allowed for Jeremy Guthrie, who broke a personal seven-game losing streak against the Sox.

Tigers 8, Athletics 3: Things were going just fine until the bottom of the fifth, when Detroit decided that it was time to beat the living hell out of Guillermo Moscoso. Sometimes Tigers can just turn on you like that, which is why they make poor pets.

Padres 4, Marlins 0: It was bullpen trade chip audition night for the Padres, as Qualls, Adams, Gregerson and Bell all got into the game, each holding the Fish scoreless. Of course Tim Stauffer did most of the work, shutting out Florida for six. By the way, I think I have used some variation of the phrase “shutting out” more so far this year than I did the previous three years of this feature combined.

Rays 3, Yankees 2: Bartolo Colon returned to useful form, but the pen couldn’t hold it. Of course, it’s not like they had a big margin for error given how tied up Jeremy Hellickson had the Bombers’ lineup.

Twins 2, Indians 1: Minnesota entered the bottom of the ninth down 1-0, but loaded the bases and then Danny Valencia won it with a walk-off single. I wasn’t really paying attention to this game, but Gleeman was, and he said that Tribe starter Justin Masterson threw 104 pitches in the game and that 103 of them were fastballs. Heavens to Betsy. It obviously worked, given that he shut out the Twins for seven and two-thirds. Too bad for the Indians that he couldn’t keep pumping those speedballs in there for all nine.

Royals 4, White Sox 2: Duffy beats Peavy. That almost sounds kind of cute. Pretend they’re the names of cats or teddy bears or something.  Or that instead of nouns, their names are adjectives.

Phillies 4, Cubs 2: Another bullpen failure for the Cubs, with Sean Marshall playing the role of Carlos Marmol. Wait, that’s not fair. Marshall didn’t walk the whole ballpark or anything. He was just hit. Michael Martinez had the two-run double in the ninth that proved to be the game-winner.

Astros 7, Nationals 6: Clint Barmes drove in three to help J.A. Happ get his first win in two months.

Blue Jays 6, Mariners 5: It took fourteen innings, but we got to the same place we’ve gotten a lot lately: a Mariners loss. That’s ten straight for Seattle.  Rajai Davis reached on a single in the 14th, stole second and third, and then came in to end it on a John McDonald sacrifice fly.

Rockies 12, Braves 3: Brandon Beachy got shelled for six runs in the first three innings and then the less-impressive end of the Braves bullpen performed pretty substandard mopup duty. This gave Ubaldo Jimenez way more run support than he needed on a night when he struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning. Three RBI a piece for Troy Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Dexter Fowler.

Brewers 11, Diamondbacks 3: Five homers for the Brewers — two of them by Yuniesky Betancourt of all people– as Barry Enright decided that last night was a good one to work on his batting practice pitches.

Giants 5, Dodgers 3: Brandon Belt returned and in his first game back homered in the second to kick off the scoring and doubled in two in the seventh to put the Giants up to stay. That sound you hear is Aubrey Huff getting comfortable on the bench.

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.