New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Phillies 10, Mets 0: Actual conversation that took place between a Mets fan I randomly met and I yesterday: the two of us trying to pinpoint exactly when the season ended for New York. Think hard about it: there are so many possible instances you can point to and say “There! Right there! That’s when it was clear that things were effectively over for the Mets.”

Mariners 3, Indians 2: Tribe closer Chris Perez comes into a tie game in the ninth, hits a dude, hits another dude, and then throws the ball away on a sacrifice attempt. I guess the error ended up not mattering — the g0-ahead run scored on a sac fly that would have plated the run even if the bunter was out at first on the previous play — but it added spice. The sweep by the Tigers was bad, but one gets the sense that we’re seeing the Indians’ season sort of ending before our eyes.

Brewers 8, Pirates 1, Pirates 9, Brewers 2: In the first game Chris Narveson allowed no runs in five and a third and drove in two for himself. I’m kind of a stats moron, but when I see something like that I feel like making up — with a totally straight face — some baloney metric about NL pitcher run differential or something and see if I can get anyone to run with it. Game two: Zack Greinke was rocked, allowing seven runs on seven hits. (and not driving in any, making his NLPRD a negative 7).

Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 1: The Diamondbacks keep skidding out of control. They’ve scored seven runs in six games. Damn shame someone has to represent the NL West in the playoffs. Not that there’s anyone else that we can allow in in their place, what with there only being three good NL teams this year apparently.

Tigers 5, Rays 2: You’ll be shocked to learn that the Tigers won a Justin Verlander start (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8K). Jhonny Peralta drove in two. He’s having the quietest .315/.361/.512 season for a shortstop in recent memory.

Orioles 4, Twins 1: J.J. Hardy — former Twin — hit a homer. It inspired Gleeman to make the following observation during last night’s game:

J.J. Hardy has 24 homers in 383 at-bats. Twins’ entire infield, including anyone to play 1B, 2B, SS, or 3B, has 37 homers in 2,320 at-bats.

But no, the Twins had no use for the guy at all.

Braves 3, Cubs 0: Jair Jurrjens had been beaten up in four of his last five starts, so he needed this. Jose Constanza went 2 for 3 and scored a run and … left with an ankle injury. Even if you’re in the “he’s gonna turn into a pumpkin soon” camp, losing him for any amount of time wouldn’t be good because, you know, he still hasn’t turned into a pumpkin. Seems minor, though.

Rockies 9, Astros 5: The Astros had baserunners all night — they had 11 hits off starter Jhoulys Chacin — but couldn’t do much of anything with them. The Rockies got an early 6-0 lead off Brett Myers who, in hindsight, probably didn’t deserve that contract extension he received last year.

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1: St. Louis took a 1-0 lead into the ninth. After starter Chris Carpenter — who had shut L.A. out for eight innings — hit the first batter he faced in the ninth, La Russa did the “let’s use three pitchers to face three batters thing.” Arthur Rhodes struck out Andre Ethier, but then Fernando Salas surrendered a triple to Aaron Miles, he got yanked, and then Jason Motte induced a grounder that Rafael Furcal bobbled, allowing the go-ahead run to score.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 0: C.J. Wilson and the trio of Uehara, Adams and Feliz shut out Boston. A three-run homer for Mike Napoli was the big blast.

MLB games were six minutes shorter this year

Pitch Clock
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According to STATS, INC., the average game in 2015 was 2 hours, 56 minutes. That’s six minutes faster than games in 2014.

The gains came in the first half, when games averaged 2:53. Second half games averaged three hours even. One can probably thank the expanded rosters in September for that, as games then see many more pitching changes. Of course, it’s likely that second half games were faster in 2015 than 2014 as well given the rules changes.

Those changes: agreement to enforce the rule requiring a hitter to keep at least one foot in the batter’s box and the installation of clocks timing pitching changes and between-inning breaks in ever ballpark.

It remains to be seen if MLB stays satisfied with that modest improvement or if chooses to go the way Triple-A and Double-A leagues did. They installed 20-second pitch clocks and started penalizing violators with balls and strikes. Triple-A’s two leagues, the International and Pacific Leagues, saw game-time decreases by 13 and 16 minutes, respectively.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

billy beane getty

I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.