New York Mets v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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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.

Adam Wainwright is not a fan of the proposed strike zone changes

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09:  Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6 to 1 in Game Five of the National League Division Series at Busch Stadium on October 9, 2013 in St Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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It’s probably not a big shocker that a pitcher is not a big fan of the strike zone being made smaller, but Adam Wainwright of the Cardinals and he tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he is not a fan of the proposed changes to the strike zone we wrote about recently, calling the proposal “a horrible, horrible idea.”

Horrible, he acknowledges, because he’s a pitcher with a vested interest so, yes, let’s give Wainwright credit for self-awareness and for disclosing his self-interest. But he thinks it’s a bad idea for another reason too: more hits will lead to more balls in the gap and thus longer games.

I get the intuitive nature of that — the longer it takes to retire a side the longer games go — but it doesn’t necessarily follow that offense and game times are related in the way Wainwright implies. There was a lot more scoring in the 1990s and early 2000s and games were actually shorter then than now. Partially because of other factors (i.e. there were not quite as many pitching changes and because guys played at a faster clip). Partially, I suspect, because there were fewer strikeouts and strikeouts take a longer time than guys grounding out or having some of those balls in the gap caught on the run by a fast outfielder.

As I said last week, I suspect that we’ll see fewer balls in the gap than Wainwright implies and, rather, a lot more walks as pitchers test umpires to see if they’re really taking away that low strike. In the short term that’ll actually make games longer, though not for the reason Wainwright thinks.

 

 

Report: Jonny Gomes has retired

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28:  Jonny Gomes of the Kansas City Royals looks on before Game Two of the 2015 World Series between the Royals and the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
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SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo hears from a source that former major leaguer Jonny Gomes has decided to retire from baseball. The 35-year-old spent the 2016 season with the Rakuten Golden Eagles in the Japan Pacific League, but he struggled at the plate, batting .169/.280/.246 in 75 plate appearances. Gomes left the Eagles by mutual consent back on May 11.

Gomes won a championship with the Red Sox in 2013 and the Royals last year. He ends a 13-year major league career having hit .242/333/.436 with 162 home runs in 4,009 trips to the plate.

Gomes was known as a clubhouse leader during his playing career, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up coaching or managing in some capacity in the future.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday evening’s action

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14:  Marcell Ozuna #13 of the Miami Marlins celebrates a triple in the second inning against the Washington Nationals  at Nationals Park on May 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Craig previewed this afternoon’s action. We have eight more games left in the evening, though.

The pitching match-ups aren’t at all exciting, sadly, but there are a few streaks to pay attention to tonight. Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. is on a 28-game hitting streak, tying him with Wade Boggs for eighth-most in Red Sox history. Teammate Xander Bogaerts is on a 17-game hitting streak as well.

Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna has reached base in 31 consecutive games. And to think that owner Jeffrey Loria would have traded him during the offseason if not for manager Don Mattingly and hitting coach Barry Bonds speaking up in favor of keeping Ozuna.

The match-ups for Wednesday evening…

Arizona Diamondbacks (Rubby De La Rosa) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke), 7:05 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada) @ New York Yankees (Ivan Nova), 7:05 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Chad Bettis) @ Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright), 7:10 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Justin Nicolino) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Andriese), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Junior Guerra) @ Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz), 7:10 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Tyler Wilson) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Dan Straily) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir), 10:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Zach Neal) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 PM EDT

Video: Minor League Manager goes on epic rant

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Frisco RoughRiders manager Joe Mikulik got his money’s worth last night. He was ejected after arguing an automatic double play on an enforcement of the slide rule, and he didn’t go gently into that goodnight.

Rather, he threw things, kicked things, threw things and then subsequently kicked those same things, gave overly-demonstrative slides and safe signs and basically went all Earl Weaver/Lou Piniella on everyone.

Double-A baseball is the best minor league because you tend to see more prospects there than you do at Triple-A. But it’s also the best because, when you’re a manager who is not quite a heartbeat away from getting your shot at the big leagues, you’re a little less uptight about things. Or at least Mikulik was. Or maybe he was more uptight. I don’t know. He just went with it, and going with it has its charms.

 

(h/t Big League Stew)