In a vacuum I understand the Yankees’ frustration with having to burn one of their two remaining offdays — September 8th — to make up one of the washed-out Orioles games. Off-days are precious this time of the season.
I’m also sympathetic to Joe Girardi’s argument that there should have been a doubleheader scheduled for Friday. It seemed like a no-brainer at the time given the weather forecast and I still can’t think of a rational reason why the Orioles wouldn’t go for it.
Finally, I’m less-than-impressed with those who have cited Mike Flanagan’s death as a reason why the Orioles couldn’t be expected to be more reasonable and flexible about all of this. They’re totally different issues and, sadly, teams have had to deal with the death of one of their own before, including active players and coaches.
But like I said, that’s in a vacuum. It’s significant with respect to fairness from-team-to-team and all of that. But not in an absolute sense. And there is a limit to how much patience I have for anyone complaining too much about the schedule disruptions. And the reason for that is explained fairly well in this Boston Globe article on the subject today:
One could make the case that schedule and travel issues are overrated, and they often are. Baseball travel is better even than first class for the average Joe, where everything is taken care of for you. Hotel accommodations are first class. Players do not want for any convenience, and of course, they can always sleep on the plane.
You’re familiar with the “first world problems” meme? This is, like, supra-first-world-problems. Put your big boy pants on and deal with it.
(thanks to MooseinOhio for the heads up)
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.