Brad Mills went a bit nutso with his pen last night

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Look, the Astros won the game so it’s all good, but this was a little nuts:  Brad Mills used six pitchers against six consecutive batters across an inning and a third.

Bud Norris started the game and went six and two-thirds innings.  In the seventh, the last batter he faced was Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who singled in two runs. Time to go to the pen, right? Of course it was. But from the end of the seventh inning and on through the eighth, it went like this:

  • Wilton Lopez faced Ruben Tejada and no one else;
  • Wesley Wright faced Daniel Murphy and no one else;
  • Brandon Lyon faced David Wright and no one else;
  • Fernando Abad faced Ike Davis and no one else; and
  • Fernando Rodriguez faced Scott Hairston and no one else.

Only Davis reached. All of the other one-batter relievers retired their men.  And New York was kept scoreless for the entire inning and a third in which those six men pitched.

I bet that if even Tony La Russa was watching that game he’d say “damn.”

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.