Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Giants 3, Dodgers 0: The season nadir for the Dodgers who got swept by their arch rivals in three straight shutouts and lost their lead in the division. And, to add insult to injury, Andre Ethier got hurt. Wait, that’s adding injury to insult I suppose. Ah, you know what I mean. Oh, and Timmay is apparently back (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). It’s a brand new race in the NL West. And the Dodgers have two broken legs.

Mets 17, Cubs 1: Wow, that wind was really blowing out at Wrigley, eh? At least in the top half of the middle innings anyway. David Wright, drove in five while Ike Davis, Scott Hairston and Daniel Murphy each drove in four. That’s bloody efficient, yes?

Athletics 2, Mariners 1: Jarrod Parker pitched a gem while Kevin Millwood went down with a groin injury. Oh, and the A’s sported an infield with three Brandons in it: Moss, Hicks and Inge. When I saw Matthew’s headline to that effect there were a few seconds before I remembered who the Brandons would have been. My first thought: a bunch of 20-22 year-old rookies, all of whom were named by parents who were big fans of the “Beverly Hills 90210.” Sadly, all of these three are too old for that.

Brewers 8, Reds 4: Milwaukee breaks its four-game losing streak. If they turn their season around from this point, perhaps they’ll have Nyjer Morgan getting into it with some random Cincinnatian to credit.

Royals 5, Rays 4: Billy Butler hit what proved to be the game-winning homer in the eighth. And thank God, because it was hotter than, well, if we’re thanking God we can’t say it was hotter than Hell I suppose, but it was pretty darn hot. And Bill Butler knew it:

“It was really, really hot out there,” said Butler, who greeted reliever Burke Badenhop with his 15th home run. “It was over 100 degrees. Guys were starting to get dehydrated. It was not a good day to go extra innings.”

We all love day baseball, I realize, but I wonder if it’s at all possible to make some sort of flexible scheduling thing for places like Kansas City or Texas or wherever, allowing the games to be moved into the evening when the forecast calls for triple digits. Because no one can enjoy that except the swells in the luxury boxes.

Red Sox 10, Blues Jays 4: That’s the ninth win in the past 11 games for Boston and five straight series wins too. The Sox scored five off Ricky Romero in the first inning, who was all over the place. Four starters down, one wild as all get-out. One gets the sense that the Jays season is spiraling out of control.

White Sox 12, Twins 5: The Sox rattled off 21 hits. Chris Sale cruised through seven, never having to face more than four batters in an inning. Adam Dunn had three hits including a homer and drove in four. He was 0 for his last 24 coming in to the game.

Yankees 5, Indians 4: A win that felt like a loss for the Yankees, what with Andy Pettitte going down for six weeks after breaking his leg on a comebacker. Old Timers Day is coming up in New York pretty soon. The team may assign extra scouts when Ron Guidry and Whitey Ford take the mound.

Angels 13, Orioles 1: That’s a whuppin’ right there. And in addition to going 4 for 6, Mike Trout did this. Watch through to the slo-mo. That’s some serious air.

Astros 1, Padres 0: A six-hit shutout for Lucas Harrell. Clayton Richard didn’t do much worse. The whole affair was over in 1:58.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 3: John Buck and Logan Morrison went back-to-back in the seventh and the Cards’ win streak is snapped.

Braves 6, Diamondbacks 4: Jason Heyward stays hot, hitting a homer and Chipper Jones went long too. I suppose that will mean four days on the bench with ice packs on his knees, but it’s worth it. Craig Kimbrel has 47 strikeouts in 28 innings, by the way.

Rangers 13, Tigers 9David Murphy went 4-for-5 with two home runs. Roy Oswalt got the W, because he apparently just knows how to win, never mind the five runs on 13 hits.

Nationals 11, Rockies 5: Washington jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the third inning and everything else was pretty much academic after that. The 75-pitch limit for Rockies starters in that new four-man rotation is working out swell. Evereth Cabrera only threw 65 pitches. They came in two and a third innings, but the standards were adhered to!

Pirates 11, Phillies 7: Nice debut for Chase Utley — a homer in his first at bat and three hits overall — but the Pirates went crazy against the Phillies pen, which pitched the whole game as a bullpen special. Homers from Michael McKenry, Andrew McCutchen and Casey McGehee.

The Days of Chief Wahoo are numbered

Fox Entertainment

One of the more common responses to what I’ve posted about Chief Wahoo lately is “it’s just a cartoon character! Nobody cares!”

Well, looking at that guy in the photo above and many others dressed like him at Progressive Field the past two days is evidence that it is not just a cartoon character. A certain swath of Indians fans think that, because of their team’s name and mascot, it’s totally acceptable to show up in public looking like this. Wahoo as an official trademark of a Major League Baseball club gives people license to dress up in redface — or in this case, red and blackface — with headdresses on, turning a real people and a real culture into a degrading caricature. It’s not just a cartoon character by a long shot. To many it’s a get-out-being-called-a-racist-free card.

As for “nobody cares,” well, yes, someone does. Go read this from Sterling HolyWhiteMountain over at ESPN, talking about both Chief Wahoo as a symbol and America’s treatment and conception of Native Americans as a whole. It’s moving stuff that puts lie to the idea that “nobody cares.” It likewise puts lie to the false choice so many Chief Wahoo defenders reference in which they argue that people should care more about actual injustices visited upon Native Americans and not mascots. One can and should care about those injustices. And one can do that while simultaneously finding Chief Wahoo to be an odious symbol that serves to dehumanize people. Once people are dehumanized, it’s far easier to treat them as something less-than-human, of course.

But it’s not just Native Americans or anti-Wahoo folks like me who care. While I have been critical of Major League Baseball for not taking its own stand against Wahoo publicly, it seems pretty clear at this point that the league is weary of Wahoo and is looking to pressure the Indians to eliminate it. Last night, at the Hank Aaron Award ceremony, Manfred spoke more expansively about Wahoo than he did the day before. Manfred is a lawyer and he does not choose his words carelessly. Read this and parse it carefully:

“I know that that particular logo is offensive to some people, and all of us at Major League Baseball understand why. Logos are, however, primarily a local matter. The local club makes decisions about its logos. Fans get attached to logos. They become part of a team’s history. So it’s not easy as coming to the conclusion and realizing that the logo is offensive to some segment.

“I’ve talked to Mr. [Indians owner and CEO Paul] Dolan about this issue. We’ve agreed away from the World Series at an appropriate time we will have a conversation about this. I want to understand fully what his view is, and we’ll go from there. At this point in this context, I’m just not prepared to say more.”

Yes, he’s still trying to be diplomatic, but note how he (a) acknowledges that Wahoo is offensive to some people; (b) that “all of us at Major League Baseball understand why” and (c) does not validate the views of those who do not find it offensive. He acknowledges that they feel that way due to history, but he does not say, as I inferred from his previous comments the day before, that both sides have merit. Indeed, he says he’d like to hear Paul Dolan’s side, suggesting that while he’ll listen to argument, he doesn’t buy the argument as it has yet to be put.

I still wish that MLB would come out hard and strong against Wahoo publicly, but the more I listen to Manfred on this and read between the lines, the more I suspect that Major League Baseball is finally fed up with Wahoo and that it wants to do something to get rid of it. That it’s not just the hobby horse of pinko liberals like me. I believe Manfred realizes that, in 2016, Chief Wahoo is an embarrassment to an organization like Major League Baseball. Maybe, because of p.r. and political considerations, he doesn’t want to stand on a soapbox about it at the World Series, but I believe he wants to put an end to it all the same.

You can call me names for being against Wahoo all you want. But you can’t say it’s a non-issue. You can’t say that it’s just a cartoon character and you can’t say that nobody cares. To do that is an exercise in denial. I have come to believe that Major League Baseball cares and that it’s going to push hard to make the 2016 World Series the last time it is embarrassed by anachronistic racism on its biggest stage ever again.

Game 2 is going to be the poster child for pace of play arguments this winter

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Zach McAllister #34 of the Cleveland Indians is relieved by manager Terry Francona during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images

In August, it was reported that Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred would like to implement pitch clocks, like those in use in the minor leagues for the past two seasons, to improve the pace-of-play at the major league level. You can bet that last night’s Game 2 will be the lead argument he uses against those who would oppose the move.

The game was moved up an hour in order to get it in before an impending storm. By the time the rain finally started falling the game had been going on for three hours and thirty-three minutes. It should’ve been over before the first drop fell, but in all it lasted four hours and four minutes. It ended in, thankfully, only a light rain. The longest nine-inning game in postseason history happened a mere two weeks ago, when the Dodgers and Nationals played for four hours and thirty two minutes. There thirteen pitchers were used. Last night ten pitchers were used. Either way, the postseason games are dragging on even for those of us who don’t mind devoting four+ hours of our night to baseball. It is likely putting off more casual fans just tuning in for the Fall Classic.

It’s not all just dawdling, however. Yes, the pitchers worked slowly and a lot of pitching changes took place, but strikeouts, walks and the lack of balls in play contribute to longer games as well. We saw this both last night and in Game 1, which was no brisk affair despite each starting pitcher looking sharp and not working terribly slowly. Twenty-four strikeouts on Tuesday night had a lot to do with that. Last night featured 20 strikeouts and thirteen — thirteen! — walks. It’s not just that the games are taking forever; the very thing causing them to drag feature baseball’s least-kinetic forms of excitement.

But no matter what the cause for the slower play was — and here it was a combination of laboring pitchers, the lack of balls in play and, of course, the longer commercial breaks in the World Series — Manfred is likely to hold Game 2 up as Exhibit A in his efforts to push through some rules changes to improve game pace and game time. So far, the centerpiece of those efforts is the pitch clock, which has proven to be successful and pretty non-controversial in the minor leagues. It would not surprise me one bit if, at this year’s Winter Meetings in Washington, a rule change in that regard is widely discussed.