Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Ben Sheets continued his surprising resurgence last night against the Phillies, allowing just one run over six innings as part of a 6-1 win.

Sheets scattered six hits while striking out four and walking just one. He gave up his first earned run of the season on an RBI double by Shane Victorino in the first inning, but held the Phillies off the board the rest of the way.

Cole Hamels really struggled in his first start since signing his six-year, $144 million extension, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and six walks over five innings. It was his shortest outing of the season while his six walks were a career-high. He obviously can’t handle the pressure of his big money contract. Or maybe baseball is just weird like that.

As for Sheets, he’s now 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 15/5 K/BB ratio in 18 innings across his first three starts with the Braves. The Braves’ rotation would look better with Ryan Dempster in it, but Sheets’ recent emergence softens the blow a little. Now, if only he can stay healthy from here.

Your Friday box scores:

Cardinals 9, Cubs 6

Athletics 14, Orioles 9

Padres 7, Marlins 2

Red Sox 3, Yankees 10

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 8

Pirates 6, Astros 5

White Sox 9, Rangers 5

Nationals 0, Brewers 6

Indians 0, Twins 11

Reds 3, Rockies 0

Rays 1, Angels 3

Mets 5, Diamondbacks 11

Royals 1, Mariners 6

Dodgers 5, Giants 3 (10 innings)

Report: MLB likely to unilaterally implement pace of play changes

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.

Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”

The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.

It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.