Brandon Moss

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 10, Angels 8: Nineteen innings. Six and a half hours. Sixteen pitchers, including A’s Opening Day starter Brett Anderson who pitched five and a third innings out of the pen. The Angels, for their part, had two pitchers — Tommy Hanson who started it and Jerome Williams who came in later — each of whom pitched what would have been a quality start. Ended on a Brandon Moss two-run homer, his second of the night/morning. Albert Pujols had two homers as well. It ended less than an hour and a half before my alarm clock went off this morning. It was the longest game in Angels history and the longest game ever played in Oakland. At least they follow it up with a night game rather than a day tilt.

Braves 3, Nationals 2: Atlanta beats Washington for the eighth straight time dating back to last season. The kicker: they did it without any home runs.

Astros 9, Yankees 1: Hey, even the worst teams win several dozen times a year. You just don’t expect them to beat the tar out of Andy Pettitte, that’s all. Catcher Carlos Corporan went 4 for 5 with a homer, double and four RBI. Lucas Harrel allowed only one run in six and a third.

Tigers 4, Twins 3: Prince Fielder’s three-run homer helps the Tigers to their fourth straight win.

Marlins 4, Mets 3: The Marlins won in 15 innings, but they lost their best player — Giancarlo Stanton — to a strained hamstring and he may miss more time than that after saying he felt a “pop” in his leg. Five straight losses for the Mets. No one is leaving this game happy.

Indians 9, Royals 0: Ryan Raburn hit two homers and drove in four and Ubaldo Jimenez tossed seven shutout innings to notch his first win in 12 starts. Wade Davis was shelled.

Cubs 5, Padres 3: Darwin Barney went 2 for 3 with two doubles and Cody Ransom went 2 for 4 with a home run. Chicago, you may not have noticed, has won five of seven.

Brewers 10, Pirates 4: Milwaukee hit five home runs, including one from Yovani Gallardo of all people, in the rout. They hit three triples too. Gallardo likewise allowed only one earned run in seven innings. Miller Park continues to be a house of horrors for the Pirates.

Mariners 6, Orioles 2: Joe Saunders with a complete game, allowing only two runs against his old mates. At least I assume they were his mates.  I dunno. Maybe everyone hated Saunders in Baltimore. Called him “jerkface” and stuff. We never can really know these things.

Reds 2, Cardinals 1: Mat Latos outdueled Adam Wainwright, extending his scoreless innings streak to 17. The Cards have dropped three in a row.

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 4: San Francisco halts its losing skid, coming behind after Matt Cain allowed three home runs in the fourth inning. Brandon Belt drove in three.

Rockies 12, Dodgers 2: Colorado rattled off 19 hits. Including three from pitcher Tyler Chatwood who drove in two to [all together now] help his own cause. His six shutout innings helped that quite a bit too.

Rob Manfred on robot umps: “In general, I would be a keep-the-human-element-in-the-game guy.”

KANSAS CITY, MO - APRIL 5:  Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred talks with media prior to a game between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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Craig covered the bulk of Rob Manfred’s quotes from earlier. The commissioner was asked about robot umpires and he’s not a fan. Via Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports:

Manfred was wrong to blame the player’s union’s “lack of cooperation” on proposed rule changes, but he’s right about robot umps and the strike zone. The obvious point is that robot umps cannot yet call balls and strikes with greater accuracy than umpires. Those strike zone Twitter accounts, such as this, are sometimes hilariously wrong. Even the strike zone graphics used on television are incorrect and unfortunate percentage of the time.

The first issue to consider about robot umps is taking jobs away from people. There are 99 umps and more in the minors. If robot umpiring was adopted in collegiate baseball, as well as the independent leagues, that’s even more umpires out of work. Is it worth it for an extra one or two percent improvement in accuracy?

Personally, the fallibility of the umpires adds more intrigue to baseball games. There’s strategy involved, as each umpire has tendencies which teams can strategize against. For instance, an umpire with a more generous-than-average strike zone on the outer portion of the plate might entice a pitcher to pepper that area with more sliders than he would otherwise throw. Hitters, knowing an umpire with a smaller strike zone is behind the dish, may take more pitches in an attempt to draw a walk. Or, knowing that information, a hitter may swing for the fences on a 3-0 pitch knowing the pitcher has to throw in a very specific area to guarantee a strike call or else give up a walk.

The umpires make their mistakes in random fashion, so it adds a chaotic, unpredictable element to the game as well. It feels bad when one of those calls goes against your team, but fans often forget the myriad calls that previously went in their teams’ favor. The mistakes will mostly even out in the end.

I haven’t had the opportunity to say this often, but Rob Manfred is right in this instance.

Report: MLB approves new rule allowing a dugout signal for an intentional walk

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 29:  MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred laughs during a ceremony naming the 2016 winners of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award and the Trevor Hoffman National League Reliever of the Year Award before Game Four of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 29, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Howard Bryant is reporting that Major League Baseball has approved a rule allowing for a dugout signal for an intentional walk. In other words, baseball is allowing automatic intentional walks. Bryant adds that this rule will be effective for the 2017 season.

MLB has been trying, particularly this month, to improve the pace of play. Getting rid of the formality of throwing four pitches wide of the strike zone will save a minute or two for each intentional walk. There were 932 of them across 2,428 games last season, an average of one intentional walk every 2.6 games. It’s not the biggest improvement, but it’s something at least.

Earlier, Commissioner Rob Manfred was upset with the players’ union’s “lack of cooperation.” Perhaps his public criticism was the catalyst for getting this rule passed.

Unfortunately, getting rid of the intentional walk formality will eradicate the chance of seeing any more moments like this: