Adam Dunn

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 3, Orioles 2: A walkoff homer for Adam Dunn won it, but seven shutout innings — with 11 strikeouts — from Jose Quintana helped make it possible.

Athletics 1, Cubs 0: Offense-lovers need not apply. Dan Straily allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings. Travis Wood had six shutout innings of his own. The only run of the game scored on a passed ball.

Rays 7, Astros 5: Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking double in the 11th. The Rays have won five of six.

Yankees 9, Twins 5: A trip to Target Field was just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees, who sweep the four-game series. Yankees hitters beat the tar out of Kyle Gibson, led by Vernon Wells’ three-RBI day.

Royals 10, Indians 7: The Tribe had a five-run lead in the sixth inning but they gagged it away in the bottom half of that inning when Lorenzo Cain hit a grand slam and George Kottaras hit a solo shot. The pen continued to bleed like a stuck pig as the Royals added five more in the seventh and eighth. Now Cleveland heads home to host the Tigers in a four game series which will maybe tell us if the Indians are going to, once again, hit the skids after a good first half.

Phillies 6, Pirates 4: Cole Hamels allowed one earned run in seven and a third and the bullpen — try as it did to blow it — held on and Hamels won his first game in a month. Gerrit Cole lost his first game ever. The Pirates dropped two of three to the Phillies.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 4: Well that was pretty nuts. Game-tying homers in the 13th and 14th innings but still not enough for the Mets. Thanks to the extras and overall slow play this series was the longest four-game series played — in terms of actual game-time — in 24 years.

Red Sox 8, Padres 2: Sox batters rattled off 18 hits and the Padres lost their sixth in a row. Boston has won 12 of 14.

Nationals 8, Brewers 5: Wilson Ramos came back after 44 games on the DL and hit the go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh. That on top of a two-run single in the fifth. Welcome back, Wilson.

Marlins 4, Braves 3: Craig Kimbrel came into a 3-3 tie in the ninth, walked two of the first three batters he faced and the gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Donovon Solano which proved to be the game-winner. Or loser, depending on your point of view.

Rockies 9, Dodgers 5: Michael Cuddyer’s great season continues as he hit a homer and drove in three. Carlos Gonzalez left the game with a strained back. He’s supposed to be OK.

Tigers 11, Blue Jays 1: No Miguel Cabrera? No Omar Infante? No problem. Justin Verlander tossed seven shutout innings and the Tigers bats, led by Austin Jackson’s 4 for 5, 3 RBI night, had no problem beating up on Esmil Rogers and the rest of the Jays staff.

Rangers 5, Mariners 4: Two solo homers for Adrian Beltre. The second one kicked off a four-run seventh inning which brought Texas back from behind.

Angels 6, Cardinals 5: Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth and then Erick Aybar singled in the game-winner to complete Edward Mujica’s blown save as the Angels take two of three from St. Louis.

Giants vs. Reds: POSTPONED: The rain to the wind said, ‘You push and I’ll pelt.’ They so smote the garden bed That the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged–though not dead. I know how the flowers felt.”

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: