Cleveland Indians v Seattle Mariners

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 4, Indians 3: The M’s just keep on winning. That’s eight in a row, with this one ending interestingly. The Indians had runners on the corners with no one out in the ninth. Then Drew Stubbs got caught in a rundown he probably shouldn’t have gotten caught in between third and home, ending the play out in a double play which erased both baserunners. Michael Bourn struck out, game over.

Reds 3, Giants 9Giants 5, Reds 3: A weird doubleheader in which the Giants were the home team in the first one and the Reds were the home team in the nightcap, batting last and wearing their home uniforms and everything. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that both games were in AT&T Park and that the Reds had agreed to make up a home rainout in San Francisco as opposed to the teams chartering jets and traveling to Ohio in between games. There was a time in this country where people had vision and ambition and such a thing would not have seemed so crazy. Thanks, Obama.

Red Sox 6, Rays 2: An eight strikeout performance from Jon Lester, who was making the start on extra rest. He gave up two runs and seven hits with no walks in six and a third. He needed that.

Dodgers 10, Blue Jays 9: Toronto had a five-run lead in the sixth and piddled it away. Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, he Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis each had three RBI. Five straight for L.A., 22 of 27 overall.

Pirates 5, Nationals 1: Gerrit Cole had no problems with the Nats, pitching seven strong and driving in a run. The Nats have lost five straight. Jayson Werth after the game: “Things aren’t going our way and we’re not winning games. We need to find a way to win a game.” That’s some keen insight there, Jayson.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Bright side for the Nats: The Braves have sucked too. Carlos Torres allowed a leadoff homer to Andrelton Simmons but nothing else of consequence. I was so depressed watching this game that I turned it off and watched episode 6 of “Sherlock” for the fourth time or so. I feel like I know how Holmes did that thing at the end now. But thanks to the BBC I’ve been waiting over a year for the resolution and will be waiting a lot longer. British TV is weird.

Yankees 5, Rangers 4: Two runs off Joe Nathan in the ninth is not the sort of thing one can count on very often, but that’s what the Yankees got thanks to an RBI triple by Eduardo Nunez who was then driven in on a Brent Lillibridge single. Weirdest part: the tying run came in the form of Vernon Wells who actually drew a walk. He doesn’t do that terribly often.

Padres 6, Brewers 2: Nick Hundley was 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBI. Just before the game Milwaukee traded Francisco Rodriguez. This has been quite a week for unloading jerks in Milwaukee. Anyone gonna argue that the team now has better chemistry? Nah, of course not. They’re not winning.

Tigers 6, White Sox 2: Seven scoreless for Rick Porcello. The White Sox committed four errors. This one night after they had three. More like the Chicago White Slops, amirite?

Cardinals 4, Phillies 1: Make that three teams in the NL East “hunt” stinking up the joint. Shelby Miller struck out six in six shutout innings to nab his tenth win. Allen Craig drove in a couple. More like the NL Least, amirite?

OK, sorry. I’ll cut that out now.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Bruce Chen is now 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA. Only two starts and a lot of relief work in that, but you have to assume these are showcase starts for a trade, right? Of course that assumes Dayton Moore knows what he’s doing.

Marlins 4, Rockies 2: No matter how poorly the P.R. end of the offseason purge was for the Marlins, you have to admit that this team is more interesting giving a showcase to the kids while losing than it is trotting out highly-paid veterans and losing. Jose Fernandez gave up two runs over seven innings while striking out eight. Christian Yelich makes his debut after yesterday’s callup going 3 for 4 with a couple driven in.

Astros 5, Athletics 4: A three-run ninth for the Astros, with runs scoring on a Matt Dominguez homer then a passed ball/throwing error combo gave them the walkoff win. It was Grant Balfour’s first blown save in a long, long time.

Diamondbacks 10, Cubs 4: A.J. Pollock doubled, tripled and drove in three, Eric Chavez tripled and drove in three and Patrick Corbin kept the Cubs more or less contained.

Twins 10, Angels 3: Your standard seven-run 10th inning, highlighted by a Chris Herrmann grand slam. Herrmann was filling in for Joe Mauer, who high-tailed it out of there for the birth of his twins.

Study: West teams at a disadvantage due to jet lag

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - JULY 14:  A Delta airlines plane is seen as it comes in for a landing at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on July 14, 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Delta Air Lines Inc. reported that their second quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 4.1%, and also announced that they decided to reduce its United States to Britian capacity on its winter schedule because of foreign currency issues and the economic uncertainty from Brexit.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Every year, when the schedules are released, we often hear about the teams that have it worst. Almost always, those teams are West teams. According to MLB.com, teams in the West division of their respective leagues had the top eight most travel-heavy schedules in 2016. The full list:

Team League Division Miles
Mariners AL West 47,704
Angels AL West 44,945
Athletics AL West 42,119
Rangers AL West 41,128
Dodgers NL West 40,294
Giants NL West 39,341
Astros AL West 38,553
Padres NL West 37,363
Rays AL East 36,916
Red Sox AL East 36,896
D-Backs NL West 35,312
Yankees AL East 35,252
Marlins NL East 35,226
Rockies NL West 33,287
Blue Jays AL East 32,895
Orioles AL East 32,322
Braves NL East 29,236
Royals AL Central 29,077
Twins AL Central 28,948
Phillies NL East 28,351
Mets NL East 26,832
White Sox AL Central 26,538
Cardinals NL Central 26,451
Pirates NL Central 26,134
Brewers NL Central 25,620
Tigers AL Central 25,450
Indians AL Central 25,176
Reds NL Central 25,108
Nationals NL East 24,664
Cubs NL Central 24,271

The averages by division:

  • AL East: 34,856 miles
  • AL Central: 25,176
  • AL West: 42,890
  • NL East: 28,862
  • NL Central: 25,517
  • NL West: 37,119

The maps aren’t up for 2017 yet, but rest assured that West teams will once again have it worst. It’s easy to see why, taking a look at the map on MLB.com. If you draw a line to split Texas in half and go straight up through North Dakota, there are only eight teams to the left of that line, leaving the other 23 condensed on the right side. When West teams aren’t playing intra-division games, they are traveling. That’s often not the case for East and Central teams. The Phillies and Pirates, for example, don’t even have to leave the state to play each other.

As Gizmodo points out, a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found a link between jet lag and performance. Sleep scientist Ravi Allada of Northwestern University analyzed 4,919 games, finding that teams that traveled East performed worse than those that traveled West. Allada and his colleagues adjusted for home field advantage and park effects.

Specifically, teams that traveled from the West to the East lost more often than East teams traveling West. They gave up more runs and scored less runs. They hit for a lower batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. They gave up more home runs, accounting for most of the decline in run prevention.

There was a peculiar finding. Allada found that jet lagged home teams performed worse than jet lagged visiting teams. He hypothesizes that “teams may be more cognizant of their schedules when traveling away, thus mitigating jet lag effects,” he told Gizmodo.

The Braves ask Cobb County for $14 million more

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The Braves’ new ballpark in Cobb County Georgia is the gift that keeps on taking.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have asked Cobb County for $14 million for roads, walkways and other pedestrian improvements around the stadium the team has already paid for but which it says the county is responsible. The county says it’s not responsible for them and that it has already paid nearly $70 million for transportation improvements around the ballpark, including on privately-owned property in the mixed-use development.

The reason this isn’t settled: at the time the deal between the county and the team was struck, there was a provision for the county to pay for $14 million for certain improvements. The Braves, this past September, told the county that it wants to be reimbursed for these projects under that provision and that the $70 million the county has already spent shouldn’t count. For reasons, I guess. It’s a bit complicated, but the AJC story lays it out pretty well. The upshot seems to be “why didn’t the Braves say they wanted the county to pay for these things long ago?”

The answer to that question, I suspect, is “because the Braves have been treated as entitled corporate welfare recipients since this deal was announced and they have learned that they can get away with almost anything.”