Dallas Keuchel

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Astros 8, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel tossed a seven-hit shutout. I’m obligated by The Guild to say he scattered those hits. L.J. Hoes drove in three. Meanwhile, Matt Harrison left the game with back stiffness early.

Angels 4, Phillies 3: There was an awful lot of Philly-based press about Mike Trout yesterday, seeing as though he’s from nearby Millville, New Jersey. It was like a kid from nearby coming to play a game in May was Philly’s World Series or something. As it was, Trout’s slump continued and he was a non-factor here. Defense was a factor, as in Cody Asche committing not one, but two errors in the sixth inning allowing all four of Anaheim’s runs to score and all of them to be unearned.

Tigers 4, Orioles 1: A 1-0 lead in the ninth and Tommy Hunter on the hill was not enough here. Hunter surrendered back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and — bam! — that was that. Really, it sounded like “bam!” when the home runs were hit. That’s not me trying to add color here.

Padres 2, Reds 1: That stuff I said on Monday about Aroldis Chapman being the Terminator or whatever? Well, anyway. Chapman surrendered a ninth inning homer to Chase Headley after entering a tied game. That was only the third hit of the game for the Padres, but it was enough to give them their fourth straight win.

Mets 12, Yankees 7: Being in Yankee Stadium sure has cured the Mets’ offensive woes. Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer in the first and Daniel Murphy hit one in the fifth. This game fell two minutes shy of four hours, so it was good an agonizing for masochistic Yankees fans, who now root for a .500 ballclub.

Brewers 5, Pirates 2: Gerrit Cole hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the third inning because of course he did. No ill-will sprung from it, however and everyone moved on. Gomez came around to score, so viva the unwritten rules. Cole sure showed Gomez. Marco Estrada didn’t have any grudges to deal with. All he did was win the game with six serviceable innings.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: R.A. Dickey won for the third time in four starts. Juan Francisco hit a homer. Melky Cabrera gunned the would-be tying run down at the plate in the eighth, but I suppose we’re not supposed to mention that because he tested positive for drugs a couple of years ago and now “questions have arisen” in bored and suspicious people’s minds.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: A 12th inning walkoff plunking, as Justin Grimm hit Greg Garcia with the bases loaded in the 12th of a 3-3 game. Rough inning for Grimm as he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before the game-ender. Kinda deflating for Chicago, which had rallied off Trevor Rosenthal to tie it in the ninth.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s only $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 5, Rockies 1: James Shields allowed one run over seven while striking out eight. One of those eight was his 1,500th career strikeout.

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1: “I have a Strasburg.” “Oh yeah, well we have an Arroyo.” I dunno, just trying to dramatic that all up. A one run complete game for Bronson Arroyo. A two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth put Arizona up for good.

Twins 8, Red Sox 6: Two homers for David Ortiz but a walkoff homer for Chris Parmalee was better. Had to feel good for Parmalee, who has spent part of the season in the minors.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1: Josh Beckett gets his first win since 2012 and it comes against his old team. Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Miami has lost five in a row.

Braves 5, Giants 0: Mike Minor pitched shutout baseball into the seventh. Ryan Vogelsong  . . . didn’t. Two RBI for Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ three-run sixth was keyed by Jason Heyward who tagged up to take second base on one play and managed to duck under a tag at home to score even though the ball beat him there by ten feet.

Athletics 11, White Sox 0: Drew Pomeranz and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss hit homers — two for Moss, actually. The A’s are tied for the most wins in baseball and lead everyone in baseball in run differential with a +73.

Rays 2, Mariners 1: As in the Orioles-Tigers game, a 1-0 lead wasn’t enough as Fernando Rodney blew the save by allowing all of the opponents’ runs in the ninth. That (and some pretty awesome pitching) allowed David Price to get the win. Price went the distance and struck out 12. Hisashi Iwakuma had eight shutout innings flushed down the toilet.

Don Mattingly thinks pace of play can be improved by changing views on strikeouts

Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly sits in the dugout prior to a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Monday, April 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo
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Marlins manager Don Mattingly has one potential solution to the pace of play issue: change the way people value strikeouts, the Associated Press reports.

Strikeouts have been rising steadily since 2005. Then, a typical game averaged 6.30 strikeouts. In 2016, there were 8.03 strikeouts per game. There are many explanations for this phenomenon. For one, teams are searching specifically for young pitchers who can throw hard — like triple-digits hard. They figure they can teach them the other pertinent skills in the minors. Second, Sabermetrics has shown that a strikeout is only marginally worse than an out made on a ball put in play. Sometimes, the strikeout is preferable, especially if there’s a runner on first base with less than two outs and a weak hitter at the plate. Sabermetrics has also shown home runs to be the best and most efficient way to contribute on offense. Furthermore, younger players tend to focus more on power in order to get noticed by scouts. Unless it’s paired with other elite skills, a scout isn’t going to remember a player who hit the ball into the hole on the right side, but he will remember the kid who blasted a 450-foot homer.

Here’s what Mattingly had to say:

Analytically, a few years back nobody cared about the strikeout, so it’s OK to strike out 150, 160, 170 times, and that guy’s still valued in a big way. Well, as soon as we start causing that to be a bad value — the strikeouts — guys will put the ball in play more. So once we say strikeouts are bad and it’s going to cost you money the more you strike out, then the strikeouts will go away. Guys will start making adjustments and putting the ball in play more.

[…]

If our game values [say that] strikeouts don’t matter, they are going to keep striking out, hitting homers, trying to hit home runs and striking out.

Simply believing strikeouts are bad won’t magically change its value. However, creating social pressure regarding striking out can change it. Theoretically, anyway. Creating that social pressure is easier said than done.

There is a dichotomy here as well. Home runs are exciting. Strikeouts and walks are not. Often, though, the three go hand-in-hand-in-hand. A player actively trying to cut down on his strikeouts by putting the ball in play will also likely cut down on his strikeout and walk rates. There doesn’t seem to be an elegant solution here. Wishing for fewer strikeouts, walks, and homers doesn’t really seem to give way to a more exciting game.

Sean Doolittle: “Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans.”

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 25:  Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 25, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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In the past, we’ve commented on Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan’s community service. In 2015, the pair hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving and their other charitable efforts have included LGBTQ outreach and help for veterans.

Athletes and their significant others have typically avoided stepping into political waters, but Doolittle and Dolan have shown that it’s clearly no concern to them. In the time since, the Syrian refugee issue has become even more of a hot-button issue and Doolittle recently discussed it with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

I think America is the best country in the world because we’ve been able to attract the best and brightest people from all over the world. We have the smartest doctors and scientists, the most creative and innovative thinkers. A travel ban like this puts that in serious jeopardy.

I’ve always thought that all boats rise with the tide. Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans. But if we include them, we can make the pie that much bigger, thus ensuring more opportunities for everyone.

Doolittle, of course, is referring to Executive Order 13769 signed by President Trump which sought to limit incoming travel to the United States from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. A temporary restraining order on the executive order was placed on February 3, a result of State of Washington v. Trump.

Doolittle spoke more about the plight refugees face:

These are people fleeing civil wars, violence and oppression that we can’t even begin to relate to. I think people think refugees just kind of decide to come over. They might not realize it takes 18-24 months while they wait in a refugee camp. They go through more than 20 background checks and meetings with immigration officers. They are being vetted.

They come here, and they want to contribute to society. They’re so grateful to be out of a war zone or whatever they were running from in their country that they get jobs, their kids go to our schools, they’re paying taxes, and in a lot of cases, they join our military.

Around this time last year, Craig wrote about Doolittle and Dolan not sticking to baseball. They’re still not, nor should they be. Hopefully, the duo’s outspokenness inspires other players and their loved ones to speak up for what’s right.

[Hat tip: Deadspin’s Hannah Keyser]