On Saturday the Braves did a throwback night to 1914. As part of it they nixed all of the loud music from over the P.A. including walkup music for the hitters and run-in music for closer Craig Kimbrel, relying on organ music instead. Kimbrel’s usual jam is “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses.
Not hearing that when Kimbrel came in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth really bothered Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman. From the AJC:
“My issue is when, I don’t mind using the uniform, I love the throw-back uniform, but when the atmosphere is taken out of the game,” Freeman said. “Fans are coming here to have an experience and there is nothing on the Jumbotron, no music is playing. I’m looking in the stands and people’s heads are down. It kind of takes the energy out of the stadium, especially when the best closer in the game comes in and there are not flames (on the scoreboard), nothing like that.”
I’m with you, Freddie. I mean, without flames on the Jumbotron and some GN’R blaring, it’s really not even baseball. And really, doesn’t anyone remember 1914 Braves hitter Possum Whitted coming up to this jock jam of the day?
Dudes: between the Braves announcers complaining about Bryce Harper all the time and Freeman finding reason to whine about this sort of thing on a night they beat the best team in baseball, it’s a real drag to root for the Braves these days.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.