Man, that’s a tough one. Former Ray David Price, facing his old mates, was absolutely dealing today. He pitched eight innings and allowed only one hit. Yet he still lost, 1-0.
The hit was a Brandon Guyer triple in the first inning which scored Ben Zobrist. The run was unearned, however, as Zobrist reached on an Eugenio Suarez error. Price didn’t allow another hit after that. He didn’t walk a batter all game and no one else reached on an error.
Our Matthew Pouliot just ran some Baseball-Reference.com inquiries and found that the Rays were just the third team to win a game with one hit and without drawing any walks since 1914. If you cancel out the walks qualifier, they are the 65th team to do it since 1914. Although it has been done four times in 2014 alone. The Padres have done it twice. Year of the pitcher, my friends.
You lose those games when your hitters are totally tied up, and the Tigers hitters were. First by Alex Cobb, who shut out Detroit for seven innings, himself allowing only two hits. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee finished it off. The Tigers got four hits and drew two walks in the game — offensive explosion! — but couldn’t string anything together.
Like the Yankees-Astros game, this one was quick. A mere two hours and thirty-four minutes. Major League Baseball wants to speed up the pace of play? Heck, just make every game a day game on getaway day with solid pitchers on the bump. That’ll speed things right the heck up.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.