Ruben Amaro Jr.
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Ruben Amaro, Jr. says Phillies’ anti-analytics image was a ruse to gain a “competitive advantage”

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Former Phillies GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. is now a first base coach with the Red Sox, which is cool. One doesn’t often see the transition from the field to the front office back to the field. Of course, this comes after a tumultuous tenure in Philadelphia when he went from an evil genius — stealing Cliff Lee in the dark of night from the Yankees and Rangers — to a town dunce.

While the degree to which Amaro failed as GM of the Phillies was overstated, he made a fair share of blunders, especially when it came to speaking to the media. He downplayed Jesse Biddle‘s concussion symptoms, called Andy Oliver “foolish” for seeking a major league job rather than accepting a minor league assignment, said he was tired of Phillies fans who “bitch and complain“, and said that the Phillies would be better off without Ryan Howard.

That’s not even acknowledging any of the analytics-related missteps. Amaro once argued that players don’t get worse as they age. He didn’t know that walks aren’t counted as official at-bats. And before that, he said he didn’t care about walks; rather, he cared about production, as if walks aren’t productive. He once compared Kyle Kendrick to Matt Garza based on their win totals. The Phillies were one of the last teams without a dedicated analytics department. They hired Scott Freedman as a consultant after the 2013 season, but didn’t institute an actual department until later. The organization unveiled an internal database towards the end of the past regular season, after Amaro was relieved of his duties.

David Laurila of FanGraphs caught up with Amaro and asked about the whole analytics thing in Philadelphia.

“You can’t ever deny the numbers. That’s true for every GM and every baseball person, regardless of whether you’re ‘old school’ or ‘new school.’ When a scout walks in, the first thing he does is pick up a stat sheet and look at what the player does and what he’s been doing. The numbers don’t lie.

“I’ve always believed in analytics. I just didn’t make it all public (in Philadelphia). I thought it was more of a competitive advantage for me to keep our thought-process about analytics closer to the vest. We didn’t boast about what we were doing — we didn’t discuss it openly — because I didn’t think it was anybody’s business but our own as to how we evaluated.

“We got a little more aggressive, as far as building our analytics department, probably three-or-so years ago. It did maybe become a little more public then. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t utilizing analytics to some degree earlier than that.”

In an article by Doug Miller for MLB.com back in January 2010, special assistant Charley Kerfeld said, “And since I’ve been here, we don’t have an in-house stats guy and I kind of feel we never will. We’re not a statistics-driven organization by any means.” He added, “I’m not against statistics. Everybody has their own way of doing things. But the Phillies believe in what our scouts see and what our eyes tell us and what our people tell us.”

If Amaro is telling the truth — that this whole thing was about portraying a certain image for a competitive advantage — then his entire tenure in Philly was the longest and most unsuccessful con in baseball history.

Settling the Scores: Tueday’s results

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 28:  Lucas Giolito #44 of the Washington Nationals pitches in the first inning during a baseball game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on June 28, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
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166 runs were scored across Major League Baseball on Tuesday night, an average of 5.5 runs per team. We noted on Monday that offense, mostly because of home runs, is up again this season, but teams are still averaging under 4.5 runs per game, so Tuesday’s offense was quite the outlier.

The Athletics and Giants were the big contributors, combining for 24 runs in a 13-11 victory for the visiting A’s. Unsurprisingly, a game at Coors Field also featured high octane offenses with the Blue Jays pulling out a 14-9 win over the Rockies. The first place Orioles’ offense remained red hot, beating the Padres 11-7 for their sixth consecutive win and their seventh consecutive game scoring five or more runs.

The focus on Tuesday night wasn’t supposed to be on the bats, however. Lucas Giolito made his major league debut against the Mets, but it was sadly cut short by rain. He tossed four shutout innings, allowing just one hit — a bloop single to Curtis Granderson to lead off the game — and two walks with one strikeout. The Nats’ bullpen held the fort the rest of the way for a 5-0 shutout win. Expect Giolito to make his second big league start this weekend against the Reds.

Click here for all of Tuesday’s box scores.

Rangers 7, Yankees 1
Nationals 5, Mets 0
Red Sox 8, Rays 2
Cubs 7, Reds 2 (15 innings)
Twins 4, White Sox 0
Dodgers 6, Brewers 5
Astros 7, Angels 1
Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3
Tigers 7, Marlins 5
Indians 5, Braves 3
Cardinals 8, Royals 4
Blue Jays 14, Rockies 9
Mariners 5, Pirates 2
Orioles 11, Padres 7
Athletics 13, Giants 11

Zack Greinke exits start with oblique tightness

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke throws during spring baseball season practice in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, Feb. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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Zack Greinke lasted just two innings Tuesday in his start against the Phillies before leaving with what the Diamondbacks later described as left oblique tightness.

Greinke went out to try to warm up for the start of the third, but quickly brought the trainer out when it was clear he couldn’t continue. Randall Delgado replaced him in what was a 1-1 game.

If Greinke lands on the disabled list, as seems likely, it’ll be his first stint there since Carlos Quentin charged the mound and broke Greinke’s collarbone in April 2013. Before that, a fractured rib suffered playing basketball cost him the first few weeks of the 2011 season. He’s never gone on the DL with an injury suffered while pitching.

Greinke is 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA this season.

Indians beat Braves for longest winning streak in 34 years

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ATLANTA — Carlos Santana hit a tie-breaking single in Cleveland’s three-run ninth inning, Corey Kluber allowed only three hits in eight innings and the Indians beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3 on Tuesday night for their 11th straight win.

The winning streak is Cleveland’s longest in 34 years.

Arodys Vizcaino (1-3) walked Tyler Naquin to open the ninth and then walked Juan Uribe on four pitches. With pinch-runnerRajai Davis at first base, pinch-hitter Michael Martinez struck out.

Vizcaino was in danger of issuing another walk when Santana lined a 3-1 pitch to right field, driving in Naquin from second base.

Braves shortstop Erick Aybar mishandled Francisco Lindor‘s grounder for an error, allowing Davis to score. Jose Ramirez added a run-scoring single up the middle.

Kluber (8-7), coming off a shutout of Tampa Bay, didn’t allow a hit through five innings. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts.

Atlanta’s Jace Peterson hit a homer off Cody Allen in the ninth, giving him a nine-game hitting streak. A review confirmed Ender Inciarte was out on a close play at first after Santana bobbled a grounder before tossing to Allen at the bag.

Braves interim manager Brian Snitker and outfielder Jeff Francoeur, who was not playing, came out of the dugout to argue. Bench coach Terry Pendleton pulled Francoeur back to the dugout.

Freddie Freeman added a triple off the center-field wall before Allen ended the game on Nick Markakis‘ fly ball to left field for his 15th save.

The Indians’ winning streak is their longest since 11 straight wins from May 23-June 4, 1982. Cleveland began the day leading second-place Kansas City by five games in the AL Central. It was the Indians’ biggest lead in five years.

Inciarte’s two-run single in the sixth tied the game.

Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler set a career high with nine strikeouts while allowing two runs on six hits in six innings.

Wisler gave up two runs in the first. Jason Kipnis singled and scored on Lindor’s single. Lindor later scored from third on a delayed double steal. It was Lindor’s first career steal of home.

Yankees slugger Beltran leaves with tight hamstring

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NEW YORK — Carlos Beltran has left the New York Yankees’ game against Texas with a tight right hamstring.

The 39-year-old slugger was lifted after hitting a sharp single in the first inning Tuesday night. A few innings later, the Yankees announced Beltran was undergoing an MRI exam.

Beltran has been by far the best hitter in a struggling New York lineup this season. He began the night batting .294 with 19 home runs and 53 RBIs.

Batting right-handed against lefty Cole Hamels, Beltran pulled a line drive into the left-field corner and broke well out of the batter’s box. But he pulled up after rounding first and went back to the bag even when the ball initially eluded left fielderRyan Rua.

Manager Joe Girardi and trainer Steve Donohue came out to check on Beltran, who crouched behind first base before walking back to the dugout with Donohue.

Beltran was replaced by pinch runner Rob Refsnyder, who took over in right field for Beltran as well.