Starting in 2015, the Phillies made strides to expand protective netting at Citizens Bank Park. In August, this past season, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis lined a foul ball into the stands that struck and injured a young girl. After that game, he pleaded for the Phillies to expand protective netting so that it protects fans behind the dugouts. The next day, another foul ball went into the stands around the same area and struck another fan. Galvis threw his hands up in disgust.
Galvis may now be getting what he’s been asking for. MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Phillies will be extending protective netting to the far ends of both dugouts. The netting will be eight feet high.
The netting issue has created debate that has even involved the likes of Stephen King, who wrote in the Boston Globe last April why he very much dislikes the netting at Fenway Park. But seeing as it’s become a litigious issue, Major League Baseball and its individual teams seem to be taking the issue more seriously than they did just a couple of years ago, which is good to see. And while some fans don’t like the idea, the players seem to be for it.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.