Mexico was eliminated from the World Baseball Classic due to math and a tiebreaker. Mexico won its final game, against Venezuela, but it had a worse runs scored per defensive inning by virtue of losing in a walkoff to Italy a couple of days before. Even if they had still lost the game to Italy but had recorded an out in the final inning, they would’ve advanced because, with an out, there would’ve been a value in the denominator of the tiebreaking ratio.
Yes, Mexico could’ve advanced if it had, you know, won the game or not given up all of those runs, but it’s a pretty dumb tiebreaker rule if it comes down to mathematics that do not really reflect how baseball games are played. Even now, a few days later, confusion reigns over the tiebreaker procedure and Team Mexico continues to fume over the outcome. Or at least first baseman Adrian Gonzalez does:
Given that Gonzalez will be 38 the next time the WBC comes around there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be involved anyway, but this is not the kind of endorsement Major League Baseball and the WBC would like from Mexico’s highest-profile player. Especially one who is widely considered a leader and role model of other players.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.