Matt Garza hit Andrew McCutchen twice last night. As Bill noted, that’s pretty unusual for Garza, a guy who doesn’t hit a lot of dudes. At the same time, it was a close, important game and Garza was ahead in the count, so it’s not like it made a lot of sense to plunk McCutchen on purpose in that situation. Call it a gray area, I suppose. And if you call it anything else, Matt Garza has some words for you:
“If people think I hit McCutchen on purpose with as 1-2 count in a game like this, then you’re just an idiot. That goes for the Pirates TV crew that kept insinuating that’s what we were doing. You’re an idiot.”
He added an “it is what it is,” thereby undercutting his point dramatically because, gosh, that’s an awful expression.
Bud Black is under contract through next season, but with a new GM in San Diego — and that now common thing in which, apparently, it’s impossible for anyone to manage a team while only under contract for the current year — whether Black would be back to mange the Padres in 2015 was an open question.
It’s open no more, as Barry Bloom of MLB.com reports that Padres GM A.J. Preller likes Bud and wants him to stay on. And Black himself is more than eager to stay.
The Padres are not, historically speaking, quick to change managers. Bruce Bochy preceded Black and held the job for 12 years. Black is finishing his eighth year as Padres manager. None of Black’s years have ended with a playoff appearance, however, and he’s 613-676 at the helm. Though, to be fair the Padres have very rarely given him a lot to work with.
The Padres have improved quite a bit in the second half of the 2014 season, going 32-27 since the break.
Latest Wild Card Standings
The Tigers take another from Kansas City, putting them up by two and a half games in the AL Central. It’s helpful to think of it as three games, however, as the Royals still have that suspended game to finish with the Indians tomorrow, which they currently trail 4-2 in the tenth inning. The Cardinals put another game between themselves and the Pirates, likely ending any chance of Pittsburgh taking the NL Central. The Dodgers and Giants both lose, leaving their spread in the NL West at three and a half as well.
In the AL wild card, Oakland and Seattle both lost, leaving those two and the Royals in the same position they were in before: the A’s and Royals tied in the loss column — again, with the Royals likely to lose that suspended game — and the M’s a half game back. Which means, man nothing has been decided as these three teams jockey for two spots. In the NL the Brewers gain a game on Pittsburgh by beating them yesterday, but are still three and a half back of the Buccos with a week to play. The Giants have a game on the Pirates.
Tigers 3, Royals 2
Cubs 8, Dodgers 7
Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 1
Blue Jays 6, Yankees 3
Brewers 1, Pirates 0
Phillies 3, Athletics 0
Mets 4, Braves 2
Orioles 7, Red Sox 2
Nationals 3, Marlins 2
Indians 7, Twins 3
Cardinals 8, Reds 4
Astros 10, Mariners 1
Padres 3, Giants 2
Rays 3, White Sox 1
Angels 8, Rangers 5
Each year SI’s Jay Jaffe helps those weird few of us who love chaos — but who still love planning — to optimize our late September lives. He does so in the form of his Team Entropy reports, which outline for us the ways in which the most massive, un-untangleable ties can occur in the various division and wild card races.
He’s here with his first Team Entropy report today. There’s a lot in there to tackle, but know this much:
For maximum chaos, the sweet spot in the NL is 88 wins. To get there would take the Cardinals going 3-6, the Pirates 6-4, the Brewers 9-0, the Dodgers 1-8 and the Giants 4-6.
If that happens, I’m pretty sure we schedule the start of the division series for the Twelfth of Never and then all go join a cult of some kind.
But that’s OK. It’s OK to introduce a little anarchy. If you upset the established order, everything becomes chaos. Everyone finishing with 88 wins is an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos?
This is fun: Prior to tonight’s Yankees game New Era CEO Chris Koch will be presenting Derek Jeter with a bronzed version of the New Era 59FIFTY cap:
It would be awesome if, as with everything else, they made the rest of the Yankees get one too. They’d all have to play the Blue Jays wearing bronze caps. Sure, it would be difficult, but you can’t deny that it would be the ultimate in RE2PECT.
OK, in all seriousness, this is cool. Also, in all seriousness, go read this editorial about Jeter Fatigue by Jay Gordon over at River Ave. Blues. Obviously he and the RAB folks are Yankees fans, and obviously we’re not all going to feel the same away about this stuff that they are. I’m cool with that. They can have and enjoy every last drop of the Jeter stuff without our critical words as long as they can acknowledge that, no, we really don’t feel the same way about it as they do.
It’s like music. They like Rush, we don’t, and we don’t say a . . .
OK, bad example. But you know what I mean.