Craig Calcaterra

Zack Greinke

Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results

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source: AP

Dodgers 2, Giants 1: I don’t believe in “statement games” in baseball because I don’t believe baseball works like that. The season is too long and too random and there are just too many variables involved for any one person, let alone 25 people, to be able to collectively will themselves to a notable victory in some particular, certain terms. When we say such-and-such a game was a “statement game” in the sense that the players actually came out with the specific intent to make a specific statement, we’re grafting post-hoc narrative onto things.

That being said — and at the risk of splitting hairs — I do think we can note when a game, however it was approached by the player or team, did, in fact, make a statement via the results of things. This, it seems to me is one of those games. The statements being made:

  • Zack Greinke is winning the dang Cy Young Award; and
  • The Dodgers, however flawed and injured they may be, ain’t letting the Giants off the mat. Not this year.

Gereinke outdueled Bumgarner, tossing one-run ball into the eighth to Bumgarner’s two-run ball over seven. The Dodgers have won seven of eight and have a five and a half game lead over San Francisco. And, for all of the talk about how Madison Bumgarner is better than Clayton Kershaw in the big games, it’s worth noting that Greinke is 7-0 in seven starts against the Giants since coming to the Dodgers before the 2013 season. That’s not the sort of thing that defines a pitcher or his greatness, but if, like a lot of Giants fan, you think that head-to-head stuff is super important, give credit where it is due.

Sorry for the abbreviated recaps today. Some morning things are happening at Chez Craig. The rest of last night’s results are below. Box scores here.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 4; Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3
Rays 11, Orioles 2
Blue Jays 5, Indians 3
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1
Marlins 7, Braves 1
Phillies 14, Mets 8
Cubs 5, Reds 4
Tigers 6, Royals 5
Brewers 7, Pirates 4
Twins 8, White Sox 6
Mariners 7, Astros 5
Cardinals 8, Nationals 5 — yeah, this will get its own post later.
Angels 6, Athletics 2
Rangers 8, Padres 6

Why Mike Mussina keeps getting hosed in the Hall of Fame voting

Mike Mussina
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Last winter, just before the Hall of Fame voting results, Matthew did a good comp of Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Mike Mussina, finding that all three of them had fantastic Hall of Fame cases. Mussina’s, however, was probably the strongest and, among the three, Smoltz’s probably the weakest, even if only mildly so.

So of course it seems like the three of them have Hall of Fame voting results that are the opposite of that. Smoltz is in and Schilling has more support than Mussina. Viva democracy, I guess.

Today Graham Womack of The Sporting News talks about Mussina and why his case, at least from the perspective of armchair analysis of voters, is so tough:

There’s a school of thought that if one needs to think about whether a player is a Hall of Famer, they probably are not one. By this kind of simple gut analysis that many voters seem to still favor, Mussina is no easy selection. That he pitched in an era that boasted several elite pitchers — Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux, and Pedro Martinez coming quickly to mind — hasn’t helped his cause either.

I get it, at least on some vague level. Not that much hardware or any one trait — apart from consistent greatness, which apparently doesn’t matter too much to a lot of voters — that sticks out like Smoltz’s save totals and presence on those Braves teams of the 90s and Schilling’s World Series heroics. Of course that saying Womack quotes about “needing to think about it” is the dumbest thing ever, even if it flows nicely with the majority of sports analysis you see. Why think when you can just react, right?

The Dodgers acquired Chris Heisey from Toronto last night

dodgers logo
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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times and Ken Rosenthal both report that the Dodgers acquired Chris Heisey from the Toronto Blue Jays last night for a Player to be Names Later or cash.

If you’re surprised about this deal because you believed Heisey to already be a member of the Dodgers, well, that makes two of us. I had missed, as I’m sure most people who aren’t senior officers in the Chris Heisey fan club, that the Dodgers released him in early August, allowing him to sign with the Jays. He played 17 games for Triple-A Buffalo and now he’s heading back to Los Angeles. Where he played 17 games with the Dodgers earlier this season, playing all three outfield positions.

Heisey hasn’t hit much in, oh, the past four years or so, but with Kiké Hernandez on the disabled list, they could use the warm body.