Craig Calcaterra

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Video: Clayton Kershaw worked Madison Bumgarner for a 13-pitch at bat


The Clayton KershawMadison Bumgarner battles of the past few years have become some of the most memorable matchups in recent baseball history. Both pitchers with no small number of accomplishments, both getting the better of other at various times.

When it comes to actual head-to-head matchups — one guy pitching to the other — Bumgarner has had the advantage. He’s the better hitter. Maybe the best hitting pitcher in baseball. Certainly the best power hitting pitcher. But last night Kershaw had a hell of an at bat against Bumgarner. And a useful one too, even if he was ultimately retired by the reigning World Series MVP.

Kershaw ended up grounding out to second base, but he worked Bumgarner for 13 pitches. According to Andrew Baggerly of the Mercury News, it was the longest at bat for a pitcher in more than nine years. The last pitcher to work a 13-pitch at-bat: Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, on June 8, 2006, against Arizona’s Claudio Vargas. Watch:


Bumgarner ended up leaving in the sixth inning, having tossed 112 pitches. Certainly not his most efficient outing ever. But made far less efficient by Kershaw being pesky and making MadBum work.

Torey Lovullo worked out with President Obama yesterday

Obama Lovullo

I realize that presidents stay in hotels just like anyone else when they travel, but I never really considered that they used the hotel facilities just like any other schmo business traveler does.

But I guess you gotta stay in shape somehow, and if you’re staying in nice hotels like the president does, you probably get access to some pretty nice gyms and things. Gyms that don’t have crappy TVs on the treadmill that are fuzzy all the time and only get, like, four channels so you end up watching “Pardon the Interruption” or “Around the Horn” even though those shows fill you with despair and hopelessness for the prospects of the human race.

In any event, Obama was in New York yesterday, as were the Boston Red Sox. And they were all staying at the Palace Hotel. As is his habit, Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo went down to work out yesterday morning and there in the gym was Obama, working out too. And they had a little photo op. The photo, seen above, was circulated by the Associated Press and Boston Globe, was taken by Reds GM Mike Hazen.

According to Pete Abraham’s story in the Globe, Luvollo said the President talked baseball with him and that “He’s fairly dialed in to what’s happening in major league baseball.” He also said Obama was “a strong man,” who was using the same free weights Luvollo was and that they were heavy for the Sox’ manager.

All of that is fun, but I’m still stuck on Obama using hotels just like ordinary business travelers do. It makes me wonder if he does things like charge a $9 egg sandwich to his room at the Courtyard Marriott breakfast counter even though he knows it’s a total ripoff simply because he doesn’t want to put real pants on to go to a restaurant. It makes me wonder if he clicks on “yes” for the super-premium wi-fi at the Westin and then feels guilty later because all he used it for was to check email and stuff. It makes me wonder if he orders a whole pizza to his room, eats the whole dang thing on the bed while watching a movie for the 50th time on HBO and then falls asleep with a weird combination of self-loathing, homesickness and heartburn.

Um, not that I’m describing anyone’s specific business travel habits. No sir.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Dodgers celebrate

Dodgers 8, Giants 0: Clayton Kershaw‘s one-hit, complete game, 13-strikeout shutout may not clinch him another Cy Young Award. Maybe it won’t eliminates the talk that he’s somehow not a big game pitcher. But it certainly clinches the NL West for the Dodgers and eliminates the Giants.

Angels 8, Athletics 1: Party time in all parts of Los Angeles last night I guess as this, the Angels seventh straight win, combined with the Astros loss, puts the Angels in playoff position, a half game up for the second wild card. Albert Pujols had three hits, including an RBI double and Erick Aybar drove in three runs.

Mariners 6, Astros 4: Meanwhile, Shawn O'Malley hit two-run, bases-loaded single with the game tied in the eighth, casting the Astros out of the playoff light, at least for a day. The Mariners’ last four runs in this game all came with two outs, which is the sort of thing that just demoralizes you.

Red Sox 10, Yankees 4: Ten years ago, if I would’ve told you there would be a 14-run, 18-hit late-September game between the Yankees and the Red Sox and asked you to tell me how long the game would take your answer would probably have to be in some form of scientific notation. This one: less than three hours. Not that it was enjoyable for most anyone. The Red Sox’ fans got a win — with two homers from Blake Swihart — but their season is just about over. The Yankees got to see Michael Pineda, a guy they kinda need if they are to do anything in the playoffs, get lit up for six runs in the first inning.

Phillies 4, Mets 3: Adam Loewen threw five pitches and got the win. It was his first win since 2007. In between then and now he became an outfielder due to elbow issues as a pitcher, reaching the majors again, and returned to being a pitcher after the whole outfielder thing didn’t work out for him. He singled in this game too which, combined with the win, is probably about the closes thing to dramatic closure Loewen is ever going to get in his quite weird major league career. He’s gonna have some neat stories to tell one day.

Braves 2, Nationals 1: A.J. Pierzynski went 3-for3- and hit two homers and Matt Wisler stymied the Nats for seven innings of one run ball. It’s not at all hyperbole for me to say that Pierzynski was, with the possible exception of Andrelton Simmons‘ defense, the best thing about the 2015 Atlanta Braves. He hit way better than most folks thought he would, caused no trouble at all and provided a good number of laughs. I’m not sure if that means we’ve always sold the dude short as a person and a player or if the bar was just so incredibly low on the 2015 Braves that he stood out as a consummate pro and all around good Joe by default, but he was one of the only reasons to watch this tire fire.

Cubs 4, Reds 1: A nice start for Dan Haren, who allowed no runs on three hits while pitching into the eighth on a soggy night in Cincy. Of course he was pitching (a) on 21 days rest; and (b) against a Reds team which, mentally speaking, is sitting on beaches, in fishing boats and in duck blinds at the moment, long since having totally given up on 2015. Analysis from a guy who has watched every Reds game for years and years:

At least Joey Votto‘s on-base streak was extended to 46 games. He’s got a ways to go to break the record — Ted Williams did it 83 straight times — but it’s pretty good for this day and age. And it’s literally the only reason to watch the Reds’ final games.

Rays 4, Marlins 2: Matt Moore allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings. Nice way to close things out in a comeback year and build for 2016. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie and win it.

Rangers 7, Tigers 6: It was a see-saw affair early with the Rangers taking a lead of 5-2 and then 6-4, the Tigers tying it at 6 in the third inning and then the Rangers scratching out one more run in the bottom of the fourth on an Adrian Beltre ground rule double. From then on Cole Hamels settled down for a couple of innings and then the bullpen took over and held the Tigers scoreless. It was amazing Detroit even made this game given how things started for them. Rookie Daniel Norris was allowed to throw 54 pitches in the first inning alone and came back for part of the second and tossed 17 more before being removed, having given up six runs, only two of which were earned. Brad Ausmus must’ve caught him passing “don’t you HATE our manager?!” notes in the clubhouse before the game.

White Sox 4, Royals 2: Jeff Samardzija kept the Royals offense sputtering and helped drop the Royals September record to 10-17. Samardzija allowed two runs on solo homers among the eight hits he scatterd over seven innings. He’s gonna be one of the more interesting free agents out there this winter. Just a really odd year for him with nice starts interspersed with meltdowns. I suppose his track record combined with his durability — 214 innings this year — will ease some people’s minds.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: A walkoff, pinch-hit RBI single for Phil Gosselin in the 11th. Quite an 11th inning for Rockies pitcher Brooks Brown, who walked the bases loaded with no one out to kick things off. That’s not exactly a case study in giving your team a chance to win.

Brewers 4, Padres 3Jean Segura hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning to put the Brewers up for good and to give Jorge Lopez the win in his big league debut. Lopez had a nice season at Double-A Biloxi, where he won Southern League Pitcher of the Year and the Brewers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year awards. Even as the autumn rains fall and fall winds blow, you sometimes get a whiff of spring.

Blue Jays vs. Orioles; Cardinals vs. Pirates; Twins vs. Indians: POSTPONED: I’ve stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I’ve walked and I’ve crawled on six crooked highways
I’ve stepped in the middle of seven sad forests
I’ve been out in front of a dozen dead oceans
I’ve been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard
And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, and it’s a hard
And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall