Matthew Pouliot

Christian Yelich

Two weeks later, Christian Yelich loses three-hit debut

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A scoring change from the July 26 Marlins-Rockies game came down on Friday, costing Christian Yelich his third hit from his major league debut.

Yelich’s third single of the game was a hard grounder at a drawn-in D.J. LeMahieu playing second base. The ball handcuffed LaMehieu and bounced over his shoulder, though LeMahieu was able to pick it back up and turn it into a close play at first base. On Friday, it was changed to an error on LeMahieu instead of single.

Now, it’s hardly unique for error decisions to be overturned on appeal a couple of weeks after the fact, but this is still a pretty odd one. It was definitely a tough play for LeMahieu, and I’m guessing the majority of official scorers would have given Yelich a hit on it. But it’s really surprising anyone felt the need to appeal in the first place, given that the play didn’t lead to any additional earned/unearned runs. Jose Fernandez did score on the grounder, but the error isn’t going to assume he would have been thrown out at home and change that run to unearned. Giancarlo Stanton followed it by lining into a double play, so no additional runs scored. Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin sees his ERA remain unchanged by the decision.

So, yes, it a minor event and not really worth griping about. But I don’t see why MLB felt the need to overturn this one.

Here is the Yelich highlight clip from the game. The hit/error in question starts at the 30-second mark.

Tim Lincecum allows one hit over eight innings in win

Tim Lincecum
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Tim Lincecum’s resurgence continued Thursday, as the two-time Cy Young Award winner limited the Brewers to one hit over eight scoreless innings and struck out eight in a victory.

Lincecum was shelled for eight runs in the start after his 148-pitch no-hitter last month, but he’s allowed just three runs in 22 innings since. In his last six outings, he’s turned in five quality starts and amassed a 47/10 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings.

That stretch has lowered Lincecum’s ERA from 4.66 to 4.18. The thinking was a couple of weeks ago that the Giants didn’t need to deal Lincecum before the trade deadline because he’d clear waivers and could still be part of an August deal. That now seems highly unlikely; Lincecum is a free agent at season’s end, so money isn’t a huge issue.

On the plus side for the Giants, as long as Lincecum finishes strong, there won’t be any reason to be nervous about making him a qualifying offer and at least securing a draft pick if he bolts. The Giants could still trade Lincecum to the team with the worst record that claims him — the Nationals would seem to be the most likely option there or maybe the Diamondbacks if the Nats pass — but he’ll most likely finish the season in San Francisco.

Chase Utley sends Dioner Navarro to the hospital

Utley collision
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Chase Utley celebrated his new contract tonight by barreling over Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro in a collision at home plate, resulting in an out for the Phillies and a trip to the hospital with at least a leg injury for Navarro.

Here’s the GIF of the collision from our own Bill Baer:

Utley made as if he were going to slide into home plate on the play, only to pull a changeup at the last second and barrel into Navarro, shoulder first. In Utley’s defense, Navarro had set up on the plate before receiving the throw, inviting the collision. Utley, though, did have an opening with which to slide between Navarro’s legs. Instead of taking it, he decided to risk injury to both himself and Navarro.

Of course, Utley can afford to do that, considering he’s made $85 million in his career and he just today signed a $27 million deal that takes him through 2015. Navarro is a free agent at season’s end, and if he misses the rest of the year, he could lose a couple of million dollars on his next contract. With the way he’s played this year — he entered the night with a .289/.363/.500 line and nine homers in 152 at-bats — he could have been setting himself up for a two-year contract worth $5 million-$6 million this winter.