Chicago Cubs

Jacob deGrom

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlight

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Mets 2, Brewers 0: Jacob deGrom was fantastic, pitching eight shutout innings. He kind of had to given the Mets’ offense these days.

White Sox 8, Tigers 7: Tied in the tenth, Joba Chamberlain came into the game. The White Sox weren’t impressed. Melky Cabrera walked, Chamberlain hit Avisail Garcia with a pitch, J.B. Shuck’s hit an infield single to shortstop and then Carlos Sanchez tripled into right to clear the bases and put Chicago ahead 8-5. The Tigers plated two in the bottom half but two was not enough.

Orioles 8, Red Sox 6: The Orioles put up a a six-run fourth inning, capped by a Matt Wieters two-run homer. J.J. Hardy had a two-run double and Steve Pearce had three hits. The bigger deal for Baltimore is that Miguel Gonzalez came off the DL and made it through five innings. Not five great innings — he gave up four runs — but five healthy innings.

Athletics 6, Rangers 3: The sweep for Oakland. The A’s have won five in a row and, while they still have a pretty poor record and have a ton of teams ahead of them, they are only six games out of the wild card. Everyone is assuming they’ll have a fire sale. With parity and two wild cards, does anyone have a fire sale anymore? At least in the middle of the season?

Dodgers 4, Cubs 0: The Dodgers’ rotation does not look like they thought it would before the season began, but occasionally they get some decent results. Carlos Frias gave them some yesterday, tossing five shutout innings before handing it over to the pen. Jon Lester gave up all four Dodgers runs and didn’t make it past the fourth inning. He hasn’t won in seven starts.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Despite all of the runs scored in the first couple of games of this series, it was only 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Then Colorado put up a five-spot, kicked off with a Troy Tulowitzki pinch-hit homer. Dbacks pitchers walked five guys that inning, two intentionally. Putting guys on base in Colorado is a good way to die.

Giants 13, Padres 8: Brandon Belt hit two triples and the Giants had four in all, which is not the sort of thing you see everyday. Then again, you don’t get to play the Padres and their sub-par outfield every day. A couple likely would’ve been triples with anyone playing out there, but Matt Duffy’s came “past a diving Kemp.”  Brandon Belt’s second triple likewise went to right. It was over Kemp’s head and would’ve been over anyone’s, but it’s not like Kemp was The Flash getting to the ball and getting it back in.

Nationals 7, Braves 0: Man the Braves stink. That’s eight in a row they’ve dropped to Washington, whose starters have put up 41 and a third consecutive shutout innings. Now Max Scherzer is going to pitch against the poor-hitting Phillies, so expect more of the same. Or maybe even a Johnny Vander Meer.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: A pretty decent game from Brandon Phillips, who hit the go-ahead homer in the 13th inning and did this:

 

Todd Frazier had himself a decent game too, with three hits, including a tying homer in the seventh

Cardinals 5, Marlins 1: I’m sure the Cardinals have lost at some point this season, I just can’t really picture it in my mind. Lance Lynn came off the DL to toss six shutout innings. Pete Kozma came off the bench to go 3-for-3 and score two runs. St. Louis is basically the Terminator this year.

Astros 4, Yankees 0: The Astros won a game and didn’t hit any homers? Wild. Of course they didn’t need to with Dallas Keuchel tossing a six-hit shutout and striking out 12. Jose Altuve had three hits and scored three times. Evan Gattis drove in a couple.

What we talk about when we talk about “flu-like symptoms”

Kris Bryant
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Kris Bryant left today’s game against the Dodgers with flu-like symptoms in the third inning. Which would, by definition  I suppose, make him day-to-day.

Which made me think a bit about “flu-like symptoms.” Most people assume that means “dude’s hungover.” In a lot of cases it probably is. It could also be a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, to put it delicately. That’s gotta be the universe, right? Anything else would be called what it really is, but a hangover and diarrhea are a couple of things which sort of beg for euphemisms.

I mean, if it’s the actual flu, we call it the flu, right? Michael Jordan had the flu against the Jazz that time. If you have the actual flu, you may WANT to keep playing. This is a deep dive, but back in 2007 Mark Teixeira had two homers and six RBI in a single game, after which it was revealed he had the actual flu. Or at least a stomach flu, in that he was barfing his guts out. He was asked about playing with the flu and he actually claimed it was an advantage:

When you [play with the flu], for some reason you get more focused, because you know you can’t do everything you’re used to doing. You’re slower and your body hurts a little bit. So you focus and you’re going to have nights like this.

Maybe that’s baloney, but there’s some bit of wisdom in there someplace.

As for Bryant, who knows? But here’s hoping he makes a quick recovery. From whatever it is that ails him.

Joe Maddon is the latest manager to rip instant replay. He’s got a point.

Denorfia
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source: Getty Images

Last night the Cubs lost to the Dodgers. The last play of the game featured Cubs batter Chris Denorfia smacking a base hit into the left field corner. It looked like a sure double, but Scott Van Slyke fired the ball to second base and shot down Denorfia as he slid into the bag head first.

Or did he? It was a close play at first blush, and it went to instant replay:

 

Close to be sure, but the center field angle made it look like Denorfia touched the bag before the tag touched his chest. Replay officials ruled that the call on the field stood, as there was not definitive evidence to overturn the out call.

That play may not have made the difference in the game — the Dodgers were up by three at the time — but it certainly got under Joe Maddon’s skin.

“I think it screams for an independent group back there to research the video,” Maddon said after the game. “That’s what I think it screams for as opposed to working umpires that are actually on the field. I think you should get a bunch of nerds back there that know how to look at a videotape and then come to a conclusion. I think it would be much more interesting that way.”

Maddon seemed to be particularly upset about something we talked about last week, which is the whole burden of proof thing, in which calls on the field are given deference unless there is definitive evidence to overturn this. Maddon seems to be saying what I was saying about how the calls should be made clean by replay officials, with their better view substituting for the judgment of the on-field umpires who, especially in this case, did not have a great look at the play. Why they are given deference is a mystery to me.

Also, the “nerds” comment seems to be Madden wondering why it’s field umps working the replay booth back in New York. He didn’t come out and say it, but I will: why would they be eager to overturn their on-field brethren when umpires are no doubt judged on how often they’re overturned? Next week it could be them, after all, and the notion of overruling another ump may be distasteful to them unless they absolutely have to do it.

Independent, de novo review of challenged calls makes far more sense than the system we have now. Major League Baseball needs to implement such a system.