Tag: Kolten Wong

Bob Costas

Bob Costas plans to apologize to Pedro Strop for insensitive on-air comment


Calling Friday night’s game between the Cubs and Cardinals, MLB Network broadcaster Bob Costas laid the criticism on heavy when reliever Pedro Strop was exiting the game in the eighth inning. Strop had allowed a game-tying home run to Greg Garcia, then hit Kolten Wong, got Matt Carpenter to fly out, and walked Jhonny Peralta before manager Joe Maddon pulled him in favor of Jason Motte.

Costas said of Strop’s performance, “Motte is on his way in, Strop is on his way out, pointing toward the heavens. We can only ask, or wonder that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance.” Deadspin has video which includes the comment.

As expected, the comment didn’t go over well. The New York Daily News reports that Costas has reached out to the Cubs’ PR department to apologize personally to Strop. The two will meet on Sunday in Chicago.

“I intended it as a kind of sarcastic comment about this overall thing where everybody seems to be pointing toward the heavens for every accomplishment, large and small,” Costas said. “That wasn’t my intention. And so I owe him an apology. And I will apologize to him tomorrow.”

National League All-Star voting update: Bryce Harper and lots of Cardinals

Bryce Harper

It’s time for MLB’s weekly All-Star game voting update.

Yesterday we learned that seven Royals were the AL’s leading vote-getters at their respective positions. There’s nothing quite that noteworthy on the NL side, but Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper continues to lead in votes with 3.7 million, followed by Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter with 3.1 million.

Here’s what the NL’s starting lineup would like based on current voting:

Catcher – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
First base – Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
Second base – Dee Gordon, Marlins
Third base – Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Shortstop – Jhonny Peralta, Cardinals
Outfield – Bryce Harper, Nationals
Outfield – Matt Holliday, Cardinals
Outfield – Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

Kolten Wong is only 100,000 votes behind Gordon at second base, which would give the Cardinals five of the eight starters. Of course, Buster Posey of the Giants is only 5,000 behind Molina at catcher.

Here are the position-by-position totals:


And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Charlize Theron

Apart from the Bryce Harper ejection, which I’ll talk about below, not that dang much interesting seems to have happened last night. Which is part of that ebb-and-flow, yin-and-yang of the 2,400-game season I was talking about last week. Some Wednesday nights just sort of happen, and that’s a good thing. Baseball was there whether it was interesting or not and whether we saw it or not and that has its own value.

If anything cool happened I didn’t see it. Instead I went to go see “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which was every bit as exciting as it was made out to be. Though I think it’s possible people overstated what the movie actually is. There’s a lot of talk about its feminist underpinnings and commentary and a lot of hilariously awful people have denounced the movie in their sad little ways. Sure, there is some element of that here, but it’s not an overtly political movie. At least not any more political than the other Mad Max films which are all premised on the idea that some idiots have ruined the world and the other idiots who now run it do so in brutal fashion. It just so happens that those idiots are, Tina Turner notwithstanding, men.

Here the big to-do seems to be that It’s — gasp! — a movie with a strong woman in the lead and some strong women characters doing cool things and kicking a little War Boy ass. Which I suppose passes for radical these days, sadly. But if it wasn’t for the fact that most movies deliver pretty boring and cliche gender roles, people wouldn’t have made much of a note of it. All of which is to say that, to the extent “Fury Road” and its kickass women stick out in this regard it’s because everything else is so damn awful. If you put Trinity in the lead in “The Matrix” it would’ve worked just as well. Maybe better because she was amazing. But Hollywood tends not to do that and, as a result, we all act confused/surprised/excited/angry when Charlize Theron drives the War Wagon instead of some scruffy man.

As for the flick on its own terms, it’s a fantastically well-done, visually arresting B-movie which, if you know me, you know is not an insult at all. The other Mad Max flicks and most big action movies are basically B-movies at heart, even if their budgets and stars are big. “Fury Road” knows exactly what it’s doing, does it well and smashes up all kinds of crap in fun, explosive fabulousness in the process. Which is exactly what you need a couple of times a summer, especially on nights when the baseball really doesn’t deliver. Anyway:

Nationals 3, Yankees 2: Denard Span helped drive the comeback victory, hitting a bases-loaded single off reliever Justin Wilson in the seventh. The bases were loaded due to an error and a couple of walks which, well, not too great for the Yankees.

Of course everyone here was talking about the ump show, which was ridiculous, with home plate umpire Marvin Hudson (a) missing a call; (b) getting super defensive about it; and (c) ejecting Bryce Harper because, in Hudson’s view, he didn’t get back in the batter’s box fast enough. Of course, given that (a) Harper only left the box because Hudson had taken his mask off to jaw at the Nats’ dugout; and (b) pace-of-play issues are not supposed to be dealt with via ejections, Hudson’s only possible complaint was that Harper was bruising his wrongfully-substantial ego. Ridiculous. But of course there is no public accountability for umpires so it’s highly unlikely that we’ll hear of any discipline Hudson receives, however well-deserved it is.


Diamondbacks 6, Marlins 1: Six straight losses for Miami as they couldn’t figure out Chase Anderson. Who is a pitcher now but, if he existed in the 1980s, would be the evil, preppy rival of our hero who would be vanquished in The Big Game or The Big Match or something at the end of the movie. Then the hero would get the girl who would, somehow, have spent the middle part of the movie with Chase Anderson before coming to her senses. Why our hero is even interested in someone so fickle to begin with is beyond me and I bet that, later, they have some difficult conversations about the basis of their relationship. Or not. They’re in high school for Pete’s sake.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 3: Marc Krauss hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh after the Jays pitched around Mike Trout to get to him. As Krauss said after the game, it was a wise decision to pitch around Trout to get to Krauss and, even if it burned them here, anyone should be doing that regardless. Krauss was in the game, by the way, because Albert Pujols got hit in the hand with a pitch. He’s day-to-day.

Astros 6, Athletics 1: Dallas Keuchel won his eighth consecutive decision dating back to last season, allowing just one run, unearned, in seven innings.  His ERA on the year is now 1.67. Evan Gattis’ two-run homer in the sixth put Houston up for good and everything after was insurance. The Astros sport the best record in the AL. Just as everyone predicted they would.

Rangers 2, Red Sox 1Phil Klein made his first big league start and it went well: five and a third innings, five hits one run. The Sox had their chances but stranded runners like it was their job.

Mariners 4, Orioles 2: Roenis Elias, whose name I like to say more than most ballplayers because it just flows, man, allowed one run, six hits and no walks in seven and two-thirds. Justin Ruggiano homered scored twice and drove in two.

Twins 4, Pirates 3: Joe Mauer hit his first homer since last August and it came at a good time: the 13th inning. Torii Hunter went 3-for-5 with three RBI. The Pirates are 0-6 in extra innings.

Tigers 5, Brewers 2: Nick Castellanos hit a bases-clearing triple in the eighth. After runs were hard to come by in the past couple of games against Milwaukee, this had to seem like floodgates opening.

Braves 2, Rays 1: Rookie Williams Perez gave up one run over five innings and had seven strikeouts in his first major league start and rookie Todd Cunningham drove in the tiebreaking run with a groundout. That feeling when you really don’t know who the hell plays for your team anymore but, hey, you’ll take the win.

Cardinals 9, Mets 0: Matt Adams homered. Jason Heyward homered. Matt Holliday and Kolten Wong both had three hits. Bartolo Colon got shelled and the Mets fell out of their first-place tie in the East. Colon walked two batters. He had only walked one guy all season before yesterday.

Indians 4, White Sox 3: Shaun Marcum made his first big league start since July 2013 and got the win here after two years of battling shoulder ailments. Carlos Rodon made his third start for the White Sox and, while he did generally OK, pitching six innings and giving up one run on four hits, he walked five. He’s walking way too many guys.

Royals 7, Reds 1: Six shutout innings from Jeremy Guthrie as the Royals won for the fifth time in six games. That win improves their record to 26-14, with is KC’s best-ever record after 40 games.

Phillies 4, Rockies 2: Ryan Howard had three hits, including a homer. Howard is hitting .328 with four homers and 10 RBI in 64 at bats in May.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: A defacto bullpen game for the Cubs as Tsuyoshi Wada only lasted four and two-thirds, but he struck out nine guys regardless. His only mistake was allowing a two-run homer to Justin Upton.

Giants 4, Dodgers 0: The Tim Lincecum renaissance continues. He won his third straight, lowering his ERA to 2.08 after shutting down the Dodgers on three hits over seven shutout innings. Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the seventh. Five wins in a row for the Giants, who are now only two and a half back of L.A.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Shelby Miller

Braves 6, Marlins 0: Shelby Miller has a no-hitter broken up with one out to go. Sorry kid. Still, a 94-pitch shutout is nothin’ to sneeze at. It’s something that even has a cool name. And let the record reflect that Miller is 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in seven starts while Jason Heyward is hitting .252/.310/.382. I’d rather have the Cardinals’ record than the Braves, but so far the Braves are winnin’ that trade.

Orioles 3, Angels 0: Mike Wright’s major league debut: seven and a third innings pitched, four hits no runs and his first big league strikeout came on a swing-and-miss by Mike freakin’ Trout. Not bad!

And since we mentioned a debut, let’s mention a finale. I won’t give anything too major away here in case people haven’t seen it, but I’m OK with how “Mad Men” ended. The big thing to remember: you don’t spend eight years pounding the twin ideas of cynicism and people’s powerlessness to change and then suddenly give your main character enlightenment or transcendence or something. If Don Draper had done anything other than what he did here it would’ve been a nice payoff for fans, yes, but it also wouldn’t have served the show’s central ethos very well. So, I liked it. If you require crazy twists, stunning personal journeys and catharsis, “Mad Men” really wasn’t your kind of show to begin with.

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 0: Sean O’Sullivan was hit way harder by his own catcher than he was by any Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dbacks managed only five hits off of him. Catcher Cameron Rupp hit O’Sullivan in the throat when he tossed the ball back to him. He was shaken for a second but stayed in the game, delivering one more pitch to complete his six innings of work. The Phillies have won five in a row, you guys.

Royals 6, Yankees 0: The Royals were powered by a battery: Edinson Volquez tossed three-hit ball for seven innings and Salvador Perez homered and drove in two. The third 6-0 game of the day. The seventh shutout in fifteen games overall. Everyone was gettin’ away for getaway day, I guess.

Giants 9, Reds 8: The first half of the line score here is sort of messy, as the Giants had a five-run lead early and squandered all but one run of it in the third. Crooked numbers and disorganization. The last half of the line score is very satisfying for the sort of person who likes symmetry and order, as each team scored one run a piece in the fifth, seventh and eighth, leaving that one-run margin for San Francisco. Brandon Belt homered Nori Aoki drove in three.

Mets 5, Brewers 1: Noah Syndergaard got his first career win, allowing one run over six innings and striking out five. He also beaned Carlos Gomez in the ear flap, scaring the hell out of everyone, but thankfully Gomez is OK. It also led to this bit of good sportsmanship.

Rays 11, Twins 3: The Rays rattled 19 hits off of Twins pitching to avoid the sweep. James Loney had four of those hits and three RBI. Chris Archer allowed only one run in six innings. Also: the way “Mad Men” ended TOTALLY keeps the idea of “Don invents ‘New Coke’ in 1985, ruining his career” speculation in play! McCann-Erickson did that campaign! Don pitched the Max Headroom “Catch the Wave!” commercial, everyone loved it and then it totally fizzled. Or, perhaps, Peggy did that while Don was off on some bender or another journey around the country. Don watches it fail, comes back and pitches “Coca-Cola Classic.” If I were AMC It’d throw a truckload of money at Matt Weiner to do that as a six-episode mini-series 10-15 years from now.

Astros 4, Blue Jays 2: Luis Valbuena and Colby Rasmus homered and Collin McHugh allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings and struck out nine. Mark Buehrle went the distance for Toronto and, though he lost, he served his second-best purpose and kept this game to a crisp two-hour, twenty-two minutes.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A.J. Burnett tossed seven shutout innings. Last August the dude said he’d probably retire, but came around to give it another go. Then in January he said he only had one more season left in him. So far, however, he’s 3-1 with a 1.38 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 43/18 in 52 innings. That’s the sort of thing that can change a man’s career plans.

Rangers 5, Indians 1: Mitch Moreland had a two-run homer and hit another ball off the top of the wall. Carlos Carrasco pitched all eight innings the Rangers batted, making him the second dude on the day to do that after Buehrle. Going the distance in a loss is the new inefficiency.

White Sox 7, Athletics 3: The sweep. The first White Sox sweep in Oakland since 1997. Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer. Jeff Samardzija allowed three runs over eight.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 0: James Paxton tossed eight shutout innings. Kyle Seager homered, drove in two and scored twice. Everyone has talked about how the Red Sox’ starting pitching stinks, and it has, but the offense is no great shakes either, ranking 11th in the American League in runs per game and 14th in slugging percentage. And yet they’re only three and a half back because the American League East is kind of a hot mess. But some hot messes are fun, so who cares?

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Mike Bolsinger and three relievers combined to three-hit the Rockies. Kyle Kendrick limited Colorado to a run and three hits over seven innings, but he walked five and one of those walks put a man in scoring position prior to the RBI single which proved to be the only run in the game.

Nationals 10, Padres 5: Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer, tripled and drove in four on his 3-for-4 day. On the year he leads the National League in games, plate appearances, runs, home runs, walks, slugging percentage and OPS. Clearly overrated.

Cardinals 2, Tigers 1: Ausmus. Matheny. The battle of the Baseball’s Most Handsome Managers concluded with King Handsome Ausmus’ squad taking two of three from Prince Handsome Matheny’s squad. Matheny prevailed here, however, as Kolten Wong hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth and Lance Lynn allowed only one run while pitching into the eighth and hit an RBI to [altogether now] help his own cause. This will not, however, alter the handsomeness standings as it was a non-title match. All bets are off if the Tigers and Cardinals meet in the World Series.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Evan Gattis

Astros 7, Mariners 6: Make it ten in a row for Houston. Evan Gattis, whose name seems to be leading the Astros’ game stories every day, hit two homers. That’s five homers in six games for him now. As for the Astros, they’re 18-7 and in first place with an astounding seven-game lead. Now, to be sure, it’s early, and to be surer, the AL West has had a history of teams leaping out to big leads only to see them go away over the course of the summer. But this is really somethin’ so far, eh?

Athletics 7, Rangers 1: Sonny Gray walked seven. He also struck out ten. In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the bull mascot twice . . . Stephen Vogt homered twice, driving in four.

Giants 5, Angels 0: The good Tim Lincecum came time-traveling from five or six years ago to grace us all with his presence and provide eight shutout innings. The current Jered Weaver remained, however, allowing five runs on ten hits in five innings. The dude has just fallen off a cliff.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Anderson tossed six shutout innings. So too did Anderson. Neither Brett nor Chase figured in the decision, however, as this one went scoreless for 13 before Yasmani Grandal hit a walkoff homer. The half-inning before Grandal recovered from a wild pitch nicely to throw out a runner trying to score from third. A 13-inning game that ends 1-0 is some serious 1968 noise.

Indians 10, Blue Jays 7: They Jays had a 6-1 lead in the fourth, but unfortunately for them we play nine around these parts. The Indians rallied, featuring a six-run fifth inning. Players said they had a little team meeting in the dugout in the middle of the game and that made a big difference:

“Guys were very forward in being vocal and said what needed to be said,” Kipnis said. “We’re not good enough to play that stupid the way we did in the first couple of innings.”

The worst thing about life is when you find that, very often, people get by with being stupid quite well. They shouldn’t, and they should really be concerned that they are so stupid, but they seem to manage and not care. We’re all Frank Grimes watching Homer Simpson, incredulous that their system works for them and wondering why they don’t have far worse lives than they do, but there they are.

Nationals 1, Mets 0: Losing a 1-0 game feels like a gut-punch. The Mets just lost two in a row. This one thanks to Doug Fister, who pitched shutout ball into the seventh and was backed up by four relievers. The game’s only scoring came on a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single in the first.  The Mets have lost seven of their last ten. The Nats have won five of six. Everyone who wrote “what have we learned?” columns after the first week or two of the season is a moron.

Phillies 6, Marlins 2: Ryan Howard had a triple (!) and an RBI single, helping the Phillies avert the sweep. Before I saw the triple I would’ve guessed “ball kicks off the base of the ball and rolls for a year.” Not quite! Marcel Ozuna took a bad route to it and couldn’t cut it off, and it did kick a bit, but this was a legit, leg-it-out triple to the deepest part of the park. Respect for the big man:

Orioles 4, Rays 2: The “home” team Orioles take two of three from Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg. Adam Jones had four hits, including a tie-breaking single. Afterward he talked about his hitting philosophy:

“I’ve got one simple philosophy … get the heater and try not to miss it,” Jones said.

He’s the Ricky Jay of hitting. He’s going to tell you he’s waiting for your fastball. He’s going to make you throw him your fastball and he’s going to hit your fastball anyway.

Braves 5, Reds 0: Julio Terhran gave up three singles in six shutout innings as the Braves and Reds split. Teheran needed that following three straight starts with too many crooked numbers. Atlanta got to Johnny Cueto. Fredi Gonzalez:

“If you would have told me we’d score five runs against Johnny Cueto, and he would only go six innings, I’m may have stopped and got some Lotto tickets”

People older than, say, 45, say “Lotto tickets.” People younger tend to say “Power Ball” or “Mega Millions.” Older people also say “cash machine” instead of “ATM” a lot. These are the sorts of things I used to make fun of more until it was pointed out to me by someone that I say “Lotto” and “cash machine.” Get off my lawn.

Tigers 6, Royals 4: Anibal Sanchez had a perfect game into the sixth to help give the Tigers the series split. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Alex Avila drove in three. The Royals sold out all four games and had their biggest four-day attendance total since their ballpark’s capacity was reduced in a renovation back in 2009.

Twins 13 White Sox 3: Trevor Plouffe smacked a grand slam and drove in five and Brian Dozier had four hits. The Twins are 13-12. Not bad for a club that was supposed to be one of the worst if not the worst team in the majors this year.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: Kolten Wong with a 14th inning walkoff homer to give the Cards the sweep. I said earlier that a 1-0 loss is like a gut punch? An extra inning loss is like a gut punch too. The Cards won all three of the games in extras.

Brewers 5, Cubs 3: The Brewers won consecutive games for the first time all year. After the game, they fired Ron Roenicke. I’m guessing the decision to can him was made a few days before and that the timing of it had to do with getting back to Milwaukee after the road trip and stuff, but it’s still weird. It’s also likely to be of little consequence. This club just doesn’t have the horses. They’re going to be down a horse for a bit too, it seems, as Jean Segura left after he was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Pedro Strop, feeling nauseous.

Padres 8, Rockies 6: Lots of homers here, as the Padres and Rockies played a Coors Field Special in Petco Park somehow. The ball just flies better there during the day. Justin Upton, Derek Norris and Jedd Gyorko went yard. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each homered twice. Thirty homers were hit in Petco in the nine-game homestand which just ended. Twenty by the opposition, ten by Padres hitters.

Yankees 8, Red Sox 5: The Yankees sweep the Sox and keep their good thing going. It was the first sweep of the Red Sox for New York since 2006. Unless you count two-game series which, really, never count those for they are an abomination unto God. Jacoby Ellsbury reached base four six times, including a walk and being hit by a pitch once. The Yankees have won 13 of 16.