Tag: Matt Kemp

Walkoff Balk

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Dodgers 1, Rangers 0: One run in the game and it came via a walkoff balk. It was caused by pinch runner Enrique Hernandez faking out Rangers reliever Keone Kela, making him think he was pulling a straight steal of home. No need to steal a base, I guess, when the pitcher is gonna give it to you. A no-decision for Zack Greinke despite seven shutout innings. He’s 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his past eight starts. That takes some serious doing.

Yankees 9, Marlins 4: Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put up eight runs over the next three innings, thanks in part to Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran each hitting two-run homers.  A-Rod had two hits and an RBI and now stands one hit away from 3,000. He was cheered wildly throughout the game. He had one more plate appearance after 2,999 but Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t give him anything to hit, causing the crowd to boo and jeer Dyson. A-Rod, as things currently stands, is the most popular and, possibly, the best-loved current Yankees player. This has to drive the folks up in the press box absolutely bonkers.

Royals 3, Brewers 2: Ned Yost becomes the Royals’ all-time winningest manager and did so by beating his old employer. Behind him on the list: Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser. Which, man, baseball is weird when two of the best managers in the past couple of decades are behind a guy like Yost. Who I’m sure is a nice man, but he ain’t no Herzog or Howser. And that’s not me hating. Yost agrees:

“It’s nice, but again I don’t look at it as an individual achievement,” Yost said “First of all, I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, one. Two, this is an organizational-wide achievement and I’m proud to be part of that. Everybody is involved.”

Giants 7, Mariners 0: Ryan Vogelsong and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. He got good run support two and talked about it afterward:

“It’s always nice to have some points on the board,” said Vogelsong,

“Runs,” Ryan. We call them “runs” in baseball.

Blue Jays 7, Mets 1: The battle of the ancients, with R.A. Dickey facing Bartolo Colon. It was the first time in seven years that two 40-year-old+ pitchers faced off. Back in 2008 it was Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Here it was Dickey certainly getting the better of Colon, allowing one run on three hits and somehow surviving five walks.

Rays 5, Nationals 3: The loss stinks for the Nats, but the hamstring injury to Bryce Harper is way worse news. All the worse because it appeared to happen due to Harper slipping on wet grass. As for the Rays, Chris Archer has been Cy Young-worthy all year. Last night he wasn’t — he allowed three runs over five innings — but he was still good enough to get the win. Yunel Escobar notched five hits.

Indians 4, Cubs 3: Giovanny Urshela drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Terry Francona got creative with the pen, using Cody Allen to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning following a rain delay. Imagine: using your best reliever in the toughest spot your club might face all game long.

Phillies 2, Orioles 1: Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth, which represented the first time the Phillies held a lead in the whole series. And the lead held up, allowing Philly to snap their nine-game losing streak. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Twins 2, Cardinals 1: Kennys Vargas hit a walkoff solo shot an inning after Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to tie it. That was the first time in 35 games that the Cardinals lost when leading after seven. And the first time in 25 games the Twins won when trailing after seven. The baseball season is long. Everything happens eventually.

Astros 8, Rockies 4: Houston is the first team to 40 wins in the American League, just as everyone expected. Domingo Santana hit a three run homer to put this one out of reach late. He was just called up this week. The Astros don’t lack for reinforcements from the minors, do they?

Padres 3, Athletics 1: For the first time since 2006 someone besides Bud Black notches a win as manager of the Padres, with interim manager Pat Murphy finally getting a W. The last guy to do it was Bruce Bochy. Well, maybe there was some fill-in manager at some point over the years because Bud Black, I dunno, had his wisdom teeth out or something, but you get the idea. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris each went deep.

Angels 7, Diamondbacks 1: C.J. Wilson struck out nine over eight scoreless innings while allowing only one run and not walking a batter. He also did this:


Kind of funny? Also kind of the thing Mike Scioscia should really yell at Wilson for doing because, jeez, dude, he’s a pitcher.

Red Sox 5, Braves 2: The Red Sox split with the Braves, thanks to Clay Buchholz allowing only two runs — neither earned — in seven innings of work. He also had a tough, 10-pitch at bat against his counterpart, Shelby Miller, which caused Miller to have to throw a lot more pitches than he would have otherwise and which Miller said was his toughest out of the game. The next inning Miller was touched for three runs.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Gerrit Cole continues to make a case for the Cy Young Award, winning his 11th game and allowing only two runs over seven innings. His ERA actually went up from 1.71 to 1.78 after this game.

Tigers vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Send us a blindfold, send us a blade

Tell the survivors help is on the way

I was a blindfold, never complained
All the survivors singing in the rain
I was the one with the world at my feet

Got us a battle, leave it up to me

Bud Black fired by the Padres

Bud Black Getty

The San Diego Padres have announced that they have fired manager Bud Black.

Black managed the Padres for nine seasons and had an overall record is 649-713. His tenure lasted as long as it did despite a losing record because he was well-respected and well-trusted by so many people in the game. After all, you usually don’t survive as a manager when team ownership changes or when general managers come and go. Yet Black remained through multiple administrations in San Diego.

Yet this year was different. This year there were much higher expectations than before. The Padres and their new general manager A.J. Preller spent big this offseason and made multiple splash deals including trading for Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Will Myers and Craig Kimbrel and in signing James Shields to a free agent deal. With many expecting the Padres to contend in the NL West or at least contend for a wild card, they’re currently at 32-33 which puts them in third place, six games behind the Dodgers.

Dave Roberts, formerly the Padres’ bench coach, will take over as manager for the time being. He is not being called an interim manager, as the team may actually hire a separate interim manager pending a longer search for a permanent replacement for Black. Roberts just happens to be on hand and can cover.

Roberts sparked a big comeback once upon a time. Padres fans are hoping he can do it again.


Umpire tackles Matt Kemp to stop potential brawl

Matt Kemp

Benches cleared in today’s Braves-Padres game when Julio Teheran hit Matt Kemp with a pitch, but umpire Jordan Baker may have kept things from escalating a lot further by taking Kemp down as he tried to make a mid-scrum rush toward Teheran.

Being tackled/slipping and being landed on by an umpire seemed to take any remaining aggression out of Kemp, who had a calm chat as Baker escorted him to first base.

Matt Kemp homered for the first time since April 18

Matt Kemp

Padres outfielder Matt Kemp has been in a much-publicized slump, entering play Saturday batting a meager .247/.280/.324 with one home run and 26 RBI. He hadn’t homered since April 18, but that changed against Reds starter Michael Lorenzen on Saturday afternoon.

In the fourth inning, with the bases empty and one out, Kemp drove an 0-1 fastball to right-center, bouncing off of the top of the fence and into the stands for a home run. The blast only reduced the Padres’ deficit to 4-1, but at least Kemp got off the schneid. Kemp would add a two-run double in the sixth to cut the Padres’ lead to 6-3, then a two-run single in the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie. He finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with a walk and five RBI.

Dodgers ridiculous rookie Joc Pederson homers for the fifth straight game

Joc Pederson

Wednesday night Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson homered for the fifth consecutive game, adding to what has been an incredible start for the 23-year-old rookie.

Five straight games with a home run ties the Dodgers’ franchise record, which Pederson now shares with Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Shawn Green, and Roy Campanella.

And not only does Pederson have 17 homers in 53 games, his home runs have traveled an average of 428 feet to lead all of baseball. He’s crushing pitches.

In addition to the spectacular power Pederson has also shown incredible patience at the plate, drawing 35 walks in 53 games. He’s hitting a modest .267, but all the power and patience combine to give him a lofty .393 on-base percentage and .606 slugging percentage.

Here’s a list of the highest OPS totals by a 23-year-old center fielder in MLB history:

Willie Mays       1954     1.078
Mickey Mantle     1955     1.042
Ken Griffey Jr.   1993     1.025
Al Simmons        1925     1.018
Ty Cobb           1910     1.008
JOC PEDERSON      2015      .999

Pederson has only played one-third of a season, but even with that caveat being on a list like that where the five guys ahead of him are all Hall of Famers (or soon to be Hall of Famers) is remarkable.

He’s currently out-hitting the other 23-year-old center fielder for a California team, reigning MVP Mike Trout, who has a measly* .932 OPS for the Angels this season.

* Note: .932 is a really, really good OPS.