Comment of the Day: Jamie Moyer and Starlin Castro

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Cap Anson.jpgI have the best readers on the planet.

In this morning’s recaps I made a joke about how the 47 year-old Jamie Moyer pitching to the 20 year-old Starlin Castro linked Castro directly to 19th century legend Cap Anson. I was just being silly with that, of course.

But reader Luis took it as a challenge and did the actual linking of Castro and Anson:

  • Starlin Castro played with Koyie Hill for the 2010 Chicago Cubs
    Exclude Koyie Hill
  • Koyie Hill played with Rickey Henderson for the 2003 Los Angeles
    Dodgers Exclude Rickey Henderson
  • Rickey Henderson played with Phil Niekro for the 1985 New York Yankees
    Exclude Phil Niekro
  • Phil Niekro played with Warren Spahn for the 1964 Milwaukee Braves
    Exclude Warren Spahn
  • Warren Spahn played with Tony Cuccinello for the 1942 Boston Braves
    Exclude Tony Cuccinello
  • Tony Cuccinello played with Edd Roush for the 1931 Cincinnati Reds
    Exclude Edd Roush
  • Edd Roush played with Nixey Callahan for the 1913 Chicago White Sox
    Exclude Nixey Callahan
  • Nixey Callahan played with Cap Anson for the 1897 Chicago Colts

God, I love that kind of stuff. You can do it with anyone.  I’m not quite sure who the Kevin Bacon figure is in the baseball version of this game, but I’ve always found Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm to be insanely useful in this regard.

UPDATE:  lar reminds us in the comments that Baseball-Reference.com has an app for that.

UPDATE IIJay at Fack Youk covered this ground last year and found that (a) Warren Spahn is the real Rosetta Stone for this game; and (b) Kevin Bacon couldn’t carry Dennis Hopper’s jock when it comes to the degrees game.  Definitely check it out.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

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The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.