At least it seems that way.
A couple weeks ago, Jimmy Rollins got in hot water with Charlie Manuel over not running out a ground ball. A few minutes ago, he just got into hot water over lack of hustle again. Although this was a bit different.
One out, bottom of the sixth, and the Phillies beating the Mets 3-2. Rollins comes to the plate and pops to Jon Niese. Except Niese drops it. Rollins was safe at first but he was definitely just jogging leisurely. He probably could have made second on a straight run. Rollins stole second before the inning ended. Afterwards some words, though not angry ones, were exchanged with Charlie Manuel in the dugout and then Rollins was benched.
Given the lack of a big argument you sorta figure that Manuel told Rollins he’d have a zero tolerance policy on him not running balls out and Rollins knew he didn’t do it. Indeed, the Mets announcers suggested that Rollins stole second because he knew he should have been there to begin with.
That said, ask yourself the last time you saw a guy truly run out a popup to the pitcher. Yeah, me neither. But Rollins is under the HustleScope way more than any other established star in baseball, it seems.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.