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.
After drubbing the Angels 10-0 on Wednesday, the Athletics stayed hot, scoring 21 runs to once again rout the Angels on Thursday afternoon. Edwin Jackson got the start, yielding two earned runs on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings.
The offense started in the bottom of the third inning, when the A’s plated five runs. That featured a two-run double from Matt Chapman and a three-run home run from Stephen Piscotty. In the fourth, the A’s scored seven more on RBI singles from Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, and Stephen Piscotty, which were followed up with an RBI double from Ramon Laureano and an RBI single from Marcus Semien. In the sixth, the A’s bolstered their lead to 18-2 when Laureano hit a bases-loaded single, Semien hit a bases-clearing double, Josh Phegley hit an RBI single, and Franklin Barreto knocked in a run with a double play. The following inning, with position player Francisco Arcia pitching, Nick Martini hit a two-run homer and Chad Pinder made it back-to-back jacks with a solo shot of his own, pushing the score to 21-2.
Arcia hit a solo homer for the Angels in the top of the ninth to make it 21-3, then Kaleb Cowart popped out to end the game. It’s the sixth time a team has scored 20-plus runs this season and the first since the Mets won 24-4 over the Phillies on August 16. The other occurrences: Dodgers 21-5 over the Brewers on August 2, Nationals 25-4 over the Mets on July 31, Diamondbacks 20-5 over the Padres on July 7, and Phillies 20-1 over the Marlins on April 7.
Notables in the box score for the A’s: Martini had three hits and three runs scored, Piscotty had four RBI, Semien had three hits and five RBI, and Phegley had three hits with three runs scored.
With Thursday’s win, the A’s cut their deficit to 3.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. They have a six-game lead over the Rays for the second Wild Card and trail the Yankees by two games for the first Wild Card. Nine games remain in the regular season for the A’s.