Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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I’m torn between loving that so many games have consequences right now on the one hand and knowing that, on the other hand, the reason so many have consequences is that we have that second wild card and a play-in game in the offing that will, in the space of three hours, erase an entire season for a team. Eh, I’ll adjust. Just sayin’.

In any event, the Yankees, for the moment, stay out of that play-in game with their win and the Orioles’ loss. The O’s are OK, though, because the Angels woofed a game away and now seem to be in serious trouble. You gotta beat Kansas City, man. Meanwhile, Chicago maintains it’s one game cushion over Detroit, who they face in a critical make-up game Monday.

In the NL: The Phillies losing to the Astros again is just, dude, no, you can’t do that. The Dodgers, however, have gotten up off the canvass these past couple of days and are now tied with the Cardinals, thanks to yesterday’s walkoff win. St. Louis has more than a week of cupcakeness in the schedule ahead, however, so they can probably handle it. At least if they stop sucking.  The Pirates and Brewers kept pace.

It’s gettin’ exciting, kids. Those of us who don’t like the play-in game just have to forget why.

Yesterday’s scores:

Athletics 5, Orioles 2
Padres 4, Rockies 3
Mariners 8, Rangers 6
Royals 3, Angels 2
Marlins 6, Reds 4
Astros 5, Phillies 0
Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2
Brewers 9, Mets 6
Yankees 5, Rays 3
Tigers 5, Indians 3
Braves 5, Nationals 4
Red Sox 3, Blue Jays 2
Pirates 7, Cubs 6
White Sox 5, Twins 3
Dodgers 4, Cardinals 3

Report: Pirates to convert JB Shuck into two-way player

JB Shuck
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Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.

Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.

Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.

Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.