Mo’ne Davis and the South Philadelphia Taney Dragons took their first loss Wednesday evening in the double-elimination Little League World Series.
Davis struck out six batters and walked just one, but a powerful team from Mountain Ridge Little League of Las Vegas got to her for six hits — including an RBI triple and a two-run home run by Dallan Cave — in an eventual 8-1 defeat in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Davis made it just 2 1/3 innings before reaching her predesignated pitch count of 55. Go ahead and blame it on the old Sports Illustrated jinx.
Las Vegas now advances to the United States Championship game on Saturday. Davis and her Mid-Atlantic squad can get there with a win over Jackie Robinson West on Thursday in the consolation bracket.
Wednesday night’s game drew a record crowd of 34,128 fans to Lamade Stadium in Williamsport. That is higher than the average 2014 attendance for 22 of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.
McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).
McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.