And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 8, Nationals 7: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the Nationals defense stunk and was a big reason they lost the game. Indeed, the Sox scored three runs in the seventh inning with the aid of zero (0) hits. How? Like this: Hanley Ramirez reached first base on yet another Ian Desmond error. Then Matt Thronton hit Shane Victorino. Ramirez went to third on a flyout, Thornton then hit Allen Craig to load the bases (the Nats have hit a LOT of Red Sox this series). Enter reliever Blake Treinen who fielded a Ryan Hanigan comebacker, dropped it, allowing Ramirez to score then threw it pas the catcher which allowed Victorino to score. Craig then came in with the go-ahead run on groundout.

The Nationals are still the most talented team in the NL East. It’d be folly to not say they’ll still win the division after a mere week or so’s worth of play. Yet they are 2-6, in last place in the division and have earned that spot by playing, perhaps, the worst baseball of anyone in the league so far. That’s pretty darn special.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Miguel Gonzalez struck out ten. Adam Jones homered and hit a sac fly. Postgame quote from Gonzalez: “Against the Yankees, you can’t give in. Every pitch has to be a quality pitch.” If I was there I’d be seriously inclined to ask “Which teams can you give in to? To whom can you throw junk pitches?” Then they’d take my press pass away and throw me the hell out, I assume. Be totally worth it.

Tigers 2, Pirates 0: Shane Greene is helping the Tigers not miss Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello or the injured Justin Verlander. Here he tossed eight shutout innings. This follows his season debut in which he allowed only an unearned run in eight innings against the Twins.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: Steven Souza had a homer that went a mile — officially 463 feet — and then later reached on a bunt single — unoffically 15 feet — and came around to score the go-ahead run. Souza on his homer: “It’s fun when it goes like that. Have you ever cut butter with a knife? That’s what it feels like.” I’m pretty sure Rabbit Angstrom said that to his priest on the golf course in “Rabbit Run.”

White Sox 4, Indians 1: Carlos Carrasco was struck in the face by a line drive in the first inning but thankfully only got a bruised jaw out of it. It did put the bullpen in the game early, however, the White Sox scored two early and that was that. I think the Indians will take that, though, given how much worse the evening could’ve gone.

Marlins 8, Braves 2: It wasn’t like Giancarlo Stanton was gonna hit .130 all year, right? Here he went 3-for-3, doubled, walked twice and drove in four. Also: in his last at bat he didn’t wear his new face guard. The AP recaps didn’t say why. I’ll check out the Miami news later this morning to see if he explained it. Either way, one of his doubles came sans face guard.

Mets 6, Phillies 5: Matt Harvey Day and a win, but Matt Harvey was mortal — giving up three runs on five hits in six innings — and the Mets suffered multiple injuries. David Wright went out with a pulled hamstring which is likely to lay him up for a while. Michael Cuddyer left with a bruised hand, though he’ll likely play today. Chase Utley homered twice in a winning effort in a losing cause. Daniel Murphy hit a homer over the newly moved-in right field wall.

Rangers 8, Angels 2: Robinson Chirinos, the ninth place hitter, drove in five runs on a three-run homer and a two-run double. The double was aided by a miscommunication between Mike Trout and Matt Joyce, but it still counts because those are the rules. Nick Martinez allowed only a single unearned run in seven innings of work.

Reds 3, Cubs 2: Anthony DeSclafani threw seven scoreless innings and Joey Votto had two hits and an RBI to help the Reds stop a three-game losing streak. The pen bent but didn’t break in the eighth and ninth. Which is sort of novel for the Reds so far this year. The not breaking part, I mean.

Athletics 4, Astros 0: Rookie Kendall Graveman and four A’s relievers combined on the shutout. Billy Butler had an RBI double, giving him a hit in every game this year.

Dodgers 6, Mariners 5: Another walkoff win for the Dodgers, this time via a Howie Kendrick two-run double. The rally came off Fernando Rodney, who has allowed six runs in his last two outings. Nelson Cruz homered for the fourth straight game and Robinson Cano hit his first homer of the season.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 1: Odrisamer Despaigne, who’s got more junk than Fred Sanford’s driveway, allowed one run over seven innings. Dude throws stuff in the 60s and the 90s. If I had him on my team I’d slot him the day after my hardest throwing starter and enjoy the chaos.

Rockies 4, Giants 1: Six pitchers — and some amazing defense — combined on this one for Colorado. The Rockies are 5-0 on the road this year, as everyone assumed they’d be. Among the web gems: a Nolan Arenado diving catch over the tarp and then a Charlie Blackmon play in which he chased down a deep fly at the fence to rob Buster Posey of a hit, both in the same inning. We’ll do separate posts about those here at HBT shortly.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]