Dodgers Giants Baseball
AP Images

Video: Andrew McCutchen caps six-hit night with walk-off home run

10 Comments

So much for that extra off day messing up the Giants’ rhythm. Right fielder Andrew McCutchen had himself a banner night during Saturday’s 14-inning showdown against the Dodgers, notching six hits and delivering the game-winning, three-run homer to push the Giants above .500.

Hours before the game’s explosive conclusion, however, McCutchen put the Giants on the board with an RBI double in the first inning. He returned in the fourth with a leadoff single, eventually coming around to score on Buster Posey‘s first home run of the season — a 389-footer into the left field bleachers.

McCutchen roped another pair of base hits off of Pedro Baez in the fifth and Kenta Maeda in the seventh, but his success at the plate didn’t translate into any additional runs. Following Brandon Belt‘s sixth-inning RBI double and Chase Utley‘s game-tying solo shot in the seventh, neither team added to their totals for the next six straight innings. In the 12th, with Kenley Jansen on the mound, McCutchen laced another single into right field and tied the career-high mark he set back in May 2010, with five hits. (The last Giants player to collect 5+ hits in a single game? Brandon Crawford, with a franchise-record seven hits against the Marlins in 2016.)

While he didn’t manage to go a perfect 7-for-7 to tie Crawford’s record, McCutchen saved his best at-bat for last. In the bottom of the 14th, down 5-4 with runners on the corners and no outs, he labored through a 12-pitch at-bat against rookie right-hander Wilmer Font. McCutchen never reached a full count, instead fouling off eight pitches in order to keep the Giants’ hopes alive. He didn’t allow Buster Posey another opportunity to play the hero, either, finally selecting a 94-mph fastball and cranking it to left field for a 377-foot, dugout-clearing, walk-off home run:

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

Getty Images
3 Comments

This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.