Game notes melange: Tuesday, Monday, whenever
- Jacob Turner filled 5 innings with 10 hits and 5 walks, without a strikeout. That’s a rare combination, in any era. Since 1916, just 8 prior starts had IP<=5, H>=10, BB>=5 and SO=0, two of them since 1941. Those 8 prior starts averaged just under 8 runs, with none less than 5 — but Turner got away with 4 runs, thanks to 3 DPs (his first game with more than one).
- Two of Turner’s walks were intentional, bringing up the pitcher with 2 outs. One worked, but the other led to a 4-run inning after he walked Chris Capuano.
- Han-Ram went 0-4 with RISP, with a GDP. But he chipped in for the insurance run with a leadoff double in the 9th.
Rays 7, @Orioles 4 (9th) — Six hits in the 9th smashed open a 3-2 game, as Tampa pulled into a tie with Boston. Alex Cobb was sharp for six, but then two walks filled the sacks with no outs and a 3-1 score. Alex Torres shucked off his recent road bumps, getting through the inning with the lead scratched but unbroken (DP, SO). Jim Johnson tried to nip the 9th at 5-2, but he let in two bonus runs, which loomed large after the O’s began their 9th with walk-HR-walk. Fernando Rodney threw strikes and got the last 3 outs after Wesley Wright faltered.
- Chris Davis reached 3 times, but Adam Jones followed him 0-for-3 with a DP.
@Mets 5, Braves 3 – Zack Wheeler led 4-0, one out away from 7 stellar innings (one man past 1st base), but he couldn’t get that last man — a double and 2 walks knocked him out at 114 pitches. Missing that one out cost the Mets two relievers to get through the inning, with the pitcher’s spot due up in the home 7th: Andrelton Simmons doubled, hanging 3 runs on Wheeler, so a lefty had to come and get Freddie Freeman, to hold the lead. Ike Davis launched a satellite to take the edge off the save chance against the NL’s home-run leaders. The Mets are 8-7 against the team with the best record in MLB, with 3 wins for Wheeler in as many tries.
- Marlon Byrd’s 2-run bomb off Brandon Beachy (his career-high 21st) was a double-edged trend-buster: Byrd’s OPS split for home/away was .716/.975, and his right/left was .793/.987. Both of those better OPS marks are among MLB’s top 10 for regulars.
@Brewers 6, Cardinals 3 – Lance Lynn coughed up a 3-0 lead in a 5-run 4th inning, leveraged on his first error of the year. Sean Halton drove in 3 with a pair of hits, including the 2-run leveler, and Milwaukee won without an extra-base hit for the first time since last September.
- Yadi Molina is on a tear, again: 4 straight multi-hit games, with a HR and his 35th double here. He’s passed Chris Johnson for the NL batting lead, and joins Ted Simmons as the only Cardinals backstops with 35+ doubles in a season; Simmons had four of those, with a high of 40.
Diamondbacks 5, @Reds 2 – Patrick Corbin had it goin’ on most of the evening, fanning 9 without a walk or run through 7 innings. Jay Bruce was a 3-time loser, reaching 151 Ks for the year. Paul Goldschmidt’s 8th-inning slam made a 5-0 bulge, gave him 100 RBI for the first time, and broke J.J. Hoover’s zero string at 26 IP. Chris Heisey’s 2-run answer kept it interesting, but Corbin got the last 6 Reds to finish it.
@Yankees 8, Blue Jays 4 (day game) — Ivan Nova dug an early 4-run hole, but he lasted into the 7th, and 3-run drives by Robinson Cano (#200)and Chris Stewart put Nova in the winner’s circle. Cano added two singles and an RBI double.
@Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2 (nightcap) — Nix, Nix: Jayson stuck around a while and got his kicks. He tied it in the 7th with a solo shot off Mark Buehrle, unhitching Phil Hughes from an undeserved loss, and won it in the 9th with a base hit. Darren Oliver walked Mark Reynolds on 4 pitches to start the final frame. Ichiro pinch-ran, moved up on a bunt, and stole 3rd on the pitch before Nix won it. Cano stayed hot with 2 hits and the first RBI, for 19 hits in his last 33 ABs. Mariano gave up 2 hits in the 9th, but came through for his 80th win. Preston Claiborne, the temporary 26th man, got 6 outs from 6 men, stranding one inherited.
@Rangers 4, Astros 2 – Those barricades can only hold for so long. Houston led 2-1 in the 6th, looking to snap a 6-game skid against their western neighbors. But Jared Cosart walked Ian Kinsler, and Adrian Beltre got all of a chest-high curve, for his 26th HR. Joe Nathan whiffed the side for his 37th save, tying last year’s total. Cosart took his first loss, and Houston fell to 2-13 vs. Texas.
White Sox 2, @Royals 0 — John Danks hadn’t won since July 2, but he’s never lost to Kansas City, and he dealt their playoff hopes another blow with 8 shutout innings. The Royals collected 8 hits, but none with a man past 1st base, and Gordon Beckham’s HR in the 2nd off Ervin Santana turned out to be enough.
- Danks vs. K.C. — 6-0, 2.47 in 13 starts.
- Chicago’s previous shutout gave them a 19-21 record; this one makes them 50-74.
Rays 4, @Orioles 3 – In a frustrating night for the hopeful hosts, Baltimore left 15 on base, tying this year’s high for a 9-inning loss, and had the potential tying run caught stealing for the first out of the 9th, as they fell to 5-8 against Tampa and 14-22 in one-run games.
David Price came in with great numbers against the O’s, but he wove through a minefield of baserunners to last 5 innings against MLB’s top home-run club. They closed a 2-0 hole with 1-out scoring doubles in the 2nd and 3rd, but left 2 in scoring position each time, and Matt Joyce reopened the wound with a 2-run drive off Chris Tillman. Baltimore left the corners occupied from 1 out in the 4th (whiffs by Machado and Davis), then again had 2 RISP with 1 out in the 5th, but Price stranded the bases full. The dry wells continued against Tampa’s relievers, as the O’s left men on the corners in the 7th, and the tying run on 2nd from 1 out in the 8th. At last, after Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff hit, they grew tired of waiting and sent Alexi Casilla to pinch-steal, but Jose Molina cut him down, and Rodney retired the last 2 after a walk.
- Making only 3 runs out of 15 hits and 4 extra-base hits ties the known low for those thresholds, done 12 times before; and the 15 left on base is a new high for that combination.
- Just 7 of the 26 HRs off Tillman have had anyone on base, but no matter how you slice it, that’s a lot of home runs for about 152 IP. One reason seems clear from the videos: His fastball is straight as an arrow – Kyle Farnsworth‘s Disease.
- Leadoff man Brian Roberts went 0-5 and stranded 6.
- Jake McGee bailed out Joel Peralta with 2 on in the 7th, then fanned Adam Jones & Matt Wieters with the tying run on 2nd in the 8th.
- If you rank bullpens by ERA, Tampa’s just 8th in the AL, right near the league average. Rank them by runs allowed per 9 innings (RA/9), they move up to 6th, passing the Orioles and Blue Jays. Rank them by strikeout percentage, the Rays come out #1.
@Athletics 2, Mariners 1 – Jarrod Parker pitched out of his own mess in the 8th, notching two Ks with the go-ahead run on 3rd base, and Brandon Moss sealed Parker’s first route-going effort with a game-winning homer, as Oakland kept the pressure on Texas.
- No walks off Parker. The A’s have the lowest walk rate in MLB this year (2.53 BB/9), the lowest AL rate since 2010.
- Parker’s 100-pitch CG was the first since 2008 by an Athletic going 9+ innings.
- The M’s have 10 walk-off losses (tied for the AL lead), and 4 in their last 18 games.
Pirates 3, @Padres 1 — How can this happen? Down 2 runs with 2 outs in the 9th, one man on base, Bud Black needed a pinch-hitter. Having used just one man off the bench, the best he could find was Mark Kotsay?
Cardinals 8, @Brewers 5 – Milwaukee scored 3 in the stretch frame, seizing a 5-4 lead, and Brandon Kintzler had 2 outs and none on in the top-8th, working on 21 straight scoreless innings. Then St. Louis hit 5 straight singles — the leveler was struck by PH Matt Adams, the lead hammered home by Matt Carpenter — and David Freese iced the cake with a 2-run double. Four hits for Yadier Molina, three for Carlos Beltran, with his 21st HR.
- Kevin Siegrist began his career with 12 scoreless innings, and now has another 10-IP streak. He has a strong K rate, but not strong enough to justify a .149 BAbip. It’s still a hell of a ride for a 41st-round draft pick.
- Aramis Ramirez hit his first homer in 16 games since June 26.
- Juan Francisco fanned 4-for-4 for the 2nd straight game, a season first. He has 117 Ks in 328 PAs, the 2nd-worst K rate among regulars.
- Shelby Miller fanned 8, but 4 walks pushed him past 100 pitches after just 5.1 innings.
- Jonathan Lucroy hasn’t been an All-Star yet, but he’s been one of the top 6 catchers in MLB over the last 2 years, by almost any common measure. Lucroy has some pop, but when he hits with men in scoring position, there’s every sign that cuts down his swing to base-hit size. Compare his career splits with bases empty and with RISP: BA, .267/.306 … SO%, 17%/13% … HR%, 3.6%/2.0%.
@Reds 5, D-backs 3 — Brandon Phillips had 3 hits and scored twice, as Cincinnati stayed hot.
Aroldis Chapman gave up 2 hits in the 9th, but a DP divided them.
Indians 5, @Angels 2 — The Halos have trouble enough when Mike Trout is in the lineup, so imagine Zach McAllister’s joy at seeing Josh Hamilton #3 and Hank Conger #5, while Trout sat for the 2nd time all year. Lonnie Chisenhall did the biggest damage to Jeff Weaver, capping Cleveland’s 4-run 4th with a 2-run HR, 2 outs and a 1-2 count.
- McAllister’s outings break neatly along walk lines. In his 10 starts with 2 walks or less (total 9 walks in 64.1 IP), his ERA is 2.24, and the Tribe are 8-2. In his 7 starts with 3 walks or more (total 25 walks in 33.1 IP), Zach has a 6.21 ERA, and the team’s 2-5.
- Maybe the glove never did touch Trumbo — but you can’t take this risk for one run when you’re down by three, with two in scoring position.
- Swing trumps ding.
@Marlins 6, Dodgers 2 – Jose Fernandez used his arm and his bat to help deal L.A. back-to-back losses for the first time since June 20-21. Fernandez got the first hit off Hyun-jin Ryu in the 3rd inning, starting a 2-out, 2-run rally, but the Dodgers drew even with an unearned run in the 5th and Juan Uribe’s 2-out double in the 6th. Fernandez ran a full count to his opposite number with 2 on in that frame, then fanned Ryu with his 109th pitch. Logan Morrison gave Jose a parting gift in the form of a fresh lead in the top of the 7th, doubling home Donovan Solano. Miami beat up the bullpen with 3 in the 8th, again starting from 2 outs. But this is what everyone wanted to see: Round 1 goes to Fernandez.
- Line drives aren’t supposed to go this far.
- Uribe had 3 of the 4 hits off Fernandez; he’s now 4-4 off the prodigy.
- The last time Fernandez faced L.A., he gave them an 8th straight loss, rallying after a 1st-inning 3-run shot. Jose has allowed just 2 HRs in his last 14 outings, with a 1.74 ERA and 11 team wins.
- Ryu had won 5 straight starts, but he took his first loss since June 19.
- Another unsteady route and premature pull-up by Carl Crawford.
@Rangers too many, Astros not nearly enough – Your basic 11-run inning settled this one early, the first double-digit eruption in MLB this year, and the biggest for Texas since 2009. Houston infielder Jake Elmore mopped up, reprising a role he played 4 times in the minors, and got 3 straight outs — the first time in 13 games that a Houston “closer” had a clean finish.
- Wait, didn’t Texas just sweep four up in Houston? They’re now 22-4 against the Astros & Angels combined, 50-49 against everyone else.
- Phil Humber allowed 2 runs in 2 innings, and his ERA fell.
@Cubs 11, Nationals 1 – Now that David DeJesus is a National (why?), two-thirds of Chicago’s regular outfield has departed in the last month — but Nate Schierholtz keeps plugging away, with the first 4 RBI off Jordan Zimmermann and a career-high 6 in all. Dioner Navarro added his own 3-run shot, as J.Z. gave up 8 runs in 5 innings.
- Veteran coffee-sampler Donnie Murphy had his second 2-HR game this month, giving him 6 in just 13 games.
- Chicago left just one man on base — the first time in over 2 years that a team scored 10 or more while leaving just 1. (Yes, there really was a game when Miguel Cairo hit two home runs. Oh, and here’s the last team with 10+ runs and none left on base. Jim Kaat was knocked by just 4 singles, then came back on 2 days’ rest with a 10-K 4-hitter.)
@Phillies 5, Rockies 4 – Ethan Martin’s longstanding control problem (5.5 BB/9 through the minors) were evident in his first 3 MLB starts (8 walks in 14.1 IP), but he got to the 7th tonight before his first pass.
- Carlos Ruiz homered and doubled. Chooch came in hitting .265, but with the 6th-worst ratio of extra-base hits among all those with 50+ hits.
Yankees 9, @Red Sox 6 — The first one got all the notice, but Boston pitchers wound up plunking four Yankees, for the first time ever — or at least, since Babe Ruth called Beantown home.
On three occasions, the Yankees have hit four BoSox:
– 2008-07-05, during Mike Mussina’s farewell/get-even tour. Mussina faced Boston four times that year, accounting for 6 of his career-high 8 HBP. This game got a little choppy, with a total of seven plunkings — four by New York, and three of those against Manny Ramirez, then in his final month with Boston. Mussina hit Manny in the 1st; Justin Masterson clipped A-Rod in the 3rd. Moose got Manny again leading off the 4th, and Masterson bagged Robinson Cano to start the bottom half. Masterson went out of order in the 6th, drilling Jose Molina to become the 2nd Boston pitcher ever to hit 3 Yankees in a searchable game (since joined by Josh Beckett in 2011). In the 9th, Mariano came on to preserve a 2-0 lead, but the first four men reached base, with Manny and Kevin Youkilis both hit by pitches — the only two men Mo hit all year, and the only time he ever hit two in one game. Unflappable Rivera got the last 3 outs with the bases loaded, whiff-popup-whiff.
– 1998-05-24, a Yankees blowout that left them with a 33-10 record. David Cone hit Troy O’Leary in the 1st, and Mike Benjamin & Jason Varitek consecutively in the 4th. Boston’s Ron Mahay nailed Chuck Knoblauch during New York’s 6-run 5th (which made the score 13-2), and Tim Wakefield hit Tim Raines in the 8th. But Willie Banks got the last word in for the Yanks, hitting Lou Merloni in the bottom of that inning.
– 1919-07-26, before the rivalry existed, and with Ruth still toiling for the defending champion BoSox, New York’s Jack Quinn & Co. hit Boston’s CF Braggo Roth, 1B Del Gainer, 2B Red Shannon, and P Sad Sam Jones. Two years later, Quinn and Jones were involved in one of the many Red Sox/Yankee deals of the 1920s, which were central to New York’s 6 pennants in the decade.
Diamondbacks 4, @Pirates 2 — Adam Eaton’s first 4-hit game, and 8 scoreless relief innings, brought the Snakes their 8th win in 10 games and kept them within 4 losses of Cincinnati in the wild-card race, as they embark on a 4-game series in the Queen City. Arizona has prevailed in both of their 16-inning games this year, and in all 7 such games in franchise history. Brad Ziegler’s 2 perfect innings included 3 grounders and 2 Ks and earned his 7th relief win, tied for the MLB lead with Aaron Crow.
Hard-luck debut for Pittsburgh’s Kris Johnson, who notched 5 scoreless innings before allowing Eaton’s tiebreaking double with 2 outs in the 16th. He also struck out to end the game with 2 on base, Clint Hurdle having somehow exhausted his [ahem] 4-man bench(?!?) by the end of regulation. Johnson is the first since 2001 to debut with 6+ innings in relief, and the first since 1978 to lose such a debut.
- Ziegler rates 9th in relievers’ Win Probability Added.
- Two Pirates went 6+ innings, for the first time since 1984. (That was an 18-inning affair, game 2 of a doubleheader, and was won by Jason Thompson’s hit that scored Lee Mazzilli. Yeah, it was a while ago. BTW, “Rooftop” Thompson hit 208 home runs, but never a walk-off blast.)
- Hurdle used his last 3 bench players to pinch-hit in the 9th inning. With 2 outs and a man on 1st base, he sent Neil Walker up to bat for Clint Barmes, with the pitcher on deck — so when Walker drew a walk, last man Tony Sanchez had to hit for the pitcher, and he whiffed on 3 pitches. Granting that Walker is a much better hitter than Barmes, and that Walker against a RHP does have some extra-base potential to drive in the run from 1st base, it was still a heavy commitment by Hurdle.
@Padres 4, Mets 3 — Will Venable‘s walk-off blast gave him 12 HRs in Petco Park this year, 2 shy of Adrian Gonzalez’s season record. Venable’s .549 SLG in Petco also would be the 2nd-best (min. 150 PAs). He has just 5 road HRs.
- In San Diego history, there are now 10 walk-off HRs by leadoff men. The last three were against the Mets, two of those off Pedro Feliciano.
- Travis d’Arnaud is the 6th searchable player to draw 2 walks in each of his first 2 games — and the first to do so without a hit.
Astros 7, @Angels 5 – Brett Oberholtzer gave back a 3-0 lead, but he lasted long enough to benefit from a 3-run HR by Matt Dominguez with 2 outs in the 7th, on the first pitch after an IBB to Carlos Corporan.
- With just 4 career starts, Oberholtzer is one game shy of Houston’s season high for consecutive quality starts.
- Houston is 9-7 against the Angels, 32-75 against all others.
- As you know, Mike Trout’s rookie OPS+ of 169 was the best qualified mark by any player age 20 or under. Perhaps less publicized(?), his 183 OPS+ this year would be the best by a modern player age 21 or under.
- Combined OPS+ through age 21, all-time (1,000+ PAs): (1) Trout, 167; (2) Williams, 161; (3) Foxx, 157; (4) Hornsby, 155; (5) Cobb, 153. With one more game, Trout will have more PAs than all but Cobb.
- Position players younger than Trout who’ve appeared in the majors this year: Bryce Harper, Jurickson Profar, Manny Machado, Christian Yelich.
- Avisail Garcia hit two doubles, the first time in his short career that he’s had 2 XBH in one game. His minor-league doubles rate is unusually low, just over 12% of all hits, whereas the norm is over 20%. He has some HR power and some speed, expressed in steals and triples. But even his doubles and triples together comprise just 16.5% of his hits, whereas the non-pitcher norm is 21.5%.
- Minnesota went 2-18 with RISP. They’re last in the AL in BA, SLG and OPS with men in scoring position, and have the AL’s largest dropoff with RISP compared to their overall OPS. (The biggest MLB drops in BA, SLG and OPS all belong to Pittsburgh.)
@Marlins 6, Giants 5 — Last Thursday, I was in the front row of the right-field stands at Nationals Park and watched Hunter Pence play catch between innings. I think that I should be compensated for my suffering. I would settle for an exemption from ever having to repeat the experience.
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