The revised interpretation of Rule 7.13 gets tested immediately by the Yankees and Rays. The rest of yesterday's action is recapped and the best of today is previewed.
Sometime yesterday, Joe Torresent a memo to all 30 teams to clear up the mounting confusion over Rule 7.13, otherwise known as the ban on catchers blocking the plate and on runners bowling them over. A key point of the letter was to eliminate, or at least mitigate, the possibility that runners who looked dead to rights coming down the line could be deemed safe on a technicality. The wording of Rule 7.13 wasn’t changed, but no longer would the replay crew in New York side with a manager who argued that his runner, a good distance away from the plate when the ball arrived, had his path to the dish impeded by the catcher.
The change in interpretation was made effective immediately. Its consequences were evident just a few hours later.
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Winners (Angels, Mariners, Cardinals) win. Losers (A's, Brewers) lose. Plus what to watch today.
On Sunday, the Angels became the majors’ highest-scoring offense, taking the crown with a 14-4 romp over the Twins, their fourth win in a row and 10th in 12 games.
A rainout on June 18th threw a wrench into the Halos’ travel plans, forcing them to make a one-day stop in Cleveland on an already hellacious road trip that began in Texas and will end there, too. After taking Labor Day off, Mike Scioscia’s squad is in the midst of a grueling stretch of 23 games in as many days, but that daunting docket didn’t deter the Angels from padding their league-leading run total on Monday afternoon.
Buster Posey goes for MVP consideration, the Angels pound their way to the top of one leaderboard, Nelson Cruz makes a run for a HR crown, and, in an Oakland ninth inning, the best fun fact of the month.
The Weekend Takeaway
After Friday’s game, Chris Carter now has 36 home runs on the year, putting him hot on the trails of Nelson Cruz and Giancarlo Stanton for the MLB lead. The A’s, who shipped Carter to the Astros on February 4, 2013, as part of a package to acquire Jed Lowrie, don’t mind that. They just kindly request that the 27-year-old Bay Area native stop going yard against them.
The Brewers are in trouble, the Buehrle-Odorizzi matchup was as glamorous as advertised, Koji Uehara can't get it together, and more of yesterday's action. Plus what to watch this weekend.
When an eight-game losing streak sends you tumbling from first place in your division to the brink of the playoff picture, it’s easy to begin feeling helpless. When you hold a lead at the end of only one of your last 56 innings on the diamond, desperation surely starts to set in.
The Brewers, with Carlos Gomez nursing a wrist injury and Ryan Braun away for the birth of his daughter, could not have chosen a less opportune time for their collapse. They welcomed the Cardinals, the team they led less than a week ago but at which they’re now looking up, to Miller Park on Thursday for the opener of a four-game showdown. And their tailspin continued almost immediately.
A whiff-tastic Cleveland-Detroit game, more Philadelphia pitching exploits, and your daily dose of Jose Altuve, plus what to watch today.
The Indians got trounced in their series opener versus the Tigers on Monday, when Corey Kluber took the hill without his best stuff. That’s never a good idea in a matchup with David Price, but it was merely one loss, and the Tribe had reason to believe that it might even the series on Tuesday.
Kluber has deservedly gotten most of the press for an outstanding breakout campaign, but Carlos Carrasco has quietly emerged as a fine second fiddle since returning to the rotation on August 10th. He’d racked up a 0.73 ERA in four starts to go with a 24:3 K:BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings. J.P. Breentook notice. And the Indians, 3-1 behind the 27-year-old during that span, were reaping the rewards.
Madison Bumgarner comes close to a perfect game, Alex Gordon does something nobody has done against Glen Perkins, and more from around the league.
The Tuesday Takeaway
If you’ve pitched at any level, from Little League to high school to college to the pros, you’ve had a coach tell you to get ahead and stay ahead. Madison Bumgarner took that sage advice to heart on Tuesday night.
Facing a depleted Rockies lineup—sans Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, and Michael Cuddyer—Bumgarner threw 24 first-pitch strikes in 28 tries. Fifteen of the 23 plate appearances that lasted at least three pitches featured an 0-2 count. And eighty of Bumgarner’s 103 offerings either satisfied plate umpire Cory Blaser’s strike zone or elicited a swing.
Some history lessons and double-digit scoring action from this weekend, plus the best matchups of Monday.
The Weekend Takeaway
The Tigers could not have asked for a better start to their weekend series against the Twins: Their first batter, Ian Kinsler, went yard and Detroit was up 1-0 right off the bat. Their starter, Robbie Ray, got two strikeouts and a popup in the bottom of the first. Everything was peachy.
The Twins went double-double-double to begin the last of the second, and it was 2-1 Minnesota, but a one-run deficit is hardly the end of the world. Kurt Suzuki struck out, and Ray had three punchouts to his name in 1 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, that’s just about the only good thing anyone could say about the left-hander’s performance.
The Tuesday Takeaway
As the adage goes, baseball is a game of second chances. Usually.
It was true for Chris Carter with two on, one out, and the Astros and Yankees tied in the ninth. With a red-hot hitter at the plate with a 3-0 count, manager Bo Porter decided it was a good time to give the green light ...
The A's continue their free-fall, Michael Cuddyer and David Ortiz blast off, and other action from the weekend, plus what to watch on Monday.
The Weekend Takeaway
At the end of play last weekend, the Athletics held a four-game lead over the Angels in the American League West. That was the third-largest gap between first- and second-place teams in any division. If you’d had to pick one of the six to be tied one week later, you probably would’ve looked elsewhere.
But the A’s went on a tough road trip, first to Kansas City, where they couldn’t solve the Royals’ arms, then to Atlanta, where they continued to scuffle at the plate. With the exception of an 11-3 blowout win on Tuesday, Bob Melvin’s offense didn’t exceed three runs in any game on the trek.
Fourteen-strikeout facts and trivia, plus your guide to how to spend your baseball time this weekend.
The Thursday Takeaway Max Scherzer last struck out at least 14 batters on May 20, 2012 and the Pirates were on the receiving end of his nastiness. In the intervening 28 months, only one pitcher—Yovani Gallardo on July 15, 2012—so thoroughly carved up the Bucs.
Yesterday, we found out that the Missourian’s assault on Pittsburgh two years ago was no fluke. Scherzer and the Pirates are simply a match made in strikeout heaven.