With the Tigers and Royals tied atop the American League Central, one of the squads would walk away with sole possession of the division by the end of last night’s series finale. However, the leader would have to be determined nearly an hour later than planned due to the downpour of rain that delayed the start of the game. The sky continued to open up throughout the night and at times led to tough playing conditions, but that didn’t stop James Shields from turning in an outstanding performance for the visitors.
Ian Kinsler led off the home half of the first with a single, but was erased by a stellar pickoff move from Shields. The Kansas City ace went on to retire the next 18 Tigers that stepped to the plate, with only two balls leaving the infield.
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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.
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.
The A's free-fall continued apace, the Phillies threw a no-hitter, and all the rest of the long weekend's action.
The Labor Day Weekend Takeaway
“Embarrassing” and “pathetic” were just two of the words that Oakland skipper Bob Melvinused to describe his team’s play during the weekend’s critical showdown against the division-rival Angels. The A’s began the four-game series just one game behind the Halos in the American League West, but Oakland’s bats went into hibernation during the weekend series as their chances of claiming a third straight division crown are rapidly slipping away.
Protests and hidden perfect games! What a Thursday! Doubleheaders and ace matchups! What a weekend!
The Thursday Takeaway
On July 22nd, the Giants called upon 29-year-old swingman Yusmeiro Petit for an emergency start against the Phillies after they had placed Matt Cain on the 15-day disabled list. The Giants went on to win the game in 14 innings, but there was nothing special about Petit’s start; he lasted five innings, gave up seven hits and five runs, walked two and struck out five.
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.
Yesterday / there was baseball that these teams played / and there will be even more today
The Monday Takeaway
Over the weekend, the Cubs' pitching staff held Baltimore’s potent lineup to just four runs, as the American League East leaders dropped all three games of their series to the club occupying the National League Central cellar.