MLB -- Real or Not? Rockies games are must-see television


After the shenanigans from Jose Urena on Wednesday, it was a much less eventful day on Thursday throughout the majors …

Dr. Feelgood: Fortunately, Ronald Acuna Jr. was again within the lineup for the Braves after Urena plunked him within the elbow. He did not hit one other residence run, however Acuna did go 1-for-Four after main off the sport with a base hit. Whereas Acuna was feeling higher than the evening earlier than, he wasn’t feeling nearly as good because the Rockies have been after they rallied for 3 runs within the high of the ninth to tug out a 5-3, come-from-behind victory:

The rally began because of Dansby Swanson‘s error, and Brad Brach walked Gerardo Parra for a second free baserunner, thanks very a lot. Ryan McMahon‘s RBI single tied it up, and David Dahl‘s two-run single was the winner. DJ LeMahieu‘s leaping seize ended it as Wade Davis bought the save:

The Rockies have been enjoying quite a lot of tense, thrilling baseball this month; they’d these back-to-back walk-off wins over the Dodgers final weekend after struggling back-to-back walk-off losses earlier within the month. The offense has struggled in August, averaging simply 3.5 runs per recreation whereas hitting .224/.294/.362, which is why McMahon and Dahl are so essential to the Rockies’ playoff push.

Dahl, who homered earlier within the recreation, performed middle and hit leadoff on Thursday as Charlie Blackmon bought the time off. Dahl has began 10 of 11 video games since coming back from the disabled listing on Aug. 5. He has been injured so typically in his profession that it’s arduous to know what to anticipate from him, however his efficiency as a rookie again in 2016 — when he hit .315/.359/.500 in 63 video games — suggests that he’s definitely the higher wager than Parra because the staff’s on a regular basis left fielder down the stretch.

McMahon entered the season with quite a lot of hype after a giant season within the minors in 2017, however he bought off to a horrible begin in April in a part-time position and earned a ticket again to Albuquerque. He has hit .300/.417/.567 in 36 plate appearances in August. On the very least, Bud Black ought to think about a platoon with Ian Desmond, who’s again within the midst of one other deep stoop.

Dahl and McMahon are seen as key elements of the Rockies’ future, however their efficiency within the current would possibly assist dictate whether or not the Rockies return to October.

Chain of fools: Urena obtained a six-game suspension for hitting Acuna — a suspension that feels a little bit mild given the context. Baseball has made some optimistic rule modifications in latest seasons with the mindset of defending gamers, making an attempt to get rid of pointless collisions at residence plate and ridiculous takeout slides at second base. You’ll be able to’t set a rule in opposition to pitching inside, so the one plan of action is stiff penalties for actions like Urena’s that contain no secondary incident aside from Acuna killing your staff with residence runs.

All a six-game suspension does is push again Urena’s subsequent begin a day or two. He ought to have obtained not less than a 10-game suspension so he is truly compelled to overlook a begin. You need to make him pay for this sort of nonsense. The game should not put a rising star like Acuna in danger — or any participant for that matter — just because some journeyman pitcher is making an attempt to show he is Mr. Robust Man.

By the best way, for the discuss that old-timers wish to make about “that is the way you play the sport” — Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez truly applauded Urena’s motion — notice that hit-by-pitch totals are at an all-time excessive of 0.40 per staff per recreation. That is greater than double the speed it was within the 1980s, when Hernandez was enjoying. Possibly they weren’t all the time throwing at hitters again within the day.

Ever-changin’ occasions: On Thursday, Sam Miller wrote a piece on the position-player pitching phenomenon that has turn into a staple of blowout video games this season. As he identified, from 1992 to 2006 there have been 58 position-player pitching appearances. This yr, there have been 54.

Make it 56 now, as a result of the Phillies used Roman Quinn and Scott Kingery in a 24-4 loss to the Mets within the first recreation of a doubleheader. (The Phillies won the nightcap.) The 2 mixed to surrender 9 runs in three innings, serving to the Mets set a franchise file for runs scored; though give the Mets credit score for a 10-run inning that got here earlier than Quinn or Kingery pitched. The Mets additionally grew to become the primary staff to attain 40 runs in a two-game span because the 1953 Crimson Sox (through Elias).

One thought I had after this recreation was how a lot these video games are skewing a few of the stats we have a look at, comparable to run differential. The Phillies are plus-14 on the season — however they’re minus-11 when evaluating their place gamers’ pitching (14 runs allowed) versus the runs they’ve scored in opposition to place gamers (three, on Trevor Plouffe’s walk-off residence run). The Mets have scored 9 runs off place gamers (all in the present day) and allowed six. (Due to Sarah Langs for analysis assist.)

OK, perhaps it is not a giant deal, however I do marvel if baseball wants a mercy rule. When a staff reverts to a place participant pitching, it is waving a white flag (until it is available in an extra-inning recreation when a staff has run out of pitchers). It is giving up. In the event you’re giving up, ought to the remainder of the sport be performed? I do know, it in all probability will not occur, if solely to maintain followers going to the concession stands.

One other consideration: On a doubleheader days, what about seven-inning video games? The Phillies bought on this predicament partly as a result of Vince Velasquez lasted simply 2 1/Three innings on Wednesday as Gabe Kapler burned by way of his bullpen in a win over the Crimson Sox. Given how cautious groups are with pitchers, perhaps enjoying 18 innings in at some point is an excessive amount of for in the present day’s recreation (even with the 26th participant added for doubleheaders). I do not know if I agree with both thought right here, simply throwing a pair on the market. However it does appears foolish to complete off a 24-Four recreation with place gamers going the ultimate 9 outs.

Respect: Give the Tampa Bay Rays credit score. They’ve no one hitting .300. They’ve had solely two gamers with not less than 10 residence runs, and certainly one of them now performs for the Phillies. No person has 60 RBIs. They’ve caught with the funky reliever-as-starter routine. They’ve traded away their Opening Day starter and nearer. Their finest place participant in latest seasons has performed simply 56 video games and hit .180.

They do have one star, nonetheless, in lefty Blake Snell, who handcuffed the Yankees with 5 scoreless innings in a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium, enhancing his file to 14-5 and reducing his ERA to 2.10, second within the AL to Chris Sale‘s 1.97 mark. The Rays took two of three from the Yankees and ran their file to 62-59.

They are not chasing a playoff spot or something, however with the accidents to their beginning rotation, it is a season that would have gotten away from them and was a catastrophe. As an alternative, they’ve performed respectable baseball and hung powerful, together with an 8-7 file in opposition to the Yankees.

The fascinating a part of the sport got here within the backside of the ninth, when the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in opposition to Sergio Romo. With two lefties due up for the Yankees, Rays supervisor Kevin Money turned to rookie southpaw Adam Kolarek, a sidearmer with low-90s velocity. That is the sort of pitcher who normally has a giant platoon cut up — though Kolarek would not have one up to now in his transient main league profession, right-handed batters had an OPS practically 250 factors larger a Triple-A.

Aaron Boone may need thought of pinch-hitting for Greg Bird or Brett Gardner, however on today the Yankees rostered 13 pitchers and simply 12 place gamers — and Boone had already used Gardner and backup catcher Austin Romine off the bench.

That left reserve infielder Ronald Torreyes as the one sub, so Boone let Chook and Gardner hit. Chook fouled out to 3rd base (and obtained a hearty Bronx cheer), Gardner feebly struck out and Romine fanned to finish it.

It is a unfavorable aspect impact of those massive bullpens: The skinny bench leaves a supervisor with few pinch-hitting choices. Plus, since groups have to hold so many pitchers on the 40-man roster, entrance workplaces have restricted position-player choices anyway. With Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier sidelined, the Yankees began Shane Robinson, a man with a profession .223/.292/.295 line within the majors.

The Yankees fell to 7-9 in August. Whereas their wild-card spot is not but in severe jeopardy (5.5 video games over Seattle), they’ve turn into a staff you merely respect greater than worry lately.

Ain’t no means: Some triple performs are cooler than others. Jurickson Profar began one for the Rangers, simply the third 5-Four triple play since 1961:

Profar additionally homered in the 8-6 win. So did Kole Calhoun for the Angels. That is 16 residence runs for Calhoun since coming back from an indirect pressure on June 18 — most within the AL and third-most within the majors in that point.

Spirit in the dead of night: Larry Herbst was the largest Yankees fan I’ve recognized. He as soon as informed me the three biggest Yankees he ever noticed play have been Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez (that did not imply he was a giant fan of A-Rod). Larry would know — he noticed all of them play and nonetheless watched the staff every single day on TV, even at 97 years previous. The primary time I met him he dug out an previous scrapbook of World Collection newspaper clippings on the Yankees he had saved from the 1930s.

In his workplace at his Lengthy Island residence, he made positive to point out me one other previous clipping the household had framed in regards to the time his father, Andy Herbst, pitched all 24 innings for New Haven in a minor league recreation in 1909. Larry was a fairly honest pitcher himself, a semipro legend on Lengthy Island, adequate to get his personal article when he retired from the novice ranks again within the 1950s (if I keep in mind accurately, the article talked about he had an amazing curveball). He additionally served within the Navy throughout World Struggle II and raised a household in a home he purchased after the battle and nonetheless lived in till he moved right into a care facility (the place he nonetheless watched the Yankees).

Larry was buried on Thursday. We misplaced a very good one.

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