He Said, She Said – 7/15/18 – First Half Conclusion Edition

Prof: Well, folks, this is it for the first half of the baseball season. Lots of surprises this year – the firings of Bryan Price and Mike Matheny, the Phillies, Brewers, and Braves being several years ahead of schedule, breakout seasons of Scooter Gennett, Jesus Aguilar, and Blake Snell, and the historic collapse of the Baltimore Orioles come to mind. What does fate have in store for us in the second half?

 

Obviously, because we’re coming up on the All Star Break, our traditional daily wrap-up won’t need to be written. Fear not, we have fresh posts brewing for each day until we get back to our usual scheduled programming, so be sure to stop by.

Music choices, picked out by yours truly today, is Queen. Because why the hell not? Guess which one of these is my favorite Queen song.

 

 


Rangers 5, Orioles 6Prof: It rained in Charm City yesterday, delaying the game at beautiful Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Due to the field conditions, the Oriole front office and manager Buck Showalter didn’t take any chances with what was more than likely Manny Machado’s last game in the orange and black, and pulled him early as to protect the merchandise. He did hit a homer in the first inning, though. A nice way to say goodbye to the faithful O’s fans who know he’s not coming back after the break, or if he is, it’s only for a very limited time. Adam Jones made a case for a trade to a contender as well with a three run double. Zach Britton, back and looking like one of the best closers in baseball again, got his fourth save of the season, and is also an attractive piece of bait to a team who would need a solid guy at the end of games. All of these guys can be and probably should be traded.

Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 5Prof: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – the Boston Red Sox won. The Sawx has the best record in baseball, an incredible 68-30 for the first half. This is their best performance since 1949, when they had legends like Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr in the lineup. Boston’s lineup today ain’t all that shabby, either: Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer and Brock Holt had two RBI singles. Craig Kimbrel now has 30 saves on the year.

 

Yankees 2, Spiders 5Scouts: Michael Brantley showed off his All-Star game selection by leading off the 8th with a homer that would give the Spiders the final lead of the day.

Nationals 6, Mets 1Scouts: A 5-run spree in the 7th made the difference in this one as the Nats continue to play hot and cold and no one really knows what this team is all about.

Phillies 5, Marlins 10  – Prof: Oh boy, this is bad. And it started out so great for Philadelphia, too. The Fightin’ Phils went hard in the fourth inning, gathering five runs and a strong lead. Then we go to the Phillies bullpen, where no run is safe. In the fifth inning, the Feesh basically said, “Anything you can do, I can do better” and exploded for eight runs and the lead. They capped off the game with two more runs in the eighth inning. Brian Anderson smashed a three run homer while Cameron Maybin crushed a 429 foot solo shot of his own.

 

Diamondbacks 1, Braves 5Prof: Julio Teheran had a rare good outing in Atlanta’s home park and picked up the win against the also very good Patrick Corbin and the Gritty Snakes. Mostly small ball, with doubles and singles in the third inning contributing to four of the Braves’ five runs.

Brewers 6, Pirates 7 F/10Prof: Swept by the Pirates, this is a bad way to end the first half of the season. Milwaukee still has a spot on the top of the NL Central leaderboard, but sloppy, exhaustive play in the last few weeks have been a weakness. With several Brewers going to the All Star Game, and a few more having been drafted as replacements, they will need to use this time to refocus and refresh. Craig Counsell will get a much needed break, although I’m not sure if he’ll actually do much relaxing since he wants to take the Brew Crew to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

 

Royals 1, White Sox 10Scouts: Chicago went out on a bang, dropping 10 big ones on the Royals at home.  Daniel Palka and Yoan Moncada both went 3-4 with homers.

Rays 7, Twins 11Scouts: I know someone who is pretty “happy” today as Brian Dozier walked it off with a grand slam in the 10th to send the Twins into the break on the highest of notes.  This was the end result of a lead-off double, a sac bunt, and a pair of intentional walks.  Also, can anyone possibly explain to me just what the hell the problem was in the 7th between these two teams?  The bench clearing but nothing happening arguments are getting too many to track these days.

 

 

Tigers 6, Astros 3Scouts: I’m not entirely sure how Histo is supposed to feel about this one.  On the one hand, her beloved Tigers picked up a win headed into the break, on the other they roughed up her beloved Verlander for wow, 4 homers.

Reds 4, Cardinals 6Prof: I’m sure it’s just coincidence that the Redbirds won less than 24 hours after sacking the current reigning Handsomest Manager in Baseball (according to some, not to me), Mike Matheny. St. Louis breaks a six game losing streak, and Dexter Fowler celebrated accordingly with a solo homer in the second inning.

Mariners 3, Rockies 4Scouts: Seattle limps into the break by getting swept by Trevor Story and the Rockies.  Story walked it off with a homer in the 9th over the center-field wall.

 

Angels 3, Dodgers 5Prof: Here are some facts that no one can deny. Mike Trout is a generational talent. Clayton Kershaw is one of the best left handed pitchers of all time. Neither one was at his best in this game. Now, granted, Trout has been nursing a thumb injury on and off this season and Kershaw did have that DL stint earlier in the season as well, so I will cut them slack. And Kersh also went nearly seven innings and had eight Ks. But he also gave up three runs – none of these to Trout, who went 0-2. Here’s another fun fact – Kersh hit an RBI single as well. Two Dodger homers seal the deal in this battle of crosstown rivals.

Athletics 6, Giants 2Scouts: So, are the A’s good now?  I’m confused.  They are 13 games over .500 but 8 back of the division and 3 out of the final wild card spot.  I just don’t get this season.

Cubs 7, Padres 4Scouts: Jon Lester picked up his 12th win, Javier Baez picked up an RBI, and the Cubs picked up a win headed into the break.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “He Said, She Said – 7/15/18 – First Half Conclusion Edition

  1. Nats are 48-48, 5.5 GB in the East, and Nats twitter right now seems to be divided between “blow up the team” and “make a push for the pennant”. It’s my opinion that the smarter fans, in terms of general baseball knowledge, are in the “make a push” camp, and while I fancy myself among the smarter fans, I’m on Team FireSale right now, I think.

    The “make a push” camp is mostly focused on the fact that it’s only 5 1/2 games, and there’s still a lot of time left; however, my pithy summation of their prospects for the remaining 66 games is this:

    “If they were capable of playing good enough for long enough to make up their deficit, they’d have shown it by now, but then again, if they’d shown it by now, they would probably be leading the division already, not sitting in third place.”

    The most recent example of the Nats just being a “meh” team is the eleven game stretch they just wrapped up – 4 vs. Miami (3-1), 3 vs. Pittsburgh (1-2), 4 vs NYM (2-2). Teams that are worthy contenders go 8-3, minimum, during such a spate of games, not 6-5, especially when they team they’re chasing is scuffling along at 5-5 during the same patch of the schedule.

    I don’t know… Strasburg is due back Friday (you can trace the Nats’ recent putrid stretch to his going on the DL), and Gio, Roark, and Hellickson have all shown recent flashes of being reliable starters again, so I guess it’s possible to think they can still contend. This is one of those seasons where the decision to buy or sell at the deadline is a tough one, and I’m guessing that come October, we’ll still be arguing about whether or not Rizzo’s decision over the next ten days was the right one or the wrong one, with convincing cases to be made for both.

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  2. Except for the grand finale it was a sloppily played tiresome game that dragged on for over four hours. Starting in the middle innings I was switching back and forth between it and The Madness Of King George.

    The Twins half of the seventh started with the Rays ahead 4 – 2. Twins had runners at the corners with two outs. As it seemed to happen inning after inning in this game the defending team couldn’t bring itself to get the third out. Dozier hit a grounder to deep third for which the Rays third baseman had no play scoring the runner on third. Instead of holding the ball he made a throw to first which even if accurate didn’t have a chance of getting the runner. Accurate it was not getting past the first baseman resulting in the second runner scoring and Dozier going to third. A few pitches later after the Rays had shifted to right leaving no one to hold Dozier on third, Dozier took a huge lead and bluffed a steal of home causing the Ray’s already despairing pitcher to commit a balk bringing Dozier home to give the Twins the lead.

    There were no hit bats men or collisions on the base path, but apparently somebody insulted Escobar’s mama or vice versa. Both benches cleared twice to mill around, but it should be noted that the second time the bullpens only trotted out half way across the outfield for their obligatory appearance. Understandably, it was damn near 90 at the time. Super Joe seemed to be having a pleasant conversation with former Twin Carlos Gomez during the melee. The umpires and manager had a civil several minute discussion of whether or not Escobar should be ejected. One was almost expecting them to call New York to review the issue.

    It’s time for the All Star break.

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  3. One of the more amazing True Outcomes pitching performances you will ever see for Justin Verlander. Twelve strikeouts, no walks and only six hits. But four of those hits were home runs. And not cheap home runs either. When Verlander hung a breaking pitch, it looked about the size of a beachball. The Tigers thought so, too.

    I’m sure there is no truth to the rumor that Verlander’s performance (pitching, that is) was in any way tied to Ms. Upton’s pregnancy announcement.

    At least I don’t think so.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Teams in serious need of relief (and catching) help aren’t willing to pay the price the Feesh are demanding for their closers like Barraclough and Steckenrider, and they’re not even willing to pay the significantly lower price for Brad Ziegler unless the Feesh pick up some of his idiotic contract (which Mike Hill so far won’t do because it’d be an admission he blew that call too). And the Gopher King? Another case of Bloody Mike pricing himself out of the market with a nonsensical contract which has several more years to run (like Hill’s own).
    Realmuto? Tell me the Gnats wouldn’t love to get their hands on him but, again, the asking price is astronomical. Poor J T is going to be stuck guarding the gates of hell unless he turns down the Feesh’s offer of a contract extension this weenter.

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