Prof: Yesterday was the 2019 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and it was the end of a journey that I had been on for many years – with the unveiling of a simple plaque, Moose Watch is finally over. Mike Mussina (along with Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, Lee Smith, Mariano Rivera, and the late Roy Halladay) is finally immortal. To say I was emotional is an understatement. I had wanted to see this moment in person, both for Moose and also in support of Doc – one of other all time favorites, but life had other plans. Thankfully, MLB Network carried the ceremony online for free, so I was able to watch it there. I will probably post my full thoughts in a separate article later on this week, but I’m proud and happy for these great players to finally have their day in the sun. Let’s go on with the show.
Note: I only know two of these guys’ warm up music – obviously we all know Mariano Rivera’s, and I know Doc’s from his days in Philadelphia. The rest? Just celebrating greatness.
Mets 2, Giants 3 F/12 – Prof: We begin this Hall of Fame tribute post not with a current inductee, but with the legacy of one of the all time greats. Carl Yastrzemski led the Red Sox for years and was the epitome of sturdy, reliable baseball. His grandson has found his way onto the Giants and at 28 years old, has finally begun his own baseball career. Do I think Mike will ever be in Cooperstown with Yaz? Probably not. But yesterday Little Yaz was the hero of the day for San Francisco. After his teammates tied it up in the fourth inning, the Mets and Giants brought it into extra innings. In the bottom of the twelfth, it was an ill-timed pitch from the Mets’ Robert Gsellman that Mike Yaz barreled for a walk-off homer.
Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 4 – Scouts: Milwaukee seems to be out of their funk, after winning 5 of their past 6, including scoring 7 unanswered runs to come back from an early defect. They are going to need to stay hot to catch back up to the Cubs, whom they are now two games behind.
Nationals 1, Braves 7 – Scouts: Atlanta fans word of warning from someone who watched Kevin Gausman pitch for many years, please don’t be fooled by the most recent Gausman performance. He has the ability to show flashes of brilliance but has been unable to put together any consistency throughout his career. I wanted more than just about anyone for him to find success once he left Baltimore, but he just isn’t that guy.
Cardinals 3, Reds 1 – Scouts: In a lot of games the key inning comes in the 8th or 9th where a closer comes in and shuts down a rally late in the game. Then there are other times, that tend to get much less notice, games where a pitcher enters into a situation, where the bases are loaded, and there’s one out in the fith, and a pitcher like Giovanny Gallegos enters and 12 pitches later was able to get both Josh VanMeter and Scooter Gennett to strike out to end the threat. The Reds never threatened again and the game was won.
Rockies 8, Yankees 4 – Prof: Mike Mussina spent lots of time and did a lot of amazing things in a Yankees uniform, but the iconic legend Mariano Rivera is synonymous with Yankee greatness. Did you know that his postseason ERA is about 0.70, and his WHIP is less than 1.00? Isn’t that insane? You wouldn’t have heard “Enter Sandman” in this game, though; Colorado dominated from the third inning on. Fun fact, though – every New York run came off of a home run.
Red Sox 0, Orioles 5 – Prof: Fitting on that on the day that one of the greatest pitchers in the history of the organization was being enshrined in the Hall of Fame, the Orioles decided to play championship baseball against a formidable crew. Asher Wojcieschowski channeled his inner Moose and took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and struck out ten, while Trey Mancini faced former teammate Andrew Cashner and went yard not once but twice. Jonathan Villar also had a solo homer in the win.
White Sox 2, Rays 4 – Prof: Harold Baines wasn’t flashy, and didn’t talk much, but he let his play speak for him. His beloved White Sox were fairly mute yesterday, and instead of quiet moments, they allowed Tampa to make some serious noise. Defending Cy Young winner Blake Snell went six scoreless innings and struck out ten, while Travis d’Arnaud hit his first career grand slam, scoring every run that the Rays needed to hold on.
Royals 4, Spiders 5 – Scouts: After winning 7 of 8, the Royals have now dropped 2 of 3. Could it be that their hot streak has finally ended, or is it just that they finally were facing some quality competition? KC put up a good fight, including a run in both the 8th and 9th innings, but eventually, Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor were too much for them.
Blue Jays 3, Tigers 4 F/10 – Prof: Roy Halladay got his start in Toronto. They drafted him and he became the feared assassin that we all came to know there. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays weren’t able to get a win for Doc today, but they gave it an honest try. El Tigre snapped a six game losing streak with this win, thanks to Nicholas Castellanos’ extra innings homer.
Phillies 2, Pirates 1 F/11 – Prof: Unlike Toronto, the other team that Roy Halladay played for found themselves in the win column today, but it took extras to get them there. It was not without some weirdness, though. A rogue fan sauntered up to home plate and attempted to shake a Phillies batter’s hand. At least he didn’t try to kiss Bryce Harper or anything. The winning run was a Rhys Hoskins homer in the eleventh inning.
Athletics 6, Twins 7 – Scouts: The Twins have been short handed in the bullpen for nearly a week, and nearly cost them yesterday as Trevor May was asked to hang in there much longer than usual, resulting in three late runs and nearly costing them the game. Thankfully Ehire Adrianza and Max Kepler bailed them out with a late 9th inning rally and walk-off.
Padres 5, Cubs 1 – Prof: Lee Smith wore many caps in his long career, but he’s best known as the premier closer in Chicago Cubs history. Unfortunately, the Cubs would not have needed his services today, as the Padres went to town on them at the Friendly Confines and avoided the sweep. Young Canadian rookie Cal Quantrill gets the win, his third in his budding career. Another youngster, Fernando Tatis Jr, went 2-4 with 3 RBI.
Marlins 0, Dodgers 9 – Prof: The Immovable Object finally met the Unstoppable Force – otherwise known as the matchup between LA’s Walker Buehler and the undefeated Jordan Yamamoto. Well, previously undefeated. Buehler showed Yamamoto why he was a front runner for rookie of the year and continues to be a bright star in the pitching world. The up and coming Dodger ace went seven full innings and struck out eleven. He got help from his teammates – Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, and AJ Pollock all hit homers in the win.
Rangers 3, Astros 5 – Scouts: Things are back on track in Houston, as the Astros have won their 5th strait, and are getting the job done offensively, defensively, and getting quality performances out of both starters and relievers alike. Michael Brantley went deep twice, Jose Altuve picked up one of his own, and the pitching staff was able to keep Texas at a distance.
Angels 9, Mariners 3 – Prof: The Edgar Martinez Award goes to the best DH of the season, and the Mariners legend was inducted after a long, arduous process. His poise and vision at the plate was a thing of beauty, and his ability to both hit for power and precision was feared. The Los Angeles Angels have Mike Trout, who is not a DH, but takes that same energy and translates it into every day play. (1-4, solo homer) The Angels also have Albert Pujols, who has found his second wind (2-3, 2 RBI) and is looking like a revitalized Machine.