May 20, 2018

G47: Red Sox 5, Orioles 0

Orioles  - 000 000 000 - 0 13  0
Red Sox  - 010 040 00x - 5 12  1
The homer-happy Red Sox bashed three dongs for the second consecutive game, with J.D. Martinez clubbing two and Andrew Benintendi, who also went deep last night, hitting one.

The Red Sox have homered in 19 of their last 20 games (38 homers) and have hit 11 in their last five games.

The Orioles had at least one hit in every inning (112 113 121), but Eduardo Rodriguez (5-9-0-0-7, 110) and three relievers kept them off the board. They also stranded at least one man on base in every inning, and had 14 LOB for the afternoon.

The Orioles have had only one other game in their history in which they had 13 hits and failed to score. But that game lasted 15 innings (May 14, 1961), with Baltimore losing 1-0 to Cleveland.

Excluding extra-inning games, since 1908, there have been only 12 instances of a team having 13+ hits and no runs. Of those 12, the losing team was shutout on 14 hits (the Giants on September 14, 1913 and Cleveland on July 10, 1928).

No team has ever had 15 or more hits in a nine-inning game and failed to score. But ... the Red Sox lost 1-0 in 15 innings to the Senators on July 3, 1913 and Washington's Walter Johnson gave up 15 hits. Boston's National League team had 15 hits on August 1, 1918 and lost 2-0 to the Pirates in 21 innings.

Martinez got the party started with a solo shot on David Hess's first pitch of the second inning. Hess (4.2-8-5-2-4, 87) threw another 34 pitches in the frame, but did not allow another run.

The Red Sox batted around in the fifth. Jackie Bradley doubled on an 0-2 pitch and went to third as Mookie Betts flied to right. Benintendi belted his 5th home run and Boston led 3-0. Mitch Moreland doubled and Martinez blasted his second homer of the day. (JDM and Betts lead the majors with 15.) Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt later singled, but they were left on base.

Rodriguez escaped a jam in the third. With one out and runners at first and second, he got Manny Machado topop to third and Jonathan Schoop to ground to third. Rodriguez left the game with the bases loaded in the sixth, but Heath Hembree got the third out as Trey mancini flied to right.

The Red Sox are off on Monday. They start a three-game series in Tampa Bay (who have won six (or seven, depending on today's game) straight games and recently pushed the Blue Jays into fourth place) on Tuesday.
David Hess / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Moreland, 1B
Martinez, DH
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Holt, SS
Vazquez, C
Bradley, CF

I'm still a genius!

NESN Presents Red Sox Superstar "Mooke" Betts

The only conceivable way NESN could sink any lower than it did on Saturday night is if it misspelled "Pedro" or "2004". ... Or "NESN".

Thanks to Jere (fellow member of the NESN Non-Appreciation Society):


That is from last night's postgame show.

It cannot be denied:

May 19, 2018

G46: Red Sox 6, Orioles 3

Orioles  - 001 002 000 - 3  6  1
Red Sox  - 000 130 20x - 6  6  0
Andrew Benintendi drove in three runs, one on a home run in the fifth (when he went back-to-back with Mookie Betts) and two on a one-out single in the seventh to give the Red Sox its margin of victory on a cold, windy, rainy night.

Rick Porcello (6-6-3-3-9, 107) battled to keep the lowly Orioles at bay. Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, and Craig Kimbrel each pitched a perfect inning of relief.

Baltimore led 1-0, but Rafael Devers's opposite-field home run tied the game in the fourth. Here is NESN's replay of that shot, which tells the whole story:


In the fifth, Sandy Leon doubled. One out later, Betts hit his 15th home run and Benintendi followed with his 4th.

The Orioles closed the gap, but in the seventh, Tanner Scott walked both Leon and Jackie Bradley. Betts's fly ball allowed both runners to move up one base and Benintendi brought them both home with a single to center.
Dylan Bundy / Rick Porcello
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
Alex Reimer of WEEI takes a quick look at what J.D. Martinez and Giancarlo Stanton have done this year and concludes (albeit a bit early) that the Red Sox "got the better slugger for potentially $133 million less".
Martinez   .344/.394/.656  OPS: 1.050
Stanton    .255/.344/.516  OPS:  .860
David Schoenfield, ESPN:
[Mookie Betts] went 3-for-4 with a walk, three stolen bases and two runs scored [on Thursday]. He's now hitting .364 and slugging .734, and he's on pace for 48 homers, 59 doubles, 41 stolen bases and 169 runs scored. ... [T]hat's a career for some players.

Earlier in the day, we ran a terrific story from Sam Miller on Mike Trout. The headline: "Mike Trout is on pace for the greatest season in MLB history." Sam does a great job of explaining why that's the case, as Trout's 3.5 WAR through the Angels' first 40 games put him on pace for 14.2 WAR, which would break Babe Ruth's single-season record of 14.1 in 1923. ...

[But] if the AL MVP vote were held today, I think Betts beats out the guy on pace for the greatest season ever. He leads Trout in home runs, runs, RBIs and has a big lead in batting average (.364 to .290) and slugging percentage (.734 to .600) and Betts' slight edge in FanGraphs WAR helps cancel out Trout's lead in Baseball-Reference WAR.
Hey, Buck! Remember May 8? That's the day Dylan Bundy became the first pitcher in the history of the universe to allow four home runs in a game without recording an out?

That's ancient history! The Orioles have a one-game winning streak! You'll be hearing our footsteps soon, Red Sox!

May 18, 2018

G45: Orioles 7, Red Sox 4

Orioles  - 100 400 101 - 7 10  1
Red Sox  - 001 020 010 - 4 13  1
Drew Pomeranz was awful yet again (4-7-5-3-2, 81). The Red Sox battled back in the eighth and, with two outs, trailed 6-4 and had the bases loaded for Mookie Betts, but he popped out to first.

When Pomeranz walked the game's first batter, Trey Mancini, on four pitches, it was a portend of what was to come. In addition to scoring a run in the first and four more in the fourth, the Orioles had runners at second and third with one out in the third, but could not cash in.

Chris Davis opened the fourth with a double and Danny Valencia singled him to third. Pomeranz got two outs, but he walked Mancini. Adam Jones stroked a two-run single to left and an error by Andrew Benintendi put Orioles at second and third. Both runners scored on Manny Machado's single.

The Red Sox closed to within two runs in the fifth. Singles from Eduardo Nunez and Christian Vazquez put runners at first and third with one out. Betts, who had hit his 14th home run in the third, doubled home Nunez. Vazquez scored on Benintendi's single, but that was the end of the rally as Hanley Ramirez grounded into a double play.

Vazquez doubled with one out in the seventh and Benintendi walked with two outs, but Ramirez again ended the inning, this time with a line out to right.

In the eighth, Xander Bogaerts reached on Mancini's two-base error. Reliever Richard Bleier got Rafael Devers to groundout for the second out, but Nunez's doubled in Bogaerts and Brock Holt followed with an infield single. Brad Brach took over, facing pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland, who worked an eight-pitch walk. Betts popped out on Brach's 1-2 pitch.

The Orioles' win snapped a string of 13 consecutive road losses. Baltimore's last victory away from Camden Yards had been on April 8.
Alex Cobb / Drew Pomeranz
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Nunez, 2B
Bradley, CF
Vazquez, C
Cobb started at Fenway Park on April 14 and lasted only 3.2 innings, allowing 10 hits and 8 runs. Boston won 10-3.

After two decent six-inning starts, Pomeranz struggled in his last outing. In four-plus innings against the Blue Jays, he gave up five hits and issued five walks.

J.D. Martinez has reached base by hit or walk in 22 consecutive games (since April 29) , with a .393/.463/.774 line. Martinez has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games, batting .400 and slugging .800.

The Mighty Mookie Betts is hitting .444 (12-for-27) over his last six games. Betts leads the major leagues in runs scored, total bases, batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, Runs Created, and Win Probability Added, and is tied for the lead in hits.

Betts leads his nearest challenger by 73 points in slugging percentage and 93 points in OPS. He is second in doubles, home runs, and on-base percentage (only .003 behind the leader), and is fourth in steals.

Martinez is third in MLB in both average and slugging.

Hey! We have some good players, too! There's Machado and ... umm ... err ... ah, go to hell!

May 17, 2018

G44: Red Sox 6, Orioles 2

Orioles  - 000 000 002 - 2  5  0
Red Sox  - 200 040 00x - 6 10  0
David Price dominated the Orioles (9-5-2-0-8, 95) and for the second straight game, J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Xander Bogaerts added a three-run shot in the middle innings.

On Wednesday, X's dong came in the sixth inning; tonight, it was hit in the fifth. Mookie Betts went 3-for-4, stole three bases, and scored two runs. The Red Sox are the first team to win 30 games - and are again tied for first place with the idle Yankees.

Price was one strike away from a four-hit shutout when he allowed a two-run homer to Manny Machado. Price faced either three or four batters in each of the first eight innings. His economical pitches-by-inning: 11-9-15 11-8-8 9-9-15.

Betts singled in the bottom of the first. He stole second and scored on Martinez's 13th home run of the year.

In addition to scoring four runs in the fifth, the Red Sox stole four bases. Jackie Bradley walked and stole second. He went to third on Betts's single and scored on Andrew Benintendi's sac fly to right. Then Betts stole second and Hanley Ramirez reached on an infield single to third. When Martinez struck out swinging, Betts and Ramirez pulled a double steal. Bogaerts then blasted a 3-1 pitch to left for three runs.
Kevin Gausman / David Price
Betts, RF
Benintendi, LF
Ramirez, 1B
Martinez, DH
Bogaerts, SS
Devers, 3B
Holt, 2B
Leon, C
Bradley, CF
The postponement of the Red Sox's Patriots Day game against the Orioles on April 16 is being made up today -- but not at 11 AM.

The Orioles opened the season 8-27, but have won five of their last seven games. ... They are still a shitty team, of course. They have lost 12 straight road games since April 8 and are 3-16 away from Camden Yards. That .158 winning percentage works out to only 26 wins over an entire season!

Hey! I've heard more than enough of your shit, Mr. Blogger!

Brandon Belt Accuses Umpire Doug Eddings Of Making An Incorrect Call To "Get The Game Over With", Something Eddings Has Joked About Several Times In The Past

Brandon Belt of the Giants accused plate umpire Doug Eddings of calling a game-ending third strike on a pitch off the plate to "get the game over with".

The Giants trailed the Reds 6-3 in the bottom of the ninth on Wednesday night as Belt batted with a runner on second and two outs. Reds closer Raisel Iglesias's full-count pitch was clearly outside the strike zone and Eddings called a third strike. (A correct call would have sent Belt to first base and brought up Evan Longoria - who was 3-for-4 - as the potential tying run.) The game lasted 2:41.

Pitch #7:


Belt:
I think 99.9 percent of the umpires are great ... But there's just some times when you have a feeling that one or two of 'em are trying to get the game over with, whether it's through what they say or what they do. And that just can't happen; you can't have those guys affecting careers and affecting games like that. ... We had a really good hitter coming up after that who could've tied the game for us. And we never got that chance, because he calls a ball that's so far off the plate, I don't even think I could've touched it if I swung it.


Belt added that Eddings has said in the past that he tries to get through games quickly.
It's tough because you hope that an umpire doesn't affect a game like that but he did, and you're not sure if it's on purpose, either. I've heard that guy multiple times say or insinuate that he's trying to get through the game fast. And then he makes calls like that that I can't imagine that he really thought was a strike. You've got to wonder.
Crew chief Joe West, who was umpiring third base, declined to respond: "I don't comment on postgame comments and things said in anger."

Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic noted that since Eddings, a 20-year veteran, blew a dropped-third-strike call in the 2005 ALCS, he had not worked another postseason series.

Belt's accusation comes roughly two weeks after Todd Frazier of the Mets voiced his concerns about numerous blown calls in every game and MLB's apparent apathy towards the situation.

Is having plate umpires call strikes on pitches near the plate but out of the strike zone part of Commissioner Rob Manfred's agenda to speed up games?

May 16, 2018

G43: Red Sox 6, Athletics 4

Athletics - 000 020 101 - 4  5  1
Red Sox   - 300 003 00x - 6  9  0
J.D. Martinez's two-run homer highlighted a three-run first inning and Xander Bogaerts's three-run dong opened up a close game in the sixth.

Chris Sale (5-2-2-4-9, 102) walked four - the most in any of his 42 Boston starts. He worked fast, but his innings were not quick: he threw at least 22 pitches in three of his five innings: 22-16-18 24-22.

Oakland hoped to sweep a three-game series at Fenway Park for the first time since September 1990, but Trevor Cahill (5-5-3-1-1, 88) made that unlikely as Boston led 3-0 after four batters. Mookie Betts singled to left and took second on a fielding error by Chad Pinder and Andrew Benintendi singled to right. Hanley Ramirez grounded out, scoring Betts. Then Martinez hit his two-run homer to deep center. (He has reached base in 21 straight games, a career high.)

Cahill settled down right after that. After Benintendi singled to start the third, the A's starter retired the next nine batters. Cahill got only one out in the air in his five innings, and 11 outs on the ground.

Sale gave up a single to Marcus Semien on his first pitch of the game, but did not allow another hit until Semien pounded a two-run homer to left in the fifth. That closed the score to 3-2.

Ramirez singled to center off Ryan Dull in the fifth. Martinez walked and Bogaerts crushed a 1-1 pitch over everything in left. Boston's 3-2 lead ballooned to 6-3. Dull also gave up singles to Eduardo Nunez and Christian Vazquez, but escaped when Stephen Piscotty caught Betts's fly down the right field line and tumbled into the stands. Even with Red Sox fans in the area applauding the catch, manager Alex Cora challenged the inning-ending out - and it was upheld.

Oakland got two solo home runs - Matt Joyce off Heath Hembree in the seventh and Matt Olson off Craig Kimbrel in the ninth - but they were nothing to cause a Red Sox fan to worry.

The Red Sox are 12-12 since their torrid 17-2 start. They are 0.5 GB the Yankees, who had their game today in Washington postponed.

Tomorrow had been a scheduled off-day, but the Red Sox and Orioles will make up a postponed game from April 16. Boston and Baltimore will play a four-game series. After a 8-27 start, the Orioles have won five of their last seven games.
Trevor Cahill / Chris Sale
Betts, RF
Benintendi, CF
Ramirez, DH
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Last Friday in Toronto, Chris Sale became the third pitcher in Red Sox history to have a start with no walks and at least 15 strikeouts:
Roger Clemens     August 21, 1984       0/15   vs Royals
Roger Clemens     April 29, 1986        0/20   vs Mariners
Roger Clemens     September 18, 1996    0/20   vs Tigers 
Pedro Martinez    May 7, 1999           0/15   vs Angels
Pedro Martinez    September 10, 1999    0/17   vs Yankees 
Pedro Martinez    May 12, 2000          0/15   vs Orioles
Pedro Martinez    July 23, 2000         0/15   vs White Sox
Chris Sale        May 11, 2018          0/15   vs Blue Jays
Sale's game is the only one on that list that the Red Sox lost.

Also: It was only the second 15+K game by a Red Sox pitcher since April 2001, when Pedro did it last. Jon Lester struck out 15 on May 3, 2014.

Here is a list of the 15+K games by Red Sox pitchers since 1908. There have been 21, with 16 of them from either Pedro (10) and Fat Billy (6).

Brian Cashman Suspected Robinson Cano Used PEDs As A Yankee

Whaddaya know ... Robbie Cano!
Mike Mazzeo, Daily News:
Brian Cashman says he didn't have any knowledge that Robinson Cano was doping during his days as a Yankee.

But the GM did seem to suggest that he had his suspicions.

"I would have no knowledge, and if I did have knowledge I would be compelled to tell baseball about it or I'd risk a million dollar or more fine. ... [P]art of Major League Baseball's initiatives is if I have any knowledge of anybody past or present I'm obligated to convey that knowledge to Major League Baseball, and I take that seriously. And so knowledge is one thing, suspicion is another."

Later when asked to clarify what he meant by "suspicion," Cashman walked back his stance a bit, saying he was speaking in generalities.

"I never suggested I had suspicions of Cano," he said. ...

Adding to the suspicion is Cano's two best Bronx buddies, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, who both served doping suspensions.

Cano was banned for using Furosemide, a diuretic that is often used to mask PED use.
Joel Sherman, Post:
[T]he Yankees offered many explanations for why they never went all-out to retain Robinson Cano as a free agent following 2013 ...

But one reason — the one not broadcast — was that Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez already had been suspended for their association with illegal performance-enhancing drugs. And those were Cano's best friends on the Yankees. And while no one can be found guilty by association, the Yanks were apprehensive enough about the tightness of that group to wonder if Cano would ever be the next domino to fall.

He now is. ...

Cano said [Furosemide] was given to him by a licensed doctor in his native Dominican Republic for "a medical ailment" that he does not specify. ...

Cano never disputed taking the substance or that the substance is banned, only why it was in his body, and neither the Independent Program Administrator nor MLB believed his story.
John Harper, Daily News:
Fair or not, it always felt like merely a matter of time before Robinson Cano wound up getting busted for PED use — and likely costing himself future election to the Hall of Fame.

His close friend, Melky Cabrera, and his mentor, Alex Rodriguez, each served suspensions in years past for PED use, and the name of a spokeswoman for his charity foundation, Sonia Cruz, showed up on infamous list of Biogenesis Clinic clients list back in 2013.

None of that meant Cano should have been judged guilty by association, but it was hard not to think those connections were relevant. ...

There was always some thought the Yankees had such concerns as well ... GM Brian Cashman all but confirmed those concerns ... before the Yankees-Nationals game in Washington, D.C. ...
Cano actually failed the test in spring training ...

So when his 80-game suspension was announced it was no surprise that Cano was ready with a dog-ate-my-homework story about how this was the fault of some unknown doctor in the Dominican Republic who prescribed furosemide as medication for an unknown ailment.

As if a player making huge money wouldn't consult with his team's medical people and/or his high-powered agents about using furosemide, which is ... listed as a PED in MLB's joint drug agreement.

Please, Robbie, we know too much by now.

May 15, 2018

G42: Athletics 5, Red Sox 3

Athletics - 210 000 020 - 5  9  1
Red Sox   - 000 110 001 - 3 10  1
When tonight's game wasn't frustrating, it was annoying. First, the game began at 8:52, after a rain delay of 102 minutes. Oakland jumped ahead 3-0 and for the rest of the game, the Red Sox either did nothing or not enough. In the bottom of the ninth, Boston had the potential tying run at the plate three times. One run scored on a groundout, which didn't even qualify as a major league tease.

Once the game finally began - even though it was still raining - Eduardo Rodriguez (5-6-3-0-4, 98) threw three pitches and Oakland had men at first and second. Rodriguez got two outs, but Mike Chapman lined a ball to right. Mookie Betts appeared to be playing too shallow and as he went back and tried making a leaping bare-handed grab, the ball sailed over his glove for a two-run triple.

Stephen Piscotty homered on an 0-2 pitch in the second and the Red Sox trailed by three runs. (It was the third home run the Red Sox have allowed this year on an 0-2 pitch.)

Before that dong, however, the Red Sox ran into yet another bone-headed out on the bases. Andrew Benintendi and J.D. Martinez had singled in the bottom of the first and Xander Bogaerts, batting with two outs, grounded a ball to third. Benintendi had run to third on contact and even though Oakland third baseman Chapman had not thrown the ball to first, Benintendi rounded the bag. He was promptly caught in a rundown and easily tagged out, 5-2-6, ending the inning.

Benintendi has stolen seven bases in seven attempts this year, so he clearly has some speed, but his baserunning instincts must be the worst of anyone on the team. Also, what the fuck was our third base coach Carlos Febles doing while this potential rally fizzled out to nothing? Maybe he was sending a text or something.

Mitch Moreland doubled to start the second and stayed anchored to the bag while the next three batters were retired. Martinez reached on an infield error in the fourth. He went to third on Bogaerts's single and scored on Moreland's fielder's choice.

Benintnedi homered with two outs in the fifth, cutting Oakland's lead to one run. Hanley Ramirez followed with a single, but Martinez flied to right. Moreland doubled again in the sixth, this time with one out, but he was stranded there yet again. Benintendi doubled against Lou Trivino with two down in the seventh, but Ramirez popped to first.

Oakland scored two runs against Steven Wright in the eighth. With one out, Khris Davis and Chapman singled. Bobby Poyner came in and gave up a two-run double to Mark Canha.

In the ninth, facing Blake Treinen, Devers struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. Brock Holt pinch-hit for Christian Vazquez and doubled to left-center. Betts grounded to third and Devers scored. Benintendi flied to left. Ramirez got ahead in the count 3-1 and it seemed like he might walk and bring Martinez to the plate as the potential winning run. But that did not happen. Ramirez fouled off one pitch and then grounded out to shortstop.

The Yankees/Nationals game was suspended in the middle of the sixth with the score 3-3. The Red Sox are now 1 GB in the East.
Daniel Mengden / Eduardo Rodriguez
Betts, RF
Benintendi, CF
Ramirez, DH
Martinez, LF
Bogaerts, SS
Moreland, 1B
Nunez, 2B
Devers, 3B
Vazquez, C
Carson Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder subluxation. Lefty Bobby Poyner has been recalled from Pawtucket. Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic tweeted that Smith injured himself "after coming out of the game in [Boston] yesterday when he threw his glove in anger in the dugout". President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said Smith's injury was potentially significant and surgery could be necessary.

Robinson Cano of the Mariners has been suspended 80 games (effective immediately, without pay) after testing positive for Furosemide, in violation of MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. ... I wish this had happened when he was with New York.

Since the mound was moved in 1893 to its current distance from home plate, here are the only three pitchers with multiple games of 11+ strikeouts within the first six games of their careers:
Karl Spooner (1954)    15 in first start and 12 in second start (only two games of 1954)
Kerry Wood (1998)      20 in fifth start and 13 in sixth start
Shohei Ohtani (2018)   12 in second start and 11 in sixth start

Best Way To Increase Pace Of Game? Enforce Rules That Already Exist.

Travis Sawchik, FanGraphs, May 11, 2018:
To really address pace, you need something new, like a pitch clock or the better enforcement of rule Rule 6.02 (c), which states "if the batter refuses to take his position in the batter's box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter."

For this author, it is the batters strolling outside the box to take their practice cuts and readjust equipment — seemingly out of ritual rather than necessity — that has played a larger role in the slowing down between pitches than the pitchers holding the ball.

For example, back in 2014 as a newspaperman, I placed a stopwatch on every batter who stepped out of the box with both feet during a Pirates-Cardinals game at PNC Park. What I found is that it was indeed the batters — not so much the pitchers — who are playing a significant role in slowing down the action. (my emphasis)
What happened 190 times that evening was a batter left the batter's box after a pitch.

The Tribune-Review used a stopwatch on every batter that game. After the beginning of an at-bat, each time a batter left the batter's box with both feet, the clock began. When the batter returned to the box, the clock stopped. Pirates and Cardinals hitters spent a combined 39 minutes, 51 seconds outside the batter's box. The average stroll outside the box took 12.58 seconds.
In 2015, baseball elected to better enforce the rule and attached fines to batters who fled the box when no foul ball, swing-and-miss, or ball in the dirt occurred. Guess what happened. Behavior changed! ...

Fines were eliminated in the middle of the 2015 season, and by 2016 everyone was back to their sluggish ways. ...

The only way to ensure a quicker game is to enforce the rules as is, or to remove all doubt by putting a clock on the only major professional North American team sport without one.
Some comments:
kenai kings
The batters continued 'stepping out' is the most obvious and I believe easiest area to address. Why the umpires seem unwilling to enforce the rule is beyond me.

Deadheadbrewer
I've always been curious as to whether batters are hurting their chances by stepping out. If they froze in the position where they just saw the release point, tunnel, and spin, wouldn't they want to hold everything right there, so as to better recognize the next pitch? To me, moving every part of your body and taking a big long look around the stadium might be detrimental to honing in on the next pitch.

david k
I was watching the Yankees/A's game on Sunday, and the A's pitcher and catcher were having a lot of trouble working out the signs, particularly with a runner on second. They went through the signs several times, and a couple of times, the batter got annoyed and stepped out and called time. Maybe if they had a mound visit, they could have actually worked this out FASTER, but they didn't want to waste a mound visit, so this long exchange ensued.

Luy
To me, MLB seems more interested in conveying that they are trying to fix pace than they are interested in fixing pace. ... [T]his year they added the 6 mound visits (not counting pitching changes) rule ... But...were many teams going to the mound more than 6 times a game not including pitching changes?

Pedroia Feels Great After Playing Five Innings With Pawtucket

Dustin Pedroia played five innings for Pawtucket last night, going 1-for-3 and fielding his only chance at second base. He had cartilage restoration surgery on his left knee last October.
It went good. I'm pretty happy about it. ... I hit three balls on the barrel, so I'm happy with that. Obviously, I've got to get some more at-bats to lock in, but everything went great. ... After I got out there in the first inning, I didn't think about my knee one time, so that's when you know you're good. ... I can definitely drive the ball, rotate and put something behind it. That's why I'm excited about getting some at-bats [in a real game].
Pedroia batted third and flied to right in the first. He led off the fourth with a single and later scored and grounded out to second in the fifth.

After playing tonight, Pedroia will take a couple of days off. He has said he hopes he can return to the Red Sox on May 25, a week from this Friday.