August 31, 2021

Pedro Would Sometimes Change Grips Mid-Delivery With Runner On Second

Last Thursday, Pedro Martinez revealed one of his methods of deception when an opposing runner was on second base – he would change grips mid-delivery.

The rest of the MLB Network Showcase broadcasting team appeared extremely doubtful, so Pedro got out of his chair and showed them exactly how he would switch from a fastball grip (which the runner might have signaled to the batter after seeing the catcher's sign) to a changeup grip in the short time (maybe one second, tops?) between pulling the ball out of his glove and firing it towards the plate.

Fastball. Fastball. Boom. Changeup. You dead meat.

So he'd switch, in a split-second, while in his delivery, from mid-to-upper-90s heat to the best changeup in the game.

Fuckin' Pedro, man!

August 28, 2021

After Weekend, Red Sox Play 6 Games Against Rays In 10 Days, Can Solidify Postseason Chances

The Red Sox (74-56) are 7 GB the Rays (80-48) in the AL East, but they are 3.5 GA in the Wild Card Race. If the season ended last night, Boston would be playing at the Yankees (76-52) in the winner-take-all WC Game. 

B-Ref currently gives the Red Sox a 73% chance to make the postseason, though only a 1.4% chance at winning the division.

Boston has won five of its last seven games, but has actually fallen one game further out of first in that time because Tampa Bay has won nine of its last 10.

After this weekend's series with the Spider-Guardians, Boston will play Tampa Bay six times over a 10-day stretch: four games (August 30-September 2) in Florida* and three at Fenway (September 6-8). A strong showing against the Rays would go an awfully long way towards solidifying a postseason berth. Tampa Bay has won seven of the last nine games against the two teams.

The Red Sox also have three games against the AL Central-leading White Sox (September 10-12) and three more against the Yankees (September 17-19). They also play the Orioles six more times and finish the season with three games against the Nationals, who are currently 17 games under .500.

* More Floridians are contracting COVID-19, being hospitalized, and dying than at any previous point in the pandemic, while the governor works overtime to ban all vaccine and mask mandates and sell drink cozies and T-shirts with phrases like "Don't Fauci my Florida" and "How the hell am I going to be able to drink a beer with a mask on?", in the apparent belief that causing the deaths of as many children as possible will boost his 2024 presidential aspirations. (Kids don't vote, you see.) Perhaps he should try hawking them in funeral homes and cemeteries.

Joshua Sharfstein, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health: "We should behave like Delta is more severe. I think we need to take it very seriously." Michael Osterholm, director at the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: "We're seeing many, many more children that are going right to ventilators."

Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming are also experiencing their highest surges in hospitalizations since the pandemic began; across the country, hospitalizations of people under age 50 are at their highest levels. The seven-day average for all new cases is roughly 142,000 per day (more than 100% higher than one month ago). 

In Georgia, 900 students in the Bulloch County School District (out of only 11,000) tested positive in the first three weeks of school. While many schools in the state have shut down, superintendent Charles Wilson has refused to institute even a mask mandate, despite persistent demands from teachers and many parents. He did, however, announce that students (well, the ones not in the hospital) would be able to "enjoy the liberty of wearing jeans for the next month". COVID cases in Georgia have tripled since the start of the school year and the average number of new daily cases among children ages 5-17 has quadrupled.

Dr. Charles Preston, a Louisiana coroner, calls the Delta variant "a very highly contagious and aggressive beast of a virus. . . . I just don't get why it's such a big deal to wear a mask. It really doesn't make any sense to me at all."

August 27, 2021

"One Of The Errors Of Old-Time Ball-Playing Was That Of Attributing Every Defeat And Every Victory To . . . The Pitchers Of The Nines." (1869)

Some followers of baseball way back in 1869 knew enough to realize that pitcher wins and losses were bullshit. So why has this erroneous habit of attributing victories and defeats to pitchers remained in vogue for an additional 152 years despite the continued improvement in ways of estimating pitching performance?

One of the errors of old-time ball-playing was that of attributing every defeat and every victory to the lack of skill, or an excess of it in the pitchers of the nines. It was never then considered that so long as chances for putting players out were offered off the pitching that the pitcher did his duty, and also that is was only when he was badly punished, that is, when the batsmen made bases off his pitching by clean hits easily, that he could be justly charged with the loss of a game. We have noticed that the erroneous estimate of a pitcher's skill which charges him with the results of bad support in the field, and which credits him with the results of skillful fielding or poor batting, is still in vogue among certain classes of the fraternity, although the condition of things as regards an estimate of good and bad pitching is being improved each season.

New York Sunday Mercury, September 19, 1869 (my emphasis)

Plus, they were pro-shift!

[from Answers to Correspondents] Will you inform me . . .whether a short-stop should change his position when a left-handed striker goes to the bat; and should the second-base man take the position he has vacated?

{Short stop should go to right-short, and second-base man between second base and short-stop's position.}

New York Sunday Mercury, November 21, 1869 (my emphasis)

August 20, 2021

Julio Rodriguez Destroys "An Eephus That Only Vaguely Even Eephs"

This Is What Happens When One Of Baseball’s Best Prospects Is Served A Meatball By A Position Player
David Roth, Defector, August 20, 2021

Julio Rodriguez is one of the very best prospects in baseball, and has been since he arrived in the United States as an 18-year-old in 2019. He spent most of this season absolutely beating the pants off opposing pitching at High-A, a league in which he was nearly three years younger than the average player. When it became clear that he was too good for that level the Mariners promoted him, and Rodriguez has since been only slightly less rude to pitchers at Double-A Arkansas, in a league he is just a shade more than four years younger than the competition on balance. In August, he suited up for the Dominican Republic's bronze medal-winning Olympic team and put up a .417/.625/.444 batting line in a lineup full of recent big leaguers and against players of similar caliber. He is really good . . .

Anyway, here is what happened when Isaias Quiroz, a 24-year-old backup catcher for the Frisco RoughRiders, threw Rodriguez an absolute cement-mixer of a pseudo-eephus during the seventh and final inning of the second game of a Double-A doubleheader that the Travelers were in the process of sweeping on Thursday night. . . .

The angle at which the baseball leaves the frame makes me laugh every single time.

After Bauer Argues Any Woman Who Agrees To Have Sex With Him Assumes The Risk Of Being Assaulted While Unconscious, MLB Must Make A Decision Re Suspension

The ex-parte temporary restraining order in California against Trevor Bauer has been denied. Craig Calcaterra writes that the decision of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman is not unreasonable, but he calls some of her statements from the bench "wildly off-base and possibly even dangerous".

He references this ESPN article, which reports the judge stated the woman's injuries were not the result of anything to which she verbally objected. Her "injuries as shown in the photographs are terrible", Gould-Saltman stated, but: "If she set limits and he exceeded them, this case would've been clear. But she set limits without considering all the consequences, and respondent did not exceed limits that the petitioner set."

Calcaterra states that the judge appears to be saying that you can do anything you want to an unconscious person as long as the person doesn't explicitly forbid you from doing that specific act beforehand.

The accuser testified under oath that Bauer struck her and sodomized her while she was unconscious. She testified that she did not consent to that. Indeed, being punched and sodomized while unconscious was never even discussed. Bauer presented no evidence to contradict that. In arguments, his lawyers admitted that that's what happened but claimed, with no evidentiary backing and in the face of her testimony to the contrary, that she asked for it. Like, they actually said that. That she wanted to be punched and sodomized while unconscious.

Apart from that being patently ridiculous and against the only evidence adduced at trial, I know of no legal theory whatsoever that allows for someone to punch and sodomize an unconscious person. . . . (my emphasis)

In addition to being both legally and logically wrong, the judge's statement will do two things, according to Calcaterra:

(a) provide the basis for Trevor Bauer's fanboys out there to erroneously claim that there was legal vindication or "proof of innocence" or what have you, which will be obnoxious; and (b) to deter women from coming forward in sexual assault cases by virtue of her giving voice to an unreasonably high and counterfactual legal standard. Both of those things are plenty bad. (my emphasis)

Calcaterra believes it is now much less likely that Bauer will face any criminal charges after the DA has seen:

what potential jurors will take from a week's worth of slut-shaming . . . and the judge's unnecessary and irresponsible statement about consent . . . [T]the old playbook of defending sexual assault allegations by painting women as promiscuous, money-grubbing liars who, actually, want to be brutalized was given a hearty endorsement by Trevor Bauer, his high-priced legal team and, inexplicably, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Dianna Gould-Saltman.

Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy does not require an arrest, criminal charges, a criminal conviction, or a finding beyond a reasonable doubt.Here's how "sexual assault" part of the policy is defined, with key emphasis added:

Sexual assault refers to a range of behaviors, including a completed nonconsensual sex act, an attempted nonconsensual sex act, and/or nonconsensual sexual contact. Lack of consent is inferred when a person uses force, harassment, threat of force, threat of adverse personnel or disciplinary action, or other coercion, or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated, unconscious or legally incapable of consent.

If the Commissioner's office concludes Bauer did anything sexually to the woman while she was unconscious, Bauer is guilty of sexual assault under the MLB policy and must be suspended. During the recently-concluded hearing, the woman testified under oath that before she was rendered unconscious, she had not consented to being either choked until unconscious, beaten or sodomized. Bauer then proceeded to choke her until she was unconscious, beat and sodomize her.


Bauer presented no evidence to contradict those assertions. Indeed, Bauer took the Fifth and Bauer's attorney conceded in argument during the hearing that Bauer choked his accuser until she was unconscious and was violent towards her while she was unconscious. . . . There was no apparent impeachment of her credibility as it related to what occurred between the two of them at Bauer's home.

I do not know how Major League Baseball, taking all of that into account — and taking the recently-revealed allegations against Bauer arising out of his behavior in a similar case in Ohiocannot issue a lengthy suspension of Bauer immediately. If it does not, Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy is, essentially, a dead letter because, if you do not punish what Bauer has done, what can you punish? (my emphasis)

Sheryl Ring of Beyond the Box Score also offered exemplary coverage (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3):

The court's ruling was not - contrary to what Bauer's attorneys would have you believe - an exoneration of Bauer. Quite the contrary; in her closing argument on Thursday, [one of Bauer's lawyers, Shawn] Holley reiterated that Bauer had, in fact, assaulted the petitioner. . . .

Bauer also admitted to punching the petitioner whilst she was unconscious on a recorded telephone call. . . .

I also believe the judge made a couple of errors here. Right after saying at the beginning of her ruling that future harm was not necessary to the issuance of a restraining order, she talked about how there was no need for a restraining order because there was no risk of future harm. . .  .

[T]his case isn't the ringing victory Bauer' legal team would have you believe. First, a court basically just ruled that Trevor Bauer is so dangerous that any woman who sleeps with him can reasonably be expected to get physically injured. Moreover, from the evidence adduced at trial in Bauer's own words and from the mouth of Bauer's lawyer, Bauer punched an unconscious woman and choked a woman until she was unconscious, because she didn't say no. Coming on the heels of the Washington Post report that Bauer threatened to kill a woman in Ohio, this is damning - not exculpatory - evidence for a violent proclivity towards women. That Bauer's attorney attempted to say that he was only violent during sex is not a defense.

Trevor Bauer is still facing potential criminal charges in two states, California and Ohio. . . .

The testimony adduced at this hearing is likely enough to void Bauer's contract for a couple of reasons.  . . .

I think the Dodgers would have a much stronger case [Ring cites the Rockies' attempt to void Denny Neagle's contract in 2004 after he was criminally charged for solicitation of a sex worker]. For one thing, the allegations against Bauer are much more serious, including multiple instances of similar conduct and courtroom admissions and evidence. . . .

Right now, what MLB has to decide is whether they want a pitcher who was just deemed so dangerous that a woman who is with him assumes a risk of injury. Although Bauer invoked the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, the league can (and should) draw an adverse inference from his conduct. In other words, there is more than sufficient evidence that Bauer engaged in conduct that violated both the Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy. . . . When Holley said that Bauer choked petitioner until she was unconscious, she necessarily conceded a violation of the MLB policy.

So what will MLB do? This is, by far, the most serious case yet for MLB of an alleged violator, and it's not close. No other person was accused of multiple violations against multiple victims. No other case, except for disgraced Pittsburgh left-hander Felipe Vazquez, had this much court evidence. No other alleged violator so dramatically attacked their accusers in the press, either. . . . Notably, in none of the other domestic violence cases were multiple orders of protection sought by multiple people against the same player.

Based on those precedents, a two-year suspension issued by MLB would essentially wipe out the remainder of Bauer's Dodgers contract and almost certainly be upheld on appeal. . . .  I think a two-year suspension is the most likely outcome, which would be the longest player suspension ever under the domestic violence policy. . . .

[Bauer was able to get the restraining order denied] by arguing that he is so dangerous that a woman who agrees to have sex with him assumes the risk of being harmed when doing so. . . .  [But] he won't be seeing a mound for a long time to come. (my emphasis)

Calcaterra also called out the atrocious coverage of the hearing by the Los Angeles Times:

The coverage has fronted salacious "storyline" things that are legally irrelevant, such as the accuser's past sexual partners and has given breathless style-over-substance play-by-play of Bauer's attorneys' cross-examinations, and has failed to provide legal context to the point of misrepresentation. It has covered the hearing like a sporting event, not like the serious legal proceeding that it is.

We saw this on Tuesday when, at the outset of the cross examination of Bauer's accuser, the reporter on site for the Times, Steve Henson, tweeted "here we go" as if it were the kickoff for a Rams playoff game. There was drama-creating scene-setting about who was wearing what in the courtroom that came off like a description of what color sweaters the Kings were wearing against the Sharks. Yesterday he tweeted about "every crumb of the social media trail" of the accuser, which implies a hidden, secret plan waiting to be discovered as opposed to facts simply being deduced. Throughout Tuesday and Wednesday Henson transcribed testimony yet did not explain the testimony's relevance. Meanwhile he left out the concession on the part of Bauer's attorney on Tuesday that Bauer hit her and anally penetrated her while she was unconscious. As mentioned above, much of that cross-examination Henson transcribed was legally irrelevant here and was aimed at casting aspersions on the accuser. By simply giving it a megaphone, Henson's reportage aided Bauer's attorneys in that regard and simultaneously provided an object lesson about why victims of sexual violence are loathe to come forward and seek justice. (my emphasis)

Trevor Bauer's attorneys cross-examined his accuser during Day Two and made a big deal about her admission that she had sexual relationships with two other major league players in 2019 and 2020. Besides the odiousness of portraying a 27-year-old single woman as promiscuous (and therefore apparently deserving of being beaten) for dating three men over the course of three years, Calcaterra thinks it's a pretty bonehead defense that would likely have the opposite intended effect.

Bauer's case is pretty clearly one in which he wants to portray himself as being targeted with false accusations because he's a rich baseball player. In light of that, why on Earth would you present evidence about all of the other rich ballplayers with whom the accuser had a relationship but who were not accused of doing anything wrong? It's almost as if, you know, that sort of undercuts your entire defense and establishes that Bauer is the outlier and that, no matter who the accuser chooses to spend time with, she is not the sort of person who seeks out ballplayers to victimize with false accusations. . . .

The bigger question is why the judge even allowed the testimony of her past relationships in the first place. . . . [J]udges will often give the side they intend to rule against in a hearing or bench trial tremendous leeway to make their case so that when they are ruled against they have very little basis for appeal. So they can't say they were barred from making their defense, presenting evidence or what have you. . . .

To the extent Bauer's attorney cross-examined the accuser about the assaults in question, she focused on the fact that Bauer stopped hitting the accuser when she regained consciousness. Which is likewise not good for Bauer, I don't think, as it's super illegal to punch an unconscious person no matter how nice you start being when they regain consciousness. Either way, the matter of consent cannot, literally or legally, enter into the calculus when the person tasked with giving consent is knocked out cold. . . .

I'm not at the hearing. . . . I'm relying on what reporters who are there seem to believe is significant enough to mention in tweets and stories. . . . But based on those highlights, it strikes me that Bauer's attorneys would really prefer to talk about anything other than the fact that their client beat up a woman, which is a problem given that the fact Bauer beat up a woman is what this hearing is all about. (my emphasis)

Linescores: 1888, Picket Fences, Binary Digits, & The Ramones

August 18, 2021

Cleveland - 111 110 002 00 - 7  7  2
Twins     - 100 150 000 01 - 8 10  2

Doug Kern reports that it had been 18 years since Cleveland had scored exactly one run in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings of a game. Someone else tweeted that Cleveland had done it on September 14, 1906 and August 1, 1991. (Since 2021 minus 18 is not 1991, there must also be other games.)

September 14, 1906 (G2)

Tigers    - 000 000 000 - 0  2  1
Cleveland - 111 110 10x - 6 12  2

Cleveland - 111 100 000 - 5  8  1
Blue Jays - 300 002 20x - 7 10  1

The last time it had happened in MLB was on April 28, 2018, when the Red Sox did it against the Rays.

April 28, 2018

Rays    – 022 011 114 – 12 18  1
Red Sox – 111 110 001 -  6 12  1

By chance I had been looking at box scores from 1888 on Wednesday evening and had found several instances of a "picket fence" linescore, including three games in two days

May 23, 1888, Central League

Binghamton  - 000 000 000 - 0  4 13
Jersey City - 111 110 10x - 6  5  2

May 24, 1888, National League

Detroit - 210 000 100 - 4  7  0
Chicago - 111 110 03x - 8 12  4

May 24, 1888, New England League

Worcester - 200 000 002 - 4  4 11
Salem     - 111 110 20x - 7  8  8

May 30, 1888, National League

Detroit      - 111 110 100 - 6 15  1
Philadelphia - 000 100 001 - 2  8  6
[8 runs scored in a binary linescore (1s and 0s)]


May 14, 1888, Inter-State League

Bloomington - 100 011 000 - 3  8 10
Decatur     - 100 111 10x - 5  5  4
[Also an 8-run binary linescore]

June 8, 1888, International Association

Troy     - 111 001 305 - 12 12  5
Hamilton - 111 200 400 -  9 12 16

May 23, 1888, Tri-State League

Jackson  - 303 111 012 - 12 16  4
Wheeling - 111 011 003 -  8 11  5
[Nine single-run half-innings]

May 7, 1888, Central League 

Newark - 012 123 400 - 13 14  5
Elmire - 200 001 100 -  4  6 13

[A linescore with "1234" is (of course) known as a Ramones linescore. This game has the full count-in: "Oh, 1-2, 1-2-3-4!"]

* * *

Jorge Polanco: First batter in Minnesota Twins history (since 1961) to have three walkoff anythings within four days of each other. Prior to Polanco, the Twins record was held by Joe Nossek . . . who took 37 days to collect three walkoffs in 1965: June 25, June 27, July 31.

Rays  - 000 012 100 - 4  7  1
Twins - 200 200 001 - 5  4  1
[Polanco: Sac Fly to RF scores winning run]

Cleveland - 020 011 000 0 - 4  8  1
Twins     - 101 101 000 1 - 5 14  4
[Polanco: Double to RF scores winning run]

Cleveland - 111 110 002 00 - 7  7  2
Twins     - 100 150 000 01 - 8 10  2
[Polanco: Single to RF scores winning run]

David Ortiz had three walkoff hits in an 11-day span in the 2004 postseason: October 8, 17, and 18.

August 19, 2021

Orioles Are Third Team To Have Two 14+-Game Losing Streaks In Same Season

On Wednesday night, the Baltimore Orioles lost their fourteenth consecutive game, for the second time this season. They are one of only three major league teams to have two losing streaks of 14 games or more in the same season. The 1911 and 1935 Boston (NL) are the others; the team used the nickname "Rustlers" in 1911.

In the first 14 games of their recent losing streak (which was extended to 15 on Thursday night), the Orioles were outscored by 91 runs (40-131), the worst run differential in any 14-game span by any major league team since 1901.

                         REC   RS   RA  RUN DIFF

1911 Rustlers (44-107-5, .291)

May 9-24:                0-14  66  109     - 43
July 17-August 1:        0-16  46  129     - 83

1935 Boston  (38-115, .248)

July 6(G2)-21            0-15  41  119     - 78
August 28(G2)-Sept. 13:  0-14  32   92     - 60

2021 Orioles (38-82, .317)

May 18-31:               0-14  48   93     - 45
August 3-19:             0-15  42  138     - 96

The 1935 Boston team went 2-28 (.067) from August 18 to September 21!

I thought I would check out the good old 1899 Cleveland Spiders, who finished 20-134 (.130), a whopping 84 games out of first place! They had three losing streaks of at least 14 games

July 1(G2)-15:                0-14
August 26-September 16:       0-24
September 18(G2)-October 15:  0-16

There was only one win between those last two streaks (the first game on September 18), so the Spiders finished the season by losing 40 of their last 41 games (.024). Going back a bit further, after winning the first game of an August 6 doubleheader, the Spiders went 3-55 (.095) the rest of the way.


August 18, 2021

Jack Morris Suspended As Tigers Broadcaster For Affecting An Asian Accent During A Shohei Ohtani At-Bat (He Later Offers A Pathetic Non-Apology Apology While Calling Ohtani "Jose")

Bally Sports Detroit has suspended broadcast analyst (and Hall of Fame pitcher) Jack Morris indefinitely after he affected an Asian accent during a Shohei Ohtani at-bat on Tuesday night.

The network stated it was "extremely disappointed" and said Morris would begin "bias training". The Tigers supported the decision, stating that it takes "immense pride in honoring the diverse cultures that make up our players, coaching staff, front office, fan base and community. . . . We fully support Bally Sports Detroit's . . . on-going commitment to ensure that all personnel are held to the highest standards of personal conduct."

The next time Ohtani came to the plate, Morris tried apologizing for his earlier remarks - and completely failed.
Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming to the plate and it's been brought to my attention, and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Jose -- err, Shohei Ohtani. I did not intend for any offensive thing and I apologize if I did. I certainly respect and have the utmost respect for this guy and don't blame a pitcher for walking him. (my emphasis)

So much wrong with this statement.

1. "Brought to my attention". Morris admits he had no clue that using a mock Asian accent when talking about an Asian player was wrong (or, at the very least, wholly unprofessional and puerile). Jack Morris is 66 years old.

1. Not an apology. Morris offers an apology IF anyone was offended, meaning the problem of offense rests with the listener. He does not believe he said anything offensive.

2. "The Asian Community". After addressing his non-apology to "anybody", Morris singles out a specific group of people, thinking they would be especially offended and disgusted by his pathetic and racist attempt at humor (oh, sorry, offended by what he "said about pitching").

3. "Jose". Morris fumbles Ohtani's first name. (Because there are so many "ethnics" in the game these days, it's hard to keep them all straight?)

Morris has been known as a shit for decades. Back in 1990, he objected to having female reporters in the locker room after games (the matter had been settled in the courts at least 12 years earlier), telling reporter Jennifer Frey: "I don't talk to women when I'm naked unless they're on top of me or I'm on top of them." [Morris was not naked when he said this.] During the 1991 ALCS, Frey said Kirby Puckett of the Twins had to keep Morris from physically attacking her, though he did call her a bitch.

Last month, ESPN's Stephen A. Smith made offensive (and stupid) comments about Ohtani, saying that MLB is not helped by the fact that one of the sport's most popular players "needs an interpreter so you can understand what the hell he's saying, in this country". Sports Illustrated reported that "Smith later put out one of those hostage apology videos where the person's face is about an inch from their phone while they ramble and try to cover their ass, but instead, just make things worse".

You know, I'm beginning to think we maybe don't live in a post-racial world.

August 17, 2021

Red Sox Lose Two To Yankees, Are Tied With New York For Second Place

The Red Sox were swept by the Yankees in a Tuesday doubleheader, 3-5 and 0-2. Boston (69-53) and New York (68-52) are now tied for second place in the AL East; the Yankees' winning percentage is actually .001 better).

In the first game, the Red Sox, trailing by two runs, began the top of the final inning with three singles, loading the bases. But Travis Shaw lined out to left and Alex Verdugo and Enrique Hernandez both struck out. In the nightcap, the Red Sox left nine men on base in seven innings.

For the Red Sox, it was the first time they were shutout in the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees after also losing the first game since September 6, 1971 (3-5 & 0-3). The first game was also the first Red Sox/Yankees game to feature three multi-run singles, all of which either tied the game or took the lead, since July 2, 1936 . . . so there's that, for what it's worth.

MFY starter Luis Gil pitched 4.2 shutout innings in G2. He has not allowed a run in any of his first three major league starts (15.2 innings, nine hits, seven walks, 18 strikeouts, 64 batters faced). Gil is the fifth pitcher in the modern era to not allow any runs in his first three starts: George McQuillan (Phillies, 1907), Jorge Campillo (Mariners/Atlanta, 2005-2008), Travis Lakins (Red Sox, 2019), and Ryan Weathers (Padres, 2021).

* *

On Sunday, the Mets set a record for most consecutive games without a triple. From June 4 to August 15 of this year, the Mets went 68 games without a three-bagger. The old record was held by the 2016 Orioles (67 games, May 31 to August 13).

The record for most consecutive games with at least one triple is 12, by the 1928 Pirates, who hit 23 triples from August 16-25. From August 13-28, the Pirates tripled in 17 of 19 games.

Three teams have tripled in 11 straight games: 1902 Boston Americans, 1911 Cardinals, and 1917 Giants. Of the 29 teams that have had a triple in at least nine straight games, 28 are from 1902-28. The lone exception is the 1979 Phillies.

"Ball-Playing . . . Is An Innocent And Excellent Recreation But When The Sport Is Carried So Far As It Is At The Present Time, It Becomes A Public Nuisance" (1858)

This is believed to be the oldest known instance of someone complaining in print about baseball having changed for the worse, of not being the proper, upstanding sport it once was, of the current crop of young men not playing the game the right way, or for the right reasons.

It was published 163 years ago – eight years before the first professional team existed and 18 years before the creation of the National League.

Taken from The Happy Home and Parlor Magazine, December 1, 1858:


Ball-Playing has become an institution. It is no longer a healthful recreation in which persons of sedentary habits engage for needful relaxation and exercise; but it is now an actual institution. Young men associate for this object, organize themselves into an association, with constitution and laws to control them, and then plunge into the amusement with a sort of "Young America" fanaticism. In almost every town throughout all this region there is one of these regularly formed and inaugurated ball-clubs, the members of which meet frequently to practice the art, for the sake of being able to worst some neighboring club whom they challenge, or by whom they are challenged, to a hot contest. The matter has become a sort of mania, and on this account we speak of it. In itself a game at ball is an innocent and excellent recreation but when the sport is carried so far as it is at the present time, it becomes a public nuisance.

Our reasons for this conclusion are the following.

1. It has become a species of gambling. One club challenges another to a trial of their skill, and sometimes the victorious party are to be treated by the vanquished, to a dinner or supper. What would be the difference if the two parties should institute cards and ten-pins for the ball?

2. On these occasions a large collection of people are usually present. There is no objection to crowds, provided they meet for a worthy object. But if the object be evil, or is not an elevated one, the gathering usually becomes more or less censurable. Is it a very elevating scene to witness – the trial of skill at ball-playing between two parties of young men? We think not. It is about the same as rope-dancing, and certain equestrian amusements, that some low-bred performers perpetrate through the country for money. Then there is betting on these occasions, as there was at one of which we have had a description, where two thousand people were assembled. There is much confusion, too, even where intoxicating drinks are not to be had, and more when they are carried clandestinely upon the grounds, as they have been in certain instances. There is evil in all this, without any counterbalancing good.

3. Much profanity appears to be incidental to this way of playing ball. One club played for some weeks so near our studio, that every oath came right into the window like black, smoking cinders from the pit. A neighboring ball-club met them on their grounds several times, and then the swearing was awful. How young men could contrive to use so dexterously the worst words in the English language was really surprising. They would not have sworn more lustily if profanity had been necessary to propel the ball. The name of the club was "Base Ball Club." We asked a young man, why they call it "Base" remarking that once it was called Round Ball. Before he had time to reply we said, "Is it because they have so much swearing?" He saw that the name was rather significant, so that he had not much to reply. We understand that some clubs have introduced laws against the use of profane language, which is well, if the laws can be enforced. But we apprehend that they will not avail much for two reasons. One is, that a large majority of the members are swearing young men. They are in the habit of using this language, and it will take more than the rule of such an association to break them of it. The second reason is, that, as this amusement is now sustained, it provokes profanity, so that moderate swearers in other places will become immoderate on these exciting occasions.

4. It is a great waste of time and money. Two or three times a week many young men spend a part of the afternoon in this sport, and then occasionally a whole day in trying their skill with a neighboring club. Attending this there is the expense of their organization, the price of dinners and suppers, of horses and carriages to convey them to adjoining towns frequently, together with the loss of their time. If they were compelled to spend as much time and money to support preaching in the community, they would pronounce it an onerous tax.

5. It is physically injurious. Playing at ball in a moderate way for exercise is healthful for sedentary people. But this long, violent and exciting way of playing wears and tears the system. It is excessively wearisome and exhausting, much more so than tilling the farm, or making boots.

6. It absorbs the mind to the neglect of imperative duties. We are confident that employers will bear witness, that those young men, who become most absorbed in this sport, take less interest in their daily labor. This is a natural consequence. We heard an excellent school teacher complain this summer, that ball-laying had destroyed the interest of her male pupils in their school. They had caught the mania, and formed a club after the manner of the older persons, and all they seemed to think of was getting out of the school-room to enjoy the sport. For these reasons we class ball-clubs, as now existing, with circus exhibitions, military musters, pugilistic feats, cock-fighting, &c; all of which are nuisances in no small degree.

(h/t to Richard Hershberger, author of Strike Four: The Evolution of Baseball (2019))

August 16, 2021

Bauer Accused Of Punching And Choking A Second Woman (Who Also Asked For A Protection Order)

A California woman who says Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer sexually and physically assaulted her earlier this year and had received a restraining order against him testified on Monday about the alleged assaults. The woman, who will be cross-examined tomorrow, is seeking a five-year restraining order.

MLB and the players' association have agreed to extend (for a fifth time) Bauer’s paid administrative leave, to August 20. Bauer has been on paid leave since July 2.

Last weekend, the Washington Post reported that Bauer had a previous protection order taken out against him, in Ohio in June 2020, regarding incidents in 2017 and 2018 that sound remarkably similar to the more recent claims in California:

An Ohio woman sought the order in June 2020 after repeated threats from the then-Cincinnati Reds pitcher, according to her lawyer and records separately obtained by The Post. Photographs independently obtained by The Post also show bruises on the woman's face and blood in her eyes, which her attorney said were caused by Bauer punching and choking her during sex without consent. Those allegations are similar to ones made by a woman in Los Angeles this summer when she applied for a temporary restraining order.

A police report obtained by The Post shows that in 2017, during an incident at Bauer's apartment, the Ohio woman attempted to show officers photos of injuries to her eyes that she said were caused by Bauer, who played for the Cleveland Indians at the time. The police arrested her for underage drinking. (The woman was an adult but not of legal drinking age; The Post is not specifying her age in order to not disclose identifying details.) There is no indication in the report of what, if anything, police did to investigate her allegations.

The Post also obtained copies of messages Bauer allegedly sent the woman, which her lawyers said prompted her to seek an order of protection. "I don't feel like spending time in jail for killing someone," reads one. "And that's what would happen if I saw you again." . . .

In an interview, Timothy Hess, the Cleveland lawyer who filed for the order of protection on the woman's behalf, said she sought it because of threats Bauer sent her, including that he would disseminate a video of them having sex to a member of the woman's family. . . .

The records shed light on the aggressive tactics Bauer's lawyers and agents have used to rebut his accusers in Ohio and now California, where the accuser's claims include that Bauer sexually assaulted and punched her after choking her unconscious during sex.

In a filing Tuesday in Los Angeles, Bauer's attorneys claimed the California woman requested the temporary restraining order in an effort to win a financial settlement from the pitcher. Bauer's attorneys previously made the same arguments about the Ohio woman . . .

The Post also obtained copies of messages allegedly from Bauer to the Ohio woman. In one undated Snapchat message, Bauer allegedly wrote: "Like the only reason I'd ever consider seeing you again is to choke you unconscious punch you in the face shove my first up your a-- skull f--- you and kick you out naked. And obviously I would never do something like that to anyone. So cant even enjoy the one thing I sometimes enjoyed with you." . . .

[The Ohio woman] sought the restraining order in part "to protect [herself] against his continued vile threats against her body as well as to prevent him from disseminating photographs and videos of her, which he also threatened on numerous occasions."

Those threats included him suggesting he would send a video of them having sex to one of her family members . . . The Post obtained a copy of that text message, in which Bauer allegedly wrote, "I'd really hate for him to see a video of you getting f---ed."

Bauer's lawyers claim the woman is attempting to extort money from the pitcher, but the Post reported that the emails it possesses indicate that it was Bauer's attorneys who first mentioned the subject of money, suggesting the possibility of a financial settlement (paying the woman to keep silent) and asking her lawyers to put a dollar amount in writing.

Bauer tweeted a statement on Saturday, calling the Post's report a "false narrative". On Monday, Bauer's lawyers accused the California woman of editing or manipulating the pictures of her injuries to make them look worse.

After 2-10 Stretch, Red Sox Have Won 4 of 5, Will Play At Yankees For Three Games, Including Tuesday Doubleheader

The Red Sox starting rotation, boosted by the return of Chris Sale, has a 2.39 ERA in the last nine games, with 61 strikeouts and 11 walks in 49 innings. The team has gone 5-4 since August 7.

Eduardo Rodriguez has a 1.10 ERA in three August starts, allowing only two earned runs (and striking out 24 batters) in 16.1 innings.

Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, and Nick Pivetta are in the 3-4-5 spots, with Garrett Richards and Martín Pérez having moved to the bullpen.

Sale returned to the mound last Saturday for the first time in 732 days. His line was solid (5-6-2-0-8, 89), the two runs coming on back-to-back home runs in the third inning. Sale was simply glad to be back at work.

I don't do too well at waiting around and not pulling my end of the slack. . . . This thing was taken from me for the past two years. It made me realize how much I needed this game and how much I needed my teammates. . . . I'll be completely honest. I took days for granted. . . . I took weeks for granted. Through all of this, I've had a huge perspective change. I'm not wasting another damn day of my big league career.

After a stretch of losing 10 of 12 games, the Red Sox (now 3 GB the Rays in the AL East) have won four of their last five. They visit Yankee Stadium for a day-night doubleheader on Tuesday and a single game on Wednesday. The Yankees (4-3 in their last seven games, but winners of 9 of their last 12, and 14 of their last 19) are 5.5 GB. The Rays will host the Orioles.

August 15, 2021

Arizona's Tyler Gilbert Pitches No-Hitter In First MLB Start

Arizona's Tyler Gilbert pitched a no-hitter last night in his first career start, beating the Padres 7-0. It was also his first complete game at any professional level.

Gilbert, a 27-year-old lefty, made his major league debut 11 days ago, on August 3, after six years in the minors, and pitched in relief three times (3.2 innings) before his start against San Diego. The last pitcher to toss a no-hitter in his first career start was Bobo Holloman in 1953. (List of rookie no-hitters.)

Two pitchers in the 19th Century also threw no-hitters in their first starts: SLB Ted Breitenstein (St. Louis Browns (AA), October 4, 1891) and Bumpus Jones (Cincinnati Reds (NL), October 15, 1892.  That was before the mound was moved back from its then-distance of 50 feet from the plate. Fun Fact: Charles Comiskey managed both of those teams!

Here are the earliest no-hitters in a pitcher's career by games played (since 1901, AL/NL)

Pitcher         Game  Date               Team/Opponent         Score  Pitching Line
Wilson Alvarez     2  August 11, 1991    White Sox  Orioles      7-0  9-0-0-5-7, 128
Clay Buchholz      2  September 1, 2007  Red Sox vs Orioles     10-0  9-0-0-3-9, 115
Nick Maddox        3  September 20, 1907 Pirates vs Dodgers      2-1  9-0-1-3-5
Bo Belinsky        4  May 5, 1962        Angels vs Orioles       2-0  9-0-0-4-9
Burt Hooton        4  April 16, 1972     Cubs vs Phillies        4-0  9-0-0-7-7
Tyler Gilbert      4  August 14, 2021    Diamondbacks vs Padres  7-0  9-0-0-3-5, 102
Charlie Robertson  5  April 30, 1922     White Sox at Tigers     2-0  9-0-0-0-6
Bobo Holloman      5  May 6, 1953        Browns vs Athletics     6-0  9-0-0-5-3
Steve Busby       10  April 27, 1973     Royals at Tigers        3-0  9-0-0-6-4
Mike Warren       12  September 29, 1983 Athletics vs White Sox  3-0  9-0-0-3-5

It was the eighth no-hitter this season, a record for a single season, since 1901. There were seven no-hitters in 1990, 1991, 2012, and 2015. (There were also eight no-hitters during the 1884 season.)

Gilbert issued three walks and they were all to the same batter, Tommy Pham. He's the first pitcher to issue three (or more) walks in a no-hitter and have them all go to the same batter.

Before the game, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo had decided Gilbert's pitch limit would be 85, but as the innings continued, Lovullo, the team's medical staff, and bullpen coach Mike Fetters changed that to 105, maybe 110. Gilbert began the eighth inning at 88 pitches, and caught a break as the Padres went down in order on only three pitches. He threw 11 pitches in the ninth and finished at 102.
It was weird. I wasn't nervous at all, and I felt like I should have been. I don't know why, but I kept just going out there and doing my thing. I was really nervous before the game leading up to the game, but after the three-pitch eighth inning, I was like, "OK, this is going to happen."
Arizona began the game 43 games under .500 (37-80), the worst mark ever by an National League team before throwing a no-hitter. In the American League, the Philadelphia Athletics were 25-91 (66 games under .500) in 1916 when Joe Bush no-hit Cleveland.

The 29-win difference between San Diego and Arizona was the fifth-largest difference between the team that was no-hit and the team to throw the no-hitter since 1900, according to Elias.

August 13, 2021

NESN's "Live" Shots: Indolence & Apathy Or Deliberate Trolling?

Thanks to Jere's ongoing exposure of various types of NESN nonsense, we have years and years of proof that NESN cannot be bothered to send a camera guy down to the sidewalk outside Fenway Park for an actual, true live shot. Why not? I'd like to know, but I have no idea. (Any ex-NESNers want to anonymously spill some beans?)

If NESN is going to dig up some old video from years ago and try to trick us into thinking it's "live", why can't they use weather-appropriate footage? Show us a hot summer day on a hot summer day, roll tape of a rainy night on a rainy night, etc. Have footage showing different climate conditions clearly labeled and pick the appropriate one. How hard would that be?

We should be grateful NESN doesn't sink so low that they're actually showing full-dark night-time footage during the day . . . oh, wait.

Anyway . . . Me, too.

I Went To San Francisco And Portland And All I Got Was Four Groceries Bags Full Of Books

Last month, I mentioned a much-anticipated stop during our vacation would be the legendary Kayo Books on Post Street in San Francisco. As promised, here is my report.

On July 30, I met longtime friend-of-JoS zenslinger at a nearby cafe and chatted for an hour or so (ending, to no one's surprise, with some pointed criticisms of Game-Ruiner Commissioner Manfred) before heading over to Kayo, where I was greeted by one of the owners and their handsome dog Pip (pictured here as a puppy in 2016). After expressing extreme interest in the scents of Kai and Cookie on my pants, he relaxed in a spot of sun by the front door.

My appointment was for three hours and I used every minute, save for a brief interlude when I stepped outside to get some water while the owner moved her car. It's my understanding that Kayo's stock was much bigger before they switched to an appointment-only schedule; they may have had a second floor of merchandise. (As with everything else, the store was no doubt better years before I came along.) It is still very impressive. Not knowing exactly what I would find, I had no fixed agenda, though I did bring my small notebook listing books I already own.

In the mid-1960s, various court cases regarding obscenity led to paperbacks becoming much more explicit. I prefer the more soft-core books published before that time, a genre often referred to as "sleaze". Many of the super-explicit books have minimal or no cover art, but the sleaze books boast the wonderful art work also used for mysteries and crime novels of the period. Robert McGinnis (still working at age 95!) is one of the masters and although I do not own a copy, this is one of my favorites of his work.

I also love the laughably low budget artwork on these slim paperbacks. I already owned a few of these books and was glad to get more, at prices well below what you'll find on eBay. Most of them have two-word titles, with "Sin" and "Lust" being popular choices. (They are also truly "pocket books", measuring only 6 5/16" tall by 4 1/4" across.)

The back covers are sometimes more creatively written than the actual books, though there is always a risk that the contents inside do not quite match either the front or back covers. (Regardless, you don't read these for their literary merit, though some talented writers, such as Donald Westlake, Lawrence Block, and Ed McBain, wrote some of them under house names.) A few back-cover examples (back when "wanton" was the word du jour):
Sally, the hobo-wanton who could step in where the sisters left off and make any man's life a moral wreck . . .

He learned the evil hangovers of violent orgies, and the dangerous, desperate, passion-crazed use of the whip and knife . . .

Lust wife, suburban matron, gutter sinner, she blazed a trail of sin through the flesh jungle . . . 

From coast to coast, the tireless lover plied his passion trade for all the bedtime profits the traffic would bear . . .

He found that the wanton, lustful woman who dangled her enticing charms before him was a temptress from the hells of hate . . .

So he went on his orgy round, day and night as the sin-game reached its evil heights . . .

Grinding along the sex circuit, where the dirty little smoke-filled night clubs play host to the pop-eyed sin-suckers. . . .

It was fate, playing his lust game for him, fate that now made him a part of every sin-game in the state. He did his job well, whatever evil thing was demanded of him, and in return they paid him off with all the wanton tricks he could use, while he foraged for fresh flesh to fill the vice factories.

$10 Orgy!

[I learned several years ago that the New York City agent I had in 1999-2000 wrote at least eight of these books under a variety of names. I have yet to find any of them. However, I do own a complete set of the four-book series ("The Pro", 1974-75) he wrote under his own name, centering on sports agent Dave Bolt (and which are still in print!).]
Lesbians (in big cities and jails), suburbia (lonely housewives host daytime orgies behind drawn curtains while their oblivious husbands toil away at the office), wild teenagers (gangs, drugs, ignoring authority), farms (daughters in shorts, shirtless men with muscles, hay lofts) and insatiable women (anywhere, everywhere, all of the time) are popular topics:

I was happy to find the classic "Women's Barracks" . . . Banned in Canada!

In addition to floor-to-ceiling shelves of paperbacks, Kayo had stacks of men's magazines from the 1950s and 1960s. These magazines had titles such as Man's Action, Man's Life, Man's Illustrated, Man's Exploits, Man's Conquest, Man's Epic, Man's Prime, Man-to-Man, All Man, New Man, Adventure, Big Adventure, Real Adventure, Adventure for Men, Men and Adventure, Men in Adventure, Man's Adventure, Action For Men, True Action, True Men, True, True Danger, Real, Men, Real Men, Men Today, For Men Only, Male . . . you get the idea. Also: Spur, Rage, Stag, Climax, Peril, and Fury. A lot of these sound like gay porn magazines. (Of which Kayo also had plenty, from slick glossies to what looked like homemade fanzines.)

These men's magazines were "[d]esigned to snare the attention of the Average G.I. Joe settling back into humdrum civilian life after World War II, their gorgeously lurid cover illustrations routinely depicted buxom beauties in shredded tatters of clothes, writhing under the slathering jaws of savage beasts, wild savages or sadistic Nazis". The 1960s added rampaging bikers and sex-crazed beatnik chicks to the mix. These magazines are not cheap, but I found a few from 1966 priced at $6 apiece.

A further sampling of articles from variety of men's magazines, from a quick look online:
Rugged Working Men Make Inadequate Lovers

The American Male Is A Momma's Boy

Bashful Brides Have Ruined The American Male

Masculine Inadequacies Drive Women Nuts!

The American Male Is Losing His Virility - Why Men Are Becoming Assembly Line Robots

Love-Starved Women Are Lousing Up College Towns

Wild Vacationing Wives Are Ruining Palm Beach

Women Are Lousing Up Sports

Trapped In A Sea Of Giant Crabs

Chewed To Bits By Giant Turtles

Eaten Alive By Killer Pigs

The Island Of Man-Eating Rats

The Ants Ate Us Alive!

Weasels Ripped My Flesh!

Savages Made Me Eat My Wife!

I Watched Myself Being Eaten Alive!

New England's Passion Paradise: Shocking P-Town - Hot-Bed Of Thrill-Seeking Girls [nowhere near Burlington, Vermont, I can assure you]

Lowdown On The Girls Of Greenwich Village

Love-Cabin Girls Of Alaska

"Sex Wanted" Newspaper Ads! - The Secret Nation-Wide Sin Code For Oddball Love-Thrill Seekers

"Big Lie" Credit Bureau Terror Files That May Rate You "Neurotic", "Trouble Maker", "Bum Risk", " Pervert"

Those Undersea U.F.O.'s May Start W.W.III - More Facts Behind Our Latest 'Saucer' Scare

Baseball Doesn't Deserve Support
Okay, I really want to read that last one.

I also wanted to learn about the cross-country "rich widow racket". And although we already have two copies of "1984", I grabbed this 1954 edition for its pulpy cover. Repacking books by Dostoevsky, Faulkner, Conrad, Joyce, and others with pulpy covers was not uncommon at one time.

I bought three reference works that feature hundreds of old covers, as well as interviews with relevant writers and publishers:

True Crime Detective Magazines: 1924-1969, by Eric Godtland and Dian Hanson

Cyanide and Sin: Visualizing Crime in 50s America, by Will Straw

Girl Gangs, Biker Boys, and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture, 1950 to 1980, edited by Iain McIntyre and Andrew Nette:


I also had a fulfilling day at Powells in Portland, though five hours left me nowhere near seeing everything in the store. A bit of that haul, something to balance out the sleaze:

August 11, 2021

Red Sox Dump 20 Runs On Tampa Bay In Wednesday Rout


Rays    - 000 001 007 -  8  8 0
Red Sox - 320 540 06x - 20 19 0

Wednesday's rout of the Rays was only the 18th time the Red Sox have scored at least 20 runs (and the 12th at home). It's only the fifth time in the past 27 seasons (since 1995). 

But wait – Runs were scored in seven different half-innings. And those run totals were 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7! It's the first game since at least 1901 (no surprise, really) to have at least seven run-scoring half-innings with the runs scored all being a different number. It is likely the first major league game to have 0 through 7 in the linescore, even with some numbers repeated. Plus the hit totals include an 8 and a 9. Amazing!

J.D. Martinez went 4-for-4, Enrique Hernandez and Hunter Renfroe both went 3-for-5. Martinez, Renfroe, and Xander Bogaerts scored three runs each. Bobby Dalbec drove in five runs and Renfroe and Bogaerts each had four RBI.

That seven-run ninth inning featured a grand slam from Brett Phillips, his third slam in his last nine games (July 29, August 8). He now holds the Rays record for most slams in a season.

Boston's first game of 20+ runs came on May 2, 1901, when they beat the Philadelphia Athletics 23-12. That's also the only time they scored 20+ runs without hitting a home run.

The only Red Sox team to score 20+ runs more than once in a season was the 1950 club. They did it three times - all of them in June, including against the Browns on consecutive days: 20-4 on June 7 and 29-4 on June 8!

It's the 11th major league game to end with a 20-8 score, but only the seventh one since 1901.

Updated! More stuff (thanks to Doug Kern):

The Red Sox are the first team in the modern era (since 1901) to allow a 7+-run inning and still win by 12+ runs.

Hunter Renfroe and Bobby Dalbec are the first Red Sox teammates to each have four RBI without hitting a home run since Marty Barrett and Wade Boggs, on August 21, 1986 at Cleveland.

Bobby Dalbec is the first Red Sox #8 or #9 batter to have five RBI without homering since Coco Crisp hit three bases-loaded singles against the White Sox on July 21 2007.

Hunter Renfroe is the first Red Sox batter with three hits, three runs scored, and four RBI without homering since Jack Clark, on August 12, 1991 at Blue Jays.

This was the first game in the modern era in which both teams had a reliever (Tampa Bay's Francisco Mejia and Boston's Phillips Valdez) allow 6+ runs while getting ≤ 3 outs.

Phillips Valdez is the first Red Sox reliever to give up 7+ runs while getting ≤ 3 outs since Rob Stanifer (June 19, 2000, against Yankees).

Francisco Mejia is the first Rays pitcher not named Ryan Rupe to allow 6 runs and hit 2 batters while getting ≤ 3 outs. Rupe did it twice in one homestand in 2001: May 6 (vs CLE) and May 9 (vs BAL). [Those were consecutive outings for Rupe. He also allowed seven runs on June 2, nine runs on June 25, and 11 runs on August 16.]

Josh Fleming is the first Rays starter to give up 10 runs and not get out of the 4th since Jeff Niemann (August 25, 2010, at Angels). Fleming is also the second pitcher in Rays history to allow 17+ baserunners in an outing of any length. Tanyon Sturtze needed seven innings to do it against the Red Sox on May 6, 2002.

Last time Rays allowed 20 runs: July 22, 2007 at Yankees (4-21).

Last time Red Sox scored 20 runs: August 15, 2015 vs Mariners (22-10).


The Pirates were held to two or fewer hits in consecutive games (one last night and two today; two losses) for the first time since May 31 (G2) and June 1, 1915 against the Cubs (they won 1-0 and lost 0-2). Pittsburgh also won the first game of that May 31 doubleheader 1-0 (they went wild in that one, banging out four hits).

Orioles Have Allowed 9+ Runs In Six Consecutive Games (The MLB Record Is Seven Games)

Update: The Orioles allowed only five runs (and lost 2-5).

The Orioles have allowed nine or more runs in each of their last six games (losing them all, as you would expect). The major league record is seven games. The Orioles host the Tigers tonight.

2021 Orioles (six games)

0803 at NYY  1-13
0804 at NYY  3-10
0806 vs TBR  6-10
0807 vs TBR  3-12
0808 vs TBR  6- 9
0810 vs DET  4- 9

1901 Giants (seven games)

0903 vs CHC  4-10
0904 vs PIT  6-12 (G1)
0904 vs PIT  3-10 (G2)
0905 vs PIT  1-15 (G1)
0905 vs PIT  7-15 (G2)
0906 vs PIT  2-15 (G1)
0906 vs PIT  4-13 (G2)

2000 Mariners (seven games)

0813 vs CLE  4-10
0814 vs DET  4-15
0815 vs DET  0- 9
0816 vs DET  8-12
0818 at CLE  8- 9
0819 at CLE  4-10
0820 at CLE  4-12


Trea Turner Is Smooth

In San Diego: "What's happening here is that never, at least not in modern AL/NL history, have we ever seen this, a starting shortstop [Fernando Tatis Jr.] with zero professional outfield experience moving to become a regular outfielder in the middle of a season."

First post-game question for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, after his team gave up four runs in the ninth inning and lost to the Rays 8-4, putting them five games out of first place (a spot the Red Sox last inhabited less than two weeks ago (on July 30)):
Q: Can it get any worse than this?

Cora: I hope not.

August 10, 2021

After 2-8 Road Trip, Red Sox Limp Home To Face First-Place Rays

The Red Sox went 2-8 on their recent road trip to Tampa Bay, Detroit, and Toronto. Since July 26, they have lost 10 of 13 games.

The Red Sox (65-49) are now four games out of first place. And their opponent for the next three days at Fenway Park will be the Rays (68-44), the team that has overtaken them in the AL East.

Boston scored more than four runs only twice on the 10-game road trip - and one of those games was a loss in which they blew a 7-2 lead. The pitching staff had a 5.92 ERA. The pitching has been poor for the last month. In the 27 games since July 7 (11-16), the team ERA has been 5.26. Chris Sale returns to the rotation this weekend.

Kyle Schwarber has had a minor setback with left groin tightness during his rehab from a right hamstring strain. The bump in the road is not expected to delay Schwarber's return to action, but, as Jen McCaffrey notes, with the Red Sox thinking of putting Schwarber at a position he's never played before, "a hamstring strain coupled with groin tightness could make the move to first more challenging, given the stretching involved to reach throws".

Matt Collins (Over The Monster) needs to vent. He admits seeing disturbing similarities between this season and the 2011 campaign, such as a "sense of drawn out dread, and knowledge of impending doom with nothing you can do to stop it":

FanGraphs, as of this writing, gives Boston just under a 71 percent chance at making the postseason, and just under a 27 percent chance of still winning the division. They’re getting Chris Sale back this weekend, and hopefully Kyle Schwarber will join the fold shortly thereafter. The Red Sox are not, literally speaking, done.

But good lord does it feel like it. . . . And it's impossible to just not keep pointing back at the trade deadline. . . . [T]his roster needed help. It was clear in the days leading up to the deadline that they had to do something. Whether it was Chaim Bloom's call on the inactivity because he didn't want to give up prospects, or it was ownership's call to not exceed the luxury tax, I don't really care. . . .

Either Bloom and company built a complete team full of players they saw more potential in than anyone else that was a legitimate AL East contender as they looked for most of the year, and still decided they weren't worth an investment, or they got lucky and actually just put together another mediocre roster and recognized that fact, in which case that's not all that impressive . . . 

The reality still exists that the team has more than six weeks to turn around a bad 11 games. That's far from impossible. . . . But for now, I just keep thinking about that first season I wrote about this team, and I can't shake the similar aura, even amid all of the other differences.