13) White Sox 4, Phillies 3 (15)— This unique game Friday night saw Phillies P Vince Velasquez make a great catch as a left fielder, also throw out a runner at home and damn near throw out a second runner at the plate, all while OF Roman Quinn was pitching for the Phillies.
484 pitches in all, 36 thrown by an outfielder; Phillies starter Zach Eflin also threw 28 pitches in relief in a game that took 5:28 to play. White Sox used nine pitchers in a game with no DH and somehow none of them were starters or outfielders.
12) To make the playoffs in baseball, especially if you’re not a real wealthy team, you need to get contributions from 30-35 players over the course of a 6-month season.
I’m thinking back to the 2012 Oakland A’s, who were 37-42 on July 1st, but went on a run from that point on (57-26) and finished 94-68, winning the AL West. A fun year.
— Brandon Hicks played in only 22 games that year, but hit two walk-off homers.
— Brandon Moss played in only 84 games, but hit 21 homers.
— AJ Griffin made only 15 starts, but was 7-1 with a 1.13 WHIP in those games.
— Evan Scribner pitched only 35 innings, but had two wins and a save.
With no trading allowed after July 31, teams’ organizational depth will get a serious test, since the only improvement to the roster will come from within the organization.
11) My opinion on having no trading is August is that it is bad for the sport; baseball needs to stay in the news to compete with the NFL for attention. Speculation can be annoying, but when people are talking about baseball, it is good for the sport as a whole.
If you must have only one trade deadline during the season, I’d prefer August 31 to July 31.
10) They’re going to call a lot of holding penalties in NFL exhibition games, to emphasize whatever rules changes they put in; once the regular games start (and the starters play) the penalty flags will get put away the way they always do.
But it is something to remember if you’re betting on these (meaningless) preseason games.
9) San Diego Padres’ lefty P Eric Lauer is 1-0, 2.65 in three starts against the Dodgers this season; he is 5-8, 4.77 in 17 starts vs everyone else. Makes no sense.
8) Will Smith hit a grand slam to beat the Padres Thursday night; when he hit the ball, the relief pitcher on the mound jumped up in the air, happy that Smith had hit an inning-ending fly ball, but he forgot the ball is juiced— it landed over the centerfield fence.
7) Baseball stuff:
— Twins put P Michael Pineda, OF Byron Buxton on the IL.
— Cardinals put OF Tyler O’Neill (wrist) on the IL.
6) Actors in Blue Chips who are still active in basketball, 25 years after the movie came out:
— Penny Hardaway, coach at Memphis
— Rick Pitino, coached pro ball in Greece last year
— Jim Boeheim still coaches Syracuse.
— Allan Houston works for the Knicks.
— Matt Painter, coach at Purdue
— Bobby Hurley, coach at Arizona State
5) 23-year-old Nathan Patterson signed a minor-league contract with the A’s after hit 96 on the radar gun twice and also hit 95 at a speed pitch challenge at a Colorado Rockies’ game- he had also done it at a minor league game in Nashville.
Reminds me of the movie The Rookie, the true story of a 35-year old Biology teacher who throws 98 at a tryout and gets signed by Tampa Bay.- lefty Jim Morris pitched for a little while in the majors for the then-Devil Rays.
4) New York 4, Boston 2— This Friday night game was only 2nd MLB game in last 25 years in which there were 6+ runs scored in the first inning, then no runs scored the rest of the game. It also happened on April 29, 2017 (Indians over Mariners, 4-3).
3) John Smoltz is pushing for the Wild Card thing to be best-of-3, instead of a one-game deal. His point is that teams aren’t going all-out at the trading deadline because they don’t want to mortgage their future, just to get into a one-game playoff.
2) Falcons’ backup QB Kurt Benkert played well in the Hall of Fame Game, but he suffered what was described as a major toe injury, so Atlanta is bringing in Matt Simms to play behind Matt Schaub and Matt Ryan. Three QB’s, three Matts.
1) NBA scheduled their opening night on same night as Game 1 of the World Series? Could have Dodgers playing the World Series at home, while Lakers-Clippers would be opening their season four miles away.