MLB: June 2024

A new month, with new hope and fresh shattered dreams.

Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers lead the NL. Yankees, Guardians and Mariners head up the AL. Biggest lead is 6.5 games (Phils over Braves). Narrowest lead is 2.0 (Yanks over Orioles). The summer is just heating up, and we have a lot more ball to play. Nobody is out of it yet except the White Sox, who were mathematically eliminated from a playoff slot by the middle of May.

Reposting from the penultimate post in the May thread:

At this moment, only eleven MLB teams (six in the AL, five in the NL) have better than a .500 record.

Meanwhile, five teams (White Sox, Angels, A’s, Marlins, Rockies) are under .400.

The poor White Sox, who had a historically bad April, before playing well for a stretch, have reverted to form: they’ve now lost nine in a row, and 13 of their last 14. They’re last in MLB in team batting average (.215), and next-to-last (only better than the Rockies) for team ERA and WHIP. They’re now at 15-43, which puts them on a pace for a 42-120 record.

I saw something last night that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. The Mariners were leading the Angels by one run, and got the final out of the game by picking off an Angels baserunner.

Is there a term for that, like there is a for a “walk-off” hit that drives in a run? Does anyone know how often this happens? And is there any other way for the fielding team to win a game on a play that doesn’t start with a pitch (a balk or stealing home can win a game for the batting team)?

The Mariners lost the same way in April vs the Cubs.

The walk-off balk is definitely a thing.

I did a web search and I couldn’t find a specific answer to my question, but it seems to be more common than I thought. I found mentions of pitchers who won games without facing any batters; some of whom picked off an inherited baserunner to end a game.

If a pitcher throws pitches, and then a baserunner is caught stealing to end a game, does that go into the stats as having faced the batter?

Tough to look this one up, but I never counted that. It’s essentially like the final out happened on the previous batter.

It’s not a plate appearance, which means that the batter doesn’t get credited for participating in the play; a plate appearance is only scored if the batter either becomes a runner (i.e., reaches base), or makes an out. I suspect that it wouldn’t count for the pitcher, either.

As per Wikipedia:

Huh. Didn’t think of looking it up from the batter’s perspective. Nice one!

That’s an interesting point. Let’s say, for instance, that there’s a runner on first, two outs in the bottom of the ninth, visiting team leading by one run. A relief pitcher is brought in to pitch. Before he throws a pitch, he picks the runner off first, game over.

The pitcher would, I think, be credited with a save, without throwing a pitch!

Even better, suppose it’s the top of the ninth and the home team brings in a pitcher, and he picks off the runner. Then they score two runs in the bottom of the ninth. The pitcher gets a win without throwing a pitch.

Or perhaps not. Apparently there are situations in which the official scorer can overrule those criteria and award a different pitcher with the win.

Yanks swept Giants, knocking them under .500.

Cortez had another poor road game, he been amazing at home and terrible on the road.

Meanwhile Soto had two homers and Judge went 2 for 3 with 2 more walks and a stolen base.

True the official scorer can award the win to a relief pitcher who was not the pitcher of record if the pitcher of record “is ineffective in a brief appearance.” I’d have to argue the pitcher in question was effective though his appearance was brief. In any case, the official scorer can only award the win to a pitcher who pitched later in the game than the brief and ineffective pitcher, and there is no such pitcher in the situation described.

Official rule from MLB Rule 9.17 (c)

"The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead.

The CLEVELAND GUARDIANS are so fun, you guys. We’ve been in first place the entire season. Steven Kwan is back. I’m going to the game against KC on Tuesday and I am honestly going to have a hard time sleeping tonight.

I just watched a documentary on Tubi called “War on the Diamond” about the hatred of the Yankees by Cleveland fans, starting with the death of Ray Chapman in 1920. It was REALLY good, highly recommend it for any baseball fan. Ok, it’s really more of a history of baseball in Cleveland, but it’s still good.

Tubi actually has a lot of baseball content - documentaries, dramas, comedies. I might try to tune in on those sad, quiet, non-baseball nights this summer.

MLB has issued a permanent ban for San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano for placing hundreds of bets on baseball games, including on Pittsburgh Pirates games while he played for the team last season.

Per the article:

Also noted in the article:

Yanks win streak has them over .700 and first in the majors by .5 games.
Currently 4.5 up on #2 in division, Baltimore.

Last night they got shaky pitching and still pulled off the win.

The 4th place team in the AL East is Tampa Bay with a record of 31-31. They are just one game ahead of the 5th place Blue Jays.

The 4th place team in the AL Central is Detroit with a record of 31-31. They are 16.5 games ahead of the 5th place White Sox.

The Blue Jays have now failed to score in 28 consecutive first innings, the longest streak since before integration.

They continue to employ the same hitting coaches and “offensive coordinator.”

Tonight the Mariners scored 7 in the top of the 1st in Kansas City, and led 8-0 in the middle of the fourth. But the Royals scored 4 in the 4th, 3 in the 6th, and 3 in the bottom of the ninth to win 10-9.

The win broke a MLB streak of 75 straight games in which a team lost after trailing 7-0 in the first inning. The last time a team won such a game was 1995.

A couple of weeks ago KC had an 8-game winning streak, followed by a stretch in which they lost 7 of 9, and now they’ve won 3 in a row.

Yanks lost the series to old time rival the Dodgers, but at least they ended on a high note winning last night powered by Judge’s Double and Homerun. He went 3 for 4 getting his average up to .305.

Judge leads MLB in OPS, Slugging, OBP, HR, 2B, BB and 2nd in RBIs and 3rd in Runs. He has taken the lead in WAR at 5.0 vs 4.4 for Henderson (BAL). He is now 4th in batting average in the AL.