The top five MLB newsworthy moments from my days off (ICYMI too!)
I took Thursday and Friday off from work, from my blog, from everything. While baseball is my passion in life I also enjoy other sports (shocking!) and love the City of Oakland (another big shocker there!).
Well, since the Golden State … no the Oakland Warriors are the 2015 NBA Champs, I took a couple days off in honor of their accomplishments and for the celebratory parade! Thank you Dubs for an unbelievable season with a perfect ending! 😀
So, back to baseball now shall we? Between June 18 and June 19, there were a number of things that I wanted to write about to keep myself and my readers (Do I have any regulars?? Seriously?) up to date on the latest in Major League Baseball.
Of course I miss a lot of things, even when I don’t take the day off, and could never cover every cool thing that happens on any given day but here are the top five MLB newsworthy moments from June 18 and June 19, 2015 ICYMI too!
*(please leave a comment and let me know what else I should’ve added to the list! I know I’m not covering everything cool from two days worth of baseball!!)
1. June 19, 2015: Texas Ranngers @ Chicago White Sox
Chris Sale solidifies his place among baseball’s all-time elite pitchers
Friday night Chris Sale had a good night striking out 14 Texas Rangers’ batters. He also tied a record, a record now also held by two very big name Hall of Famers. Sale has struck out 12 or more batters in his last five starts.
The two Hall of Famers who also hold that record? They’re pitchers are two of the best that have pitched in my lifetime: Randy Johnson who accomplished the feat in 1998 and Pedro Martinez who did the same a year later in 1999. Now that is some unbelievable company to be in.
The bullpen, ok it was just closer David Robertson, went on to blow the save for Sale and the Rangers won by a score of 2-1.The loss may have put a damper on the night but it shouldn’t on what Chris Sale accomplished. Although I’m of course rooting for the Athletics’ Sonny Gray to start this season’s mid-summer classic, I may just have to agree with ESPN’s Keith Law:
He should start the ASG for the AL. Best pitcher in the league right now. https://t.co/v9071T8YRp
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) June 20, 2015
2. June 19, 2015: Detroit Tigers @ New York Yankees
A-Rod joins the 3,000 hit club
Alex Rodriguez hit a solo home run off of the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning for the 3,000 hit of his career. Even with PEDs, suspensions and everything that’s happened between A-Rod and MLB, 30K hits is an accomplishment that needs to be noted. A-Rod has been playing well and playing clean this season. There is no denying it. Even though his 3,000 hits may end up with an asterisk by it, it is definitely worth taking a look at it. MLB gaves us a glimpse of the historic moment on Twitter.
3. June 18, 2015: Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers win on walk-off balk
The Los Angeles Dodgers stopped a three-game skid from becoming a losing streak, defeating the Texas Rangers by a score of 1-0. The game was a pitcher’s duel and the Rangers’ Anthony Ranaudo matched Los Angeles’ Zack Greinke pitch for pitch. Both teams had multiple opportunities to score but just couldn’t come through.
Ranaudo went 6 2/3 innings allowing five hits. Greinke made it through seven innings allowing just four hits. Their bullpens supported them in relief. For Texas that ended in the ninth inning. With Keone Kela pitching in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Enrique Hernandez on third it appeared as though he had gotten out of jam when Alberto Callaspo grounded out into a double play with two runners on.
With Jimmy Rollins at bat Kela flinched just enough for it to be called a balk and Hernandez scored the games only walk as the Dodgers got the win.
“The pitcher was looking at me every time he was coming set so [third base coach] Lorenzo [Bundy] told me to fake him,” Hernandez said. “I was waiting for him to come set and look at me so I was just walking, acting like I was looking at the third baseman. I started walking, then I started speed walking and I pretended like I was going to run. He flinched and we got lucky.”
4. June 18, 2015: The Kansas City Royals, their fans and the 2015 All-Star Game
Royals fan’s blog post tells fans how to be able to vote an unlimited number of times for the 2015 ASG
There are eight Kansas City Royals currently slated to start the 2015 All-Star game according to the voting from fans. Yes, most of them do deserve to be there. That’s true but perhaps not all eight of them. Things got especially suspicious when Royals’ second baseman Omar Infante moved into first place in the voting at his position. Infante is currently hitting .227. Um …..??
While Royals fans say they simply organized well, which I know is possible because in 2014 Oakland A’s fans united to make unknown second baseman MLB Network’s “Face of MLB” and almost did. We were extraordinarily organized and determined and I am pretty sure that MLB was responsible for the last minute vote surge out of Korea that pushed David Wright to win the finals but that’s not the point of this story. I’m just saying that fans can and will organize.
But when you are putting a player hitting .227 in place to start the All-Star game when there are obviously many more deserving players who should be considered to start and even just be in the All-Star game. According to CBS Sports Royals blogger Travis Pflanz posted instructions on how to cast unlimited votes, instead of the 35 votes that are allowed to every other fan. Don’t believe me? Use the link above and you’ll find the instructions. You should actually and just vote away. Mike Trout shouldn’t be the lone non-Royal on the American League’s starting All-Star roster and Infante shouldn’t be starting at second.
5. June 19, 2015: St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies: The “Rally Squirrel”
The return of the “Rally Squirrel” for Cards and Phils
Last season the Oakland Athletics had a “Rally Possum” which is definitely a ballpark first and he became a phenomenon among A’s fans who still rep the Rally Possum today. They also had the “Rally Cat,” although I don’t think it was actually labeled that at the time, that was the inspiration for Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation or ARF.
However, the St. Louis Cardinals also have a “Rally Squirrel” that likes to help them defeat the Philadelphia Phillies. In the 2011 NLDS the Cardinals were taking on the visiting Phillies. Roy Oswalt was pitching to Skip Schumaker and a squirrel ran across home plate. The Cardinals won that game, then game five, the NLCS and eventually the World Series.
The Rally Squirrel reappeared Friday night in Philadelphia. With the Cards already up 4-0, a squirrel began scaling the netting behind home plate. After the squirrel’s appearance the Cardinals went on to score seven runs and won the game by the score of 11-0.
Of course this wasn’t the same squirrel who, bless his little heart probably isn’t with us anymore, but it is a pretty funny coincidence. One that is made a bit more amusing since the emergence of the Rally Possum in Oakland. I mean squirrels, possums? I’m not sure I want to know what the next rally animal will be or where … but there’s bound to be another sometime! Let’s just hope it doesn’t emerge in Miami or Tampa Bay – it could be a crocodile or an alligator! JK (kinda! LOL!)
So those are my picks for the top five MLB newsworthy moments from June 18-19. Did I miss anything? What are your top five moments from Thursday and Friday … and once again CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GOLDEN STATE (aka OAKLAND) WARRIORS ON THEIR NBA CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY! I’m very proud to have been a long-time Warrior’s fan! It was absolutely worth the wait!!