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The Complete Game Loss

The first one came early. In the daytime portion of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Rays and Red Sox, James Shields was on his game. He struck out six and walked only one, allowing three runs through eight innings. Unfortunately for him, the Rays scored only one run, leaving him tagged with the loss despite the effort. Later that evening Roy Halladay pitched a typically dominant game, allowing one run through eight. But the Diamondbacks rallied for two in the ninth, both off Halladay, leaving him also saddled with a loss even though he completed the game.

Seeing two complete game losses on the same day is a rare event for sure. Perhaps it’s not as rare as three players hitting two triples in a night, or teams walking off five times, or a triple play on two consecutive days, but it’s a rarity for sure. The complete game loss itself, though, is not so rare. In fact, of the 142 complete games this year 27.5% have ended with losses.

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 16th

Astros 6, Cubs 5

Moving the Needle: Brian Bogusevic plays the hero with a walk-off grand slam, +.817 WPA. It hasn’t been a smooth 2011 for Carlos Marmol. At one point he lost his job as closer, but he’s since regained it. Last night he came out for the ninth, and for a while he looked like typical Marmol: a few singles, a walk, a wild pitch. It amounted to a bases loaded, one out situation. On a 2-2 pitch Marmol delivered one outside, and Bogusevic put a charge into it, sending it well over the 404 sign in center to win the game.


Carlos Pena: 2 for 2, 2 2B, 2 BB.

Jimmy Paredes: 2 for 4, 2 2B. He’s had a nice little run since getting promoted to the majors in late July.

Also in this issue: Rangers 7, Angels 3 | Braves 2, Giants 1 | Red Sox 3, Rays 1 | Rays 6, Red Sox 2 | Marlins 6, Rockies 5 | White Sox 8, Indians 7 | Brewers 2, Dodgers 1 | Tigers 7, Twins 1 | National 6, Reds 4 | Yankees 9, Royals 7 | Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 2 | A’s 8, Orioles 4 | Pirates 5, Cardinals 4 | Blue Jays 13, Mariners 7 | Padres 6, Mets 1

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 15th

Braves 5, Giants 4

Moving the Needle: Freddie Freeman walks off with a two-RBI single, +.733 WPA. There is nothing quite like the multi-run come-from-behind victory in the bottom of the ninth. The Braves got that last night, as they entered the frame down two. A single, walk, and sac set them up for the tie, but Martin Prado’s single only scored one. A walk and a strikeout brought Freeman to the plate, and he grounded one up the middle to bring home the two winning runs.


Madison Bumgarner: 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. It seems as though his bullpen has failed him after quite a few solid starts this year. Brian Wilson ended up blowing the save.

Tim Hudson: 8 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 2 K. He got 15 ground balls, which is pretty standard. But he also allowed 11 balls in the air, which is not.

Also in this issue: Rangers 8, Angels 4 | Twins 9, Tigers 6 | Rockies 7, Marlins 4 | Yankees 7, Royals 4 | Cubs 4, Astros 3 | Orioles 6, A’s 2 | Brewers 3, Dodgers 0 | Mariners 6, Blue Jays 5 | Pirates 6, Cardinals 2 | Mets 5, Padres 4

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Sticking with the Royals Veteran Outfield

The pieces are starting to fall into place for the Royals. They’ve started unveiling their youth movement this year, bringing up a number of their top prospects. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Danny Duffy lead the charge of high-end prospects who have debuted in 2011, but they’re not the only newcomers from the highly touted farm system. Jeremy Jeffress, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow, Salvador Perez, Johnny Giavotella, and others have contributed in 2011. More will follow in September, and we could see a turnaround really start in 2012.

Even though the Royals do have plenty of potential in their young players, they will not fill the entire roster with 23-year-olds. Every team needs some kind of veteran presence. The Royals do have some experienced players on their roster. In fact, their entire outfield is currently composed of players in their late 20s. These three players — Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera, and Jeff Francoeur — have led the team in almost every offensive category this season, and it could be worth their while to keep a few of them around as their youngsters grow into major leaguers.

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 14th

Blue Jays 5, Angels 4

Moving the Needle: Brett Lawrie ties the game with a double in the ninth, +.414 WPA. Lawrie might have gone nuts after his first career grand slam, but in terms of winning games this one was just as big. With one out in the ninth he doubled home the tying run, sending the game to extra innings. The Blue Jays won the game when Edwin Encarnacion singled with two on and two outs.


Jose Bautista: 3 for 4, 1 HR, 1 BB. With both of the players trailing him in the AL HR race not playing (thanks to rain) Bautista extended his lead.

Peter Bourjos: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 3B. If the kid could take a walk he’d be a superb leadoff hitter (which is where he hit yesterday).

Also in this issue: Orioles 8, Tigers 5 | Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3 | White Sox 6, Royals 2 | Cubs 6, Braves 5 | Rangers 7, A’s 6 | Padres 7, Reds 3 | Mariners 5, Red Sox 3 | Giants 5, Marlins 2 | Dodgers 7, Astros 0 | Brewers 2, Pirates 1 | Cardinals 6, Rockies 2

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 11th

Diamondbacks 8, Astros 5

Moving the Needle: Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run homer ties the game in the ninth, +.489 WPA. It was the kind of hit that WPA graphs were made for: bottom nine, two out, runner on first, down two, pinch hitter for the pitcher at the plate. Goldschmidt looked at the first four pitches of his AB, working the count to 2-2. He then fouled off a couple before belting a game-tying home run. In the bottom of the 10th Chris Young won the game with a homer of his own.


Jason Bourgeois: 3 for 5, 1 3B. He scored twice. He had been 0 for the series.

Ryan Roberts: 2 for 5, 1 2B. He has career highs in just about every counting stat, except singles and triples. He’s two shy on singles, one on triples.

Also in this issue: White Sox 6, Orioles 3 | Tigers 4, Indians 3 | Cubs 4, Nationals 3 | Yankees 6, Angels 5 | Reds 2, Rockies 1 | Rays 4, Royals 1 | Padres 3, Mets 2 | A’s 10, Blue Jays 3 | Cardinals 5, Brewers 2

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The Chances of a Wandy Rodriguez Trade

This past off-season it seemed as though Wandy Rodriguez would sit near the top of available pitchers at the deadline. The Astros were going nowhere, and Rodriguez was set to hit free agency after the season. But out of nowhere the Astros signed him to a three-year, $34 million contract that covered 2011 through 2013. In itself that’s still a tradable contract, but the $13 million option changed the story. If traded it becomes a player option, which makes a deal far less likely. Written that way, the inclusion of the option clause made it seem as though the Astros intended to keep Rodriguez. And yet here we are in August, hearing talk of a possible waiver trade.

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 10th

Rays 8, Royals 7

Moving the Needle: Sam Fuld triples and then scores the walk-off run on an error, +.910 WPA. This really should have been divided, with some positive going to Fuld and some negative going to Johnny Giavotella. The Rays trailed 7-3 in the bottom of the ninth, but they got to work right away, riding two singles and a double to a run. A ground out and a single brought home two more, bringing them to within one. Fuld then came up with two outs and crushed one to the wall in right-center. That brought the runner around to tie the game, but more importantly it drew a throw as Fuld slid into third. Giavotella’s throw, however, got away from Mike Moustakas, and Fuld was able to dash home to score the winning run.


Melky Cabrera: 2 for 3, 1 2B, 1 HR. He drove in five runs. This furthers his incredible bounce back year.

Matt Joyce: 3 for 5, 1 HR. He scored twice, including once in the ninth.

Also in this issue: Orioles 6, White Sox 4 | Diamondbacks 6, Astros 3 | Indians 10, Tigers 3 | Cubs 4, Nationals 2 | Twins 5, Red Sox 2 | Reds 3, Rockies 2 | Yankees 9, Angels 3 | Braves 6, Marlins 2 | Phillies 9, Dodgers 8 | Mariners 4, Rangers 3 | Padres 9, Mets 5 | Blue Jays 8, A’s 4 | Brewers 5, Cardinals 1 | Pirates 9, Giants 2

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Padres Could Have A Loud Off-Season

It’s amazing how one poor year can change the way a franchise operates. Prior to 2009 the Padres actually maintained a reasonable payroll, usually in the middle third of the league. In 2008 they actually raised it to over $70 million for the first time, after division titles in 2005 and 2006, and the Game 163 loss to the Rockies in 2007. But when the Padres finished 63-99 in 2008 ownership slashed payroll by $30 million, and then cut another $6 million in 2010. This year they added a bit, but still come in under the $50 million mark. That’s about to change, though.

Yesterday Padres CEO Jeff Moorad spoke to the media about his plans for the future. The report, as written by San Diego Union-Tribune scribe Bill Center, contains plenty of nuggets, but what stands out is Moorad’s stance on the Padres’ future payroll. Next year it “will start with a five,” and will increase to $70 million by 2016. Given the Padres current commitments, it could take a considerable off-season effort to get payroll to the $50 million level.

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The Morning After: Game Recaps for August 9th

Angels 6, Yankees 4

Moving the Needle: Bobby Abreu homers to break the tie in the ninth, +.422 WPA. Last night Abreu accounted for 33% of his season’s home run total. He twice punished the Yanks with the long ball, the first to tie the game at one, and the second to put the Angels ahead against Mariano Rivera. That’s two straight blown games for Rivera.


Derek Jeter: 1 for 4, 1 BB. He hit a two-RBI, game-tying single in the seventh, and then walked in the ninth.

Jeff Mathis: 1 for 2, 1 2B. He had two RBI with the double

Also in this issue: White Sox 4, Orioles 3 | Diamondbacks 11, Astros 9 | Indians 3, Tigers 2 | Nationals 3, Cubs 1 | Red Sox 4, Twins 3 | Rockies 3, Reds 2 | Braves 4, Marlins 3 | Rays 4, Royals 0 | Phillies 2, Dodgers 1 | Rangers 7, Mariners 6 | Mets 5, Padres 4 | A’s 4, Blue Jays 1 | Brewers 5, Cardinals 3 | Giants 6, Pirates 0

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