So Felix Hernandez is on the mound yesterday against the Astros with 2 on and 2 out in bottom 2. He coaxes a ground ball out of Martin Maldanado but it gets through his shortstop, Dee Gordon; Maldanado reaches first and two runs score. The next batter, Jake Marisnick, takes the 3-2 pitch into the left field seats and BOOM!: four unearned runs. Hernandez' final line: 11 runs allowed (7 earned) on 7 hits and 2 BB in two innings . Yes, Gordon got an error on the play, but the simple error assigned does not capture the fact that Gordon's error produced all the runs HOU needed to win the game. As a result, I would propose a new fielding category, the EL, Error causing Loss. If you give up the losing run for your team as a result of your fielding error, you get an EL. I would predict that this would work to reduce the overall number of errors in the field, as no position player is going to want an EL next to his name in the box score or in his stats. Could someone please set up a lunch with the Commissioner for me...?
3-0 yesterday concludes my worst week of the summer. Oakland came through on the Forum pick, bringing us to 9-2 since I started these posts in August. I only have one selection for tonight, MIL-207 v MIA.
The Brewers are 2 games behind the Cubs for the last wild card spot after taking three straight from CHC over the weekend. They are competing with not only Chicago but also the Diamondbacks (8-2 in L10), who are a half game in front of them. Some things would need to fall into place for MIL but they are clearly still in it with 20 games left. I often look for favorites who have come from behind to win their last game; the Brewers are 12-4 in this situation since late 2017. Their starter tonight, Jordan Lyles has really excelled since coming to MIL recently, with the Brewers winning 6 of his 7 starts. In his career Lyles has been just awful on the road, but he has won three straight for MIL against OAK, PIT, and WAS. Not bad.
I love, really love, a big dog (read bad team) off a win. The Marlins hammered KCR 9-0 yesterday and MIA is 3-16 coming off a win since June 30th, losing the last 10 straight in this situation. The Marlins are also 2-9 in the last two seasons off a win where they scored 9 runs. They are 0-7 at home in this situation, averaging 2.29 runs scored and 8.14 runs allowed (Damn!). Their starter tonight, Robert Dugger, has had only three starts since coming up in August. He pitched decently enough against the Reds and Pirates, but gave up 6 ER and two home runs to the Mets in his first start, his only opponent with a winning record. My only caveat here is that MIA has done reasonably well coming off a shutout win, going 2-2 this season. Unfortunately, Sandy Alcantara has both of those wins and he is not starting tonight. Good Hunting, John.