Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Midday Recap: Man dies at Braves game, and a few misses

Yu Darvish comes close for a 2nd time. Two mis-fields by Daniel Murphy and an errant throw leads to the Dodgers 6th straight win. And Mariano Rivera takes a day off after blowing three straight save chances.

But the big story this morning is the unfortunate death of a "lifelong Braves fan". According to authorities, Ronald Homer Jr., fell 65' to his death during the Atlanta Braves game with the Philadelphia Phillies last night. In an interview with the Associated Press, his mother said her son was a fan of the team through their bad days and their good days.

Police say the deadly fall appears to be an accident, and that there's no sign of foul play. There's no word at this time how Homer fell to his death. An autopsy will take place today.

If Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish wasn't already in the discussion for AL Cy Young candidates, he helped his case yesterday, striking out 15 against the Houston Astros over the course of 8 innings.  If that wasn't enough, Darvish for the second time this season, flirted with a no-no against these Astros.

The one hit he did allow came against Carlos Corporan, who homered with one man out in the 8th inning.  Joe Nathan came in the 9th inning to save Darvish's effort.

Darvish is 12-5 on the season, with a 2.64 ERA that ranks 4th in the American League. His 207 strikeouts is tops in the Majors, 29 better than Matt Harvey and Seattle's Felix Hernandez, who are tied with 178.  The .184 batting average hitters have against Darvish is 2nd to NL Cy Young candidate Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Back in April, Darvish came one out away from a Perfect Game in his first start when Marwin Gonzalez singled up the middle for the lone Astros base runner.

Things were going fine for Jenrry Mejia for 5 innings.  He sat the first 8 batters he faced, and allowed only 3 singles through those 5 innings.  Plus thanks to 4 straight singles in the 2nd, he had a 2-0 cushion to work with.

Then came the 6th inning.  The Dodgers began the inning with two singles that were both misfielded by Daniel Murphy, one on a grounder that he couldn't get control of in time to throw out Carl Crawford and then only got a piece of a liner to right field from Mark Ellis.  As both weren't outright errors, they were registered as base hits, allowing the Dodgers to set up 1st and 2nd with nobody out. Adrian Gonzalez singled to center, bringing Crawford home, but then an errant throw from Juan Lagares to Wilmer Flores allowed the Dodgers to tie the game.

A Yasiel Puig sacrifice fly would bring Gonzalez home as the Dodgers took the lead and never looked back, winning the game 4-2.

Killer 40 Minute Span: In about 40 minutes, the Mets went from looking good against the league's hottest team to being another victim. After falling behind 3-2, the Mets had a sparkling opportunity in the 7th inning when Eric Young singled to load the bases with 1 man out. But two very questionable calls against Juan Lagares would help Ronald Belisario and subsequent reliever Paco Rodriquez get out of the mess.

On a 2-0 count, Lagares checked his swing, but according to 1st Base umpire Jeff Kellogg, he went enough around for the strike.  After three straight fouls, Lagares finally got the 3rd ball, putting the count full. The 8th and final pitch of the at bat appeared on camera to be outside, but Home Plate Umpire Chad Fairchild called strike three for the 2nd out.

Daniel Murphy was able to hit the ball deep, but Yasiel Puig's speed allowed him to get to the warning track in time to catch and end the Mets threat, leaving three on the bases.

The Mets had another threat in the 8th inning with runners on 1st and 2nd with two men out, but Justin Turner would strand them as he was called out on strikes.

In the 9th, Josh Satin hit the ball fairly deep, but a running Jerry Hairston would reach in time for the 1st out.  After two strikeouts, Kenley Jansen would earn the four-strike save for the Dodgers.

Hiroki Kuroda went 8 innings, striking out 7 as the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1, but the big discussion was the lack of Mariano Rivera in the game.

After blowing 3 straight saves, Rivera opted to take the night off, resulting in David Robertson earning his first save of the year for the Yankees. Rivera's night off didn't sit well for Yankees fans, who in the 9th inning were chanting for his appearance in the game, especially after Boon Logan allowed a single on his second offering to J.B. Shuck to open the 9th, then Robertson walked Mike Trout and gave up a double to Josh Hamilton to set up runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out with only a 1 run lead.

But Roberston calmed down with the bases loaded, and got both Mark Trumbo and Chris Nelson to strike out to end the game.

Mariano Rivera told reporters after the game that this simply was a day off and not a forced sitting after blowing three save opportunities in a row, and that he will be back during this four game series against the Angels.

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