Posts Tagged ‘Andy Fletcher’

On Thursday Jon Lester pitched for the Chicago Cubs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Lester only lasted 4 innings, but this isn’t about if he’s worth the money the Cubs are paying him. It’s about how the home plate umpire acted during the game. In the 2nd inning A.J. Ellis was at the plate for the Dodgers with a 2 and 2 count. Lester’s next pitch appeared to be right down the middle of the plate. Ellis took what looked like strike 3, but home plate umpire Andy Fletcher called it a ball. When Cubs catcher David Ross threw the ball back to Lester he caught it in disgust and yelled towards home plate. Lester’s next pitch was close, but clearly a ball and Ellis drew a walk. It’s not uncommon to see a pitcher get into a fight with an umpire during a game. It is uncommon to see an umpire charge the pitcher’s mound during one of those arguments, but that’s exactly what Fletcher did. Ross pretty much had to physically restrain Fletcher as he was trying to get to Lester who was o the pitching mound.  Ross did a good enough job distracting Fletcher; to allow Cubs manager Joe Maddon to make his way out to the field. Maddon was able to take Fletcher’s attention away from Lester, and the two retreated to home plate to argue. Amazingly, no member of the Cubs was ejected during the argument. Lester explained the situation after the game this way. “I didn’t say anything directly to him,” Lester said. “I don’t know why he was so upset. I had my head down when I was yelling. Nothing was directed at him … and I don’t know what was going on. It had nothing to do with the umpire’s strike zone. I have to execute better.”  Ross also added “Andy wanted to make sure [Lester’s reaction] wasn’t directed toward him,” Ross said. “I was making sure [Fletcher] would talk to me and not Jon.” To me Fletcher’s reaction was improper and he needs to be disciplined. Players should be allowed to show that they’re upset with a call an umpire makes and as long as the player has his reaction and gets back to baseball it should be over. Too many times in games today, umpires go way over the line to continue these arguments which of course then lead to players or managers being ejected. This is the first time that I remember a home plate umpire charging the mound like he had been hit by a pitch. Ross had to put his hands on Fletcher to stop him from getting to the mound and Lester. I’ve heard this said quite a few times and I’m going to repeat it. I’m not at the game to see the umpire. 

After his near perfect game in his last start. It was Max Scherzer’s turn in the rotation for the Washington nationals as they were playing the Philadelphia Phillies. Scherezer added another 5 1/3rd perfect innings last night retiring the first 16 Phillies he faced until Freddy Galvis doubled on a 1-1 to the right field wall. While Scherezer  couldn’t match Johnny Vander Meer, who threw two straight no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in June 1938, Scherezer has taken a no-hitter into the sixth inning in three straight starts. On a side note; the deepest a pitcher has taken a no-hitter after throwing one in the start before was Nolan Ryan in 1973, when he allowed a hit with no outs in the eighth. Scherezer picked up the vicyory in the Nationals 5-2 win to improve his record to 9-5 on the season. Scherezer pitched 8 innings allowing 5 hits, 2 earned runs while striking out 7 hitters. Scherezer even got a base hit and scored one of the Nationals 5 runs.

There was a streak in major league baseball that came to an end this week and I’m not sure many people even noticed.  Atlanta Braves right fielder Nick Markakis saw his record streak of 398 consecutive games without an error end in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Washington Nationals. Denard Span singled to right field leading off and Markakis bobbled the ball, allowing Span to take second. Markakis, who signed with Atlanta in the offseason, established the all-time MLB record for consecutive errorless games by a non-pitcher on June 18th; breaking the previous mark of 392, set by Darren Lewis from 1990-94. Markakis had not made an error since on Aug. 10, 2012, while with the Baltimore Orioles.

The NBA Draft was held on Thursday with Karl-Anthony Towns being the 1st player selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Los Angeles Lakers took D’Angelo Russell with the 2nd pick and the Philadelphia 76ers took Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd pick. Now most if not all experts had these 3 players being the first 3 players off the draft board in some order. The New York Knicks had the 4th pick in the draft and took Kristaps Porzingis. Now it was reported that Carmelo Anthony didn’t like this pick and was upset with the Knicks and Phil Jackson There was a report that Anthony was telling a close friend “are we supposed to wait two or three years for this guy?”  A Knicks source claims that Anthony called Tim Hardaway Jr. after Hardaway was traded to Atlanta for the draft rights to Jerian Grant to express his displeasure with Jackson’s moves. Stephen A. Smith said on SiriusXM radio that Anthony feels “betrayed” by Jackson, who last summer signed him to a 5-year, $124 million contract. If I could ask Anthony a question I’d love to know who or what he thought the Knicks could do that would make them contenders. Anthony, who turned 31 on May 29, had season ending knee surgery in February and will be ready by the start of training camp.

The NHL Draft started last night, but I’d have to lie to you to tell you anything about the players who were picked last night. As expected Connor McDavid was the 1st overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers and Jack Eichel was taken 2nd by the Buffalo Sabres as expected. For the first time in NHL history and I believe draft history a team had 3 consecutive 1st round picks. The Boston Bruins ended up having the 13th. 14th and 15th pick in the first round. Boston ended up taking defenseman Jakub Zborilleft winger Jake DeBrusk and right winger Zachary Senyshyn. I’m not sure if we’ll see any of these players in the NHL at the start of next season, but it will give you something to keep an eye on. Just so you know when to start looking for these players the NHL season starts October 7th with 4 games on the schedule.

So how was your week?

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