Quick Links

Minnesota Twins lose their minds after Orioles hitter does his job

USA TODAY Sports Images

Minnesota Twins lose their minds after Orioles hitter does his job

The Orioles looked terrible in the first series of the 2018 season, yet it's the Twins who should be embarrassed with themselves. 

Minnesota dominated the O's all series, winning two out of three games, with the only loss coming in extra innings.

They still somehow managed to leave Baltimore angry after rookie Orioles catcher Chance Sisco laid down a perfect bunt to beat the shift in the 9th-inning of Jose Berrios' one-hitter on Sunday afternoon. 

It's important to clarify that it was already a one-hitter entering the 9th inning. Fittingly, it was Chance Sisco who picked up the Orioles first and only hit up until that point, an opposite-field double.

If Berrios had been working on a no-hitter or a perfect game, then the unwritten rules of not laying down a bunt in the 9th inning are a lot more clear.

As a quick aside, the unwritten rules are still garbage even during a no-hitter, as it's not the responsibility of the Orioles to care whether or not an opposing pitcher is going for history. Their only priority is to try to win the game. But still, there is an established history of players "respecting the game" in moments like that.

As I said, this was not one of those moments. History was not on the line, yet the Twins were shocked that an opposing hitter would try to get on base. I mean, the nerve of that guy, right? Doing his job like that? Unconscionable.


If one Twin had made an offhand comment, it likely would have gone unnoticed. Instead the entire locker room chimed in to admonish Sisco, and one Twins media member suggested Sisco should look out for a "fastball to the earhole" when the two teams meet again.

Given a chance to rethink his comments, Twins second basemen Brian Dozier doubled down the following day, saying that people were missing the fact that the Twins didn't steal up 7 in the top of the 9th.

Thankfully, it appears the Twins themselves are the only ones who think this should be an issue. Dozier, Berrios, and Eddie Rosario all commented on Sisco's bunt, yet the overwhelming majority of responses from other fanbases and media members has been in support of Sisco's bunt.

Frankly, it doesn't matter what position the defense was in, as Sisco's sole job as a major league hitter is to get on base. That said, it's been pointed out plenty of times that the Twins were in an extreme defensive shift, leaving third base wide open. They thought the game was competitive enough that they strategicially attempted to gain an advantage by breaking from traditional defensive alignment, yet they have a problem with the opposing hitter thinking the game was competitive enough that he strategically attempted to gain an advantage by bunting? Miss me with that.

Even ignoring game situation, there are plenty of good reasons for Sisco to lay down a bunt. As a young player trying to prove himself in the big leagues, anything he can do to get on base is good for his career. Plus, he is likely going to continue facing the shift on a regular basis, so practicing getting down a bunt during a game is valuable.

It even makes sense considering the Twins specifically. Maybe next time the two teams play each other, the Twins won't shade so far off the bag, remembering that Sisco has the ability to drop down a perfect bunt. And maybe the extra space that provides is enough for him to squeak a hit through in a more meaningful at-bat. 

The point is, all unwritten rules are pretty dumb. And if we're going to start playing that card in situations that make no logical sense? Baseball is going to continue to lose young fans.

Jose Berrios said "I know it's just not good for baseball in that situation," and he's absolutely right. Complaining about a young hitter trying to get on base, which again is, you know, his job, is definitely not good for baseball.

Quick Links

Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7


Machado hits 2-run HR in 15th as Orioles beat Braves 10-7

ATLANTA -- For Braves manager Brian Snitker, playing the matchups meant pitching to Manny Machado with first base open and a marathon game on the line.

The Orioles slugger made that strategy look foolish.

Machado hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 15th inning, lifting Baltimore to a 10-7 win over Atlanta on Friday night after each team staged dramatic ninth-inning rallies.

The Braves surrendered six runs in the ninth, and then scored four times in the bottom of the inning.

Peter Moylan, Atlanta's eighth pitcher, hit Craig Gentry to open the 15th. Gentry moved to second on Austin Wynns' sacrifice.

With first base open, the Braves pitched to Machado and he responded with his 19th homer, a drive into the Orioles' bullpen in left.

Snitker said the right-handed Moylan is tough on right-handed hitters but acknowledged "you hate like hell (Machado) is one of them."

Machado said an intentional walk "crossed my mind at first. I thought they were. In that situation they probably had faith in Moylan out there that he could get some ground balls to the left side of the infield."

Machado hit a 0-2 slider Moylan said was "supposed to be middle in." Moylan said the pitch "slipped out of my hand and ended up middle middle."

Moylan (0-1) gave up another run on singles by Colby Rasmus and Jonathan Schoop.

Mike Wright Jr. (1-0), Baltimore's seventh pitcher, threw two scoreless innings.

The game lasted 5 hours, 21 minutes.

The Orioles trailed 3-1 heading into the ninth, and the Braves rallied against closer Zach Britton in the bottom of the inning. Braves closer Arodys Vizcaino was not used while Dan Winkler allowed four runs while recording only one out.

Snitker said he rested Vizcaino because of shoulder soreness and he might be available on Saturday.

Chris Davis hit a drought-breaking homer and drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly as Baltimore opened a 7-3 lead.

Britton got one out and was charged with four runs and five hits. He gave up a single to Johan Camargo and a double to Danny Santana before hitting Ender Inciarte to load the bases.

Ozzie Albies' bases-loaded single drove in Camargo. Freddie Freeman's two-run single cut the lead to one before Nick Markakis tied the game with a double to right field.

Atlanta had jumped in front on Charlie Culberson's tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth.

Davis, making his first start since June 11, hit his first homer since May 9 in the fifth. Camargo tied the game with his run-scoring double in the seventh.

Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb allowed five hits in seven innings.

Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb permitted four hits in seven innings

The start of the game was delayed 11 minutes by rain.

Quick Links

American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

USA Today Sports Images

American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.