Scorekeeping 101: So just who won Game 7?

Jeremy Affeldt's 2014 Topps baseball card

Jeremy Affeldt’s 2014 Topps baseball card

Last night, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals by the score of 3-2 in Game 7 to win their third World Series championship in the past five years.

Madison Bumgarner finished off the game with five scoreless innings on two day’s rest, cementing his status as the World Series MVP.

If you were watching, you might remember Joe Buck mentioned that the official scorer had sent word that Bumgarner would receive credit for the win. And for almost an hour, Bumgarner did have a 3-0 record in the 2014 World Series.

But as Benjamin Hoffman noted in the New York Times, that’s not what history will actually record.

Jeremy Affeldt, the pitcher of record at the time the Giants took their 3-2 lead, ultimately got the “W” by his name. Bumgarner instead received credit for the extremely rare five-inning save.

While the initial scoring decision seemed to comply with the provisions of Rule 10.17(b), the scoring panel decided that it was not consistent with the comment that follows in the rule book:

If two or more relief pitchers were similarly effective, the official scorer should give the presumption to the earlier pitcher as the winning pitcher.

Hoffman explains:

In general, if a starting pitcher does not complete five innings, and the score is tied, a victory is assigned to the pitcher of record when the lead changed hands. The exception is when the scorer determines the reliever of record was ineffective.

While Bumgarner was more effective than Affeldt, it would be tough to argue that Affeldt was ineffective.

So if you kept score of last night’s game, you might need get out your eraser.

Baseball Card of the Day: 2013 Allen & Ginter Across the Years R.A. Dickey

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Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey is celebrating his 40th birthday today, a fact noted on his “Across the Years” insert card from the 2013 Allen & Ginter baseball card set.

Celebrities sharing Dickey’s birthday include actors Bela Lugosi and Winona Ryder, astronomer Edmund Halley, former New York Ranger Mike Gartner and Dan Castellaneta, who is identified as “Homer Simpson’s voice” on the back of the card. Also celebrating a birthday today are current Mets’ pitcher Dana Eveland and former Mets outfielder Karim Garcia.

Dickey became one of my favorite New York Mets players in 2011 and his Cy Young Award-winning performance was the highlight of 2012 for Mets fans. Since being traded to Toronto, Dickey has gone back to being a mid-rotation innings eater rather than a true ace. He finished 2014 with a 14-13 record and a 3.71 ERA in 215.2 innings, very solid numbers.

The Blue Jays could decide to deal Dickey this winter – he’s in the last year of his current contract, which will pay him $12 million in 2015, but the team does hold a $12 million option for 2016. Wherever he ends up, I hope he continues to enjoy success and I will keep rooting for him.

It’s the last day of the baseball season… who’s going to win it all?

baseballsThe 2014 Major League Baseball season began in the wee hours of the morning on March 22 as I watched Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia.

It will come to an end tonight, probably around midnight, with either the Kansas City Royals or San Francisco Giants being crowned as World Series champions.

Except for last night’s blowout, the World Series has been fun to watch – a lot more than I expected. I’d still like to see Kansas City win, but I’m fine with either outcome… I’m just hoping for a game that will stay competitive until near the end.

Despite my occasional (ok, frequent) frustrations with the New York Mets, I really enjoyed this baseball season… watching new talent like Jacob deGrom, Masahiro Tanaka, Jose Abreu, and George Springer take the stage, young players like Jose Altuve become stars, stars like Kershaw and Mike Trout continue to excel, and veterans like Derek Jeter, Paul Konerko and Bobby Abreu take their final bows… it’s been fun as well as an often-needed distraction from the real world.

Thank you to everyone who’s shared this season with me – whether we went to games together or just ‘talked’ online.

Once the final out is made tonight, we can all start the countdowns to spring training and Opening Day 2015.

Baseball Card of the Day: 2014 Topps Update Michael Choice

Michael-Choice-SP Michael-Choice-SP-B

Michael-Choice Michael-Choice-B

I finally managed to find Topps Update cards today, including this pair of Michael Choice cards.

Choice, a former Oakland Athletics prospect, played in 86 games for the Texas Rangers this year after being acquired in an offseason trade for outfielder Craig Gentry and pitcher Josh Lindblom.

He didn’t really have an impressive rookie year – Choice hit .182 with nine home runs, 36 RBI and one stolen base. It’s unclear if he’ll ever be more than a supporting player in the major leagues.

Nevertheless, Topps decided to make him one of the multitude of players with a short-printed photo variation card in this year’s Update set. I don’t think I would have paid any attention to it except for finding both versions in the same pack.

If there’s a Rangers fan out there who wants the short print (or the pair), please let me know – I’ll be happy to trade for anything off of my wantlists or any 2014 New York Mets card.

Baseball Card of the Day: 2006 Topps Factory Set Bonus Henry Owens

I barely remember Henry Owens, the right-handed relief pitcher who appeared in three games for the 2006 New York Mets before being traded to the Florida Marlins for Jason Vargas. (In a few years, I will probably get him confused with Henry Owens, the left-handed starting pitcher who plays in the the Boston Red Sox organization.)

Henry-Owens Henry-Owens-B

In fact, if it weren’t for baseball cards I’m sure I would have forgotten the Owens that played for the Mets by now. He came to mind because I recently ran across this 2006 Topps Factory Set bonus card when I was looking through rkcollectibles‘ eBay inventory to see if they had anything else I might need when I bought my 2014 Stadium Club Mets team set.

In a bid to sell more factory sets in 2006, Topps included five cards from a 20-card bonus set of rookies along with all of the regular cards from Series 1 and 2. Unfortunately for collectors, Nick Markakis is the best player in the set and most are guys like Owens who didn’t manage to stick around for long.

When I bought the card for a dollar, I thought it might be Owens’ only one as a Met.  I was wrong – he’s got more Mets baseball cards than Mets innings pitched (2006 Bowman Chrome Prospects, 2006 Bowman Prospects, 2006 Topps 52, and 2006 Upper Deck in addition to this one.)

At least I probably still need it for my 2006 Mets team set (I haven’t checked yet.)