By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media
Looking ahead to first pitch …
Game: Pirates (64-52) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (64-53)
Time: 7:05 p.m.
Site: PNC Park
TV, radio: Root Sports, 93.7 The Fan
Here is the live box score.
And here is the Pirates’ lineup vs. Los Angeles LHP Clayton Kershaw …
- Starling Marte, LF
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Gaby Sanchez, 1B
- Michael McKenry, C
- Garrett Jones, RF
- Josh Harrison, 3B
- Jordy Mercer, SS
- Wandy Rodriguez, LHP
Oh, and for those who missed Melky Cabrera getting suspended 50 games, here’s that.
Cabrera has a .346 average, second in the NL to McCutchen’s .359. Cabrera has 501 plate appearances. You need 3.1 plate appearances per each of your team’s games to qualify for the batting title. Cabrera’s total amounts to 161.6 San Francisco games. Round that up, and he qualifies.
What will Major League Baseball do if he ends up as batting champion despite clearly cheating?
And how unfair would that be to McCutchen?
UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: For more clarity: A player needs 502 plate appearances over his team’s 162 games. Cabrera has 501. If the Giants somehow play less than 162 games — rainouts not made up, etc. — he qualifies for title. They’re in race for first (and wild card) right now, so that looks unlikely. But it’s still not impossible. He still could be batting champ after being busted for — and apparently — admitting he cheated.
What will MLB do?
And was this timing at 501 coincidence?
There’s also the remarkable case of Tony Gwynn being granted “hitless at-bats” to win a batting title. It’s in the rules. A player can be granted enough “hitless at-bats” to qualify for the title, so long as his average would still be the league’s best even with those zeroes.