Morning Skate: Tuesday, Nov. 6

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Morning Skate: Tuesday, Nov. 6

A good piece by Marc Spector going over the hawks and doves in the NHL ownership group as the lockout rolls on with both sides waiting for the opposition to blink.

A history of the center-ice paint jobs in Boston. Its interesting to look at the slight changes over the years.
 
In his regular blog with the Ottawa Citizen, Ian Mendes goes over when the world of sports and US Presidents have intersected in the past.
 
Jaromir Jagr sees both sides of the NHL lockout, and fills Nick Cotsonika in on it as one of his final stories during his travels in Europe.

Cory Schneider thinks that the next few weeks are make or break for the NHL and the players if they hope to have a season.

Great column from Hall of Fame goaltender Ken Dryden on what NHL fans dont want to hear during this lockout over profits and revenues.

Larry Brooks from the New York Post says the owners taking responsibility for the make whole provision is the key for the NHL finding a new CBA. When that happens there will be something to talk about.

Thanks to Jeff Marek and Greg Wyshynski for having me on the Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast yesterday afternoon. Plenty of frank talk about the lockout and how it involves the Bruins.

For something completely different: Harrison Ford is interested in reprising his Han Solo role in the new Star Wars movies, and may have some nefarious motives behind it.

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

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Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.