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The Family picked ourselves some apples yesterday, and now I’m fixin’ to make some apple crisp. I do it from scratch, and it’s seven shades of awesome. I haven’t done it post-kids, though, and The Little Girl insists on helping. That is, of course, adorable and I’m happy to let her – but assistance from children is the enemy of gastronomical perfection. I’ll keep you posted on the relative success.

  • So, the Pirates turned a rare triple play against the Cubs yesterday, and it was of the around-the-horn variety. If you didn’t see it yesterday, here’s the video:

  • To execute a triple play like that with Matt Szczur going down the line, everything has to be absolutely perfect – from the speed of the grounder, to the location of the third baseman, to the momentum of his angle, to the throw to second, to the transfer at second, to the throw to first. And it all was. Many tips of the cap on that one, as it was just flawlessly executed all around.
  • If Harrison hadn’t been positioned so close to third, by the way, that’s a ringing double down the line that maybe scores two, and maybe the game goes in a different direction.
  • If you’re wondering, by the way, why pitcher Eric Jokisch batted for himself in the 7th with a runner on base and the Cubs down four yesterday, Rick Renteria indicated after the game that it was important to the Cubs that Jokisch get more work on the mound thereafter (Tribune). In other words, it was a developmental issue, rather than a win-this-game-at-all-costs thing. I’m fine with that. I know the players want to win, and I know the coaches want to win. But there have to be priorities this time of year, given the realities of the season.
  • The Reds might not be trying so hard to win the series that starts today in Chicago against the Cubs. Upon confirming that many September call-ups would be playing in this series, manager Bryan Price said this about the middle game, which will be started by Johnny Cueto: “Probably two [games will feature call-ups.] We’ve got Cueto pitching the middle game. I think it’s fair to surround him with the people who give him the best chance to win.” I’d knock Price for saying it, but, as with the Jokisch thing, there are other priorities for teams like the Cubs and Reds right now. (I do, however, think it’s lame that a manager has to manage a game to “win” it because of the pitcher on the mound. Gotta puff up that completely meaningless pitcher W/L record!)
  • Since his 4K game in Cincinnati in late August, Javier Baez has struck out only … 37.5% of the time. Progress? Technically, yes, progress.
  • And, while we’re on the subject, Mike Olt’s K rate since his recall earlier this month is 31.3%. Also progress.
  • Tom Tango (you may know him as smart saber dude, and/or a consultant for the Cubs) is doing his annual fan scouting report project, levering the large number of baseball fans who already watch tons of baseball, and plumbing their knowledge for (hopefully large enough sample) info on defensive ability. Go here and evaluate any player you feel like you’ve got adequate knowledge about (at least watched them 10 times this year). Presumably for you, that will mostly mean the Cubs – but you don’t have to evaluate every single player or even every single tool. Just the ones you really think you know, and just based on what your eyes tell you.

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