I went to Wrigley Field last night, and watched a great Cubs’ win over the Pirates. But more importantly, I was once again reminded about how awesome that stadium is.
I’m sure the fancy bells and whistles of newer, mega-arena-types are attractive to some, but given the option, I’ll take the concrete floors, outfield ivy, bleacher seats, packed house, and 100-year-old ushers every single time. I really love it there.
Here’s some news from around the league.
- Natural disasters are terrible, scary, unfortunate things. But sometimes, they provide opportunities for people to be great:
Jim Crane, the ownership group and our Foundation will donate $4 million to the relief efforts aiding the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 29, 2017
- In later tweets, the Astros relayed messages from Crane about his and the team’s continued support of those in need, including the collection of donations at their Florida Spring Training home to be sent to the people of Houston and the surrounding area. This is a wonderful thing he’s/they are doing.
- On a slightly less positive note, it sounds like the Rangers were unwilling to swap their about-to-start series with the Astros, instead suggesting all six upcoming games be played at the Rangers’ stadium – instead of three there now, three back at Minute Maid later:
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 28, 2017
- So … the upcoming Astros/Rangers series will be played at Tropicana Field in Florida (home of the Rays). The Rangers are 15 games out of first place. This is not a great look – and Astros’ pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. let the world know how little he thought of the Rangers’ move on Twitter.
- Remember when the Dodgers sent their top brass to scout Shohei Otani a few weeks back? Well, they’re not the only ones. The Yankees’ GM, Brian Cashman, is expected to take a “firsthand look” at Otani in his start this Thursday. That’s the second highest-level team executive in MLB to go across the pond and get a look. And unlike the Dodgers, the Yankees are not in the penalty box right now, and have one of the largest IFA pools of any team in baseball. Along with the Red Sox, the Yankees seem like one of the most likely landing spots for Otani if he comes over this winter. [Brett: Setting aside the timing stuff, I remain embittered that the lack of the DH in the National League will probably make it that much harder for a team like the Cubs to convince Otani to sign with them.]
- On Sunday, Cardinals infielder Jedd Gyorko hit the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, but the Cardinals are reportedly optimistic that he’ll play again before the season is over. More specifically, Gyorko is said to need “a few weeks” to recover as the strain was just mild to moderate, but you have to imagine, with just five weeks left in the season, that the Cardinals wouldn’t want to push Gyorko too hard depending on where they are in the standings. Gyorko has been one of the Cardinals’ better offensive weapons this year and a positive on defense, as well.
- Speaking of the Cardinals, I decided to check back in on the one Cardinal I like, and I have to say I was surprised:
Remember Dexter Fowler's slow start to the season … here's his slash line since May 27 (233 PAs): .306/.408/.541 (146 wRC+). Wowza.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) August 29, 2017
- Grichuk better.
- The Royals were shutout for the fourth consecutive game last night, bringing their scoreless streak up to 43 innings. That matches an American League record set back in 1913. They are just five innings away of the Major League record set by … never mind. You’ve probably never heard of the Chicago Cubs (1968). Oh, and if holding the 48 scoreless inning streak wasn’t bad enough, the 1992 Cubs were also the last team to go four straight games without a run. Yay!
- Last night, Max Scherzer returned to the Nationals from the disabled list and struck out 10 Marlins in his seven innings of one-run ball. Also last night, Jason Werth returned to the Nationals from the disabled list and went 2-4 with a two-run homer and two runs scored against the Marlins. Tomorrow, Trea Turner will return to the Nationals from the disabled list and probably steal 15 bases after going 8-8 at the plate, hitting for the cycle twice.
- Does it stink that the Nationals are awesome and getting healthy just before the playoffs? A bit, yeah, especially since they would play the Cubs in the first round. Am I totally cool with it because the Brewers have to play them in four straight games over the weekend? Yuuup.
- Giancarlo Stanton may be on a historic pace – and is doing so without an artificial help – but he might have to pick it up if he wants to keep up:
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 28, 2017
- But speaking of those 73 Bonds home runs, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs took a look at Stanton’s actual chances of reaching/overcoming that mark, and as you can imagine, it’s possible, but pretty unlikely. If he kept up is RIDICULOUS August pace (which, frankly, is unlikely) he’d wind up one short of the record. To beat it, Stanton would have to homer every 1.38 games, while playing every single remaining game. Good luck, dude. I’m definitely pulling for you.
- Just days before he was scheduled to return to the Major League team, D-Backs shortstop Nick Ahmed fractured his wrist when he was hit by a pitch during his rehab game on Sunday night. That’s one ridiculously big bummer and a ruthless attack from the universe. Recall: Ahmed originally hit the DL back on June 27 … when he was hit by a pitch on his right hand. He could come back in the postseason, though the Diamondbacks still have a Wild Card spot to secure and then the always-scary one-game playoff to get through. My best guess is we’ll see Ahmed next season.
- Jeff Todd has your daily Mets injury update at MLB Trade Rumors. Most notably, Yoenis Cespedes will not make it back before the end of the season (hamstring), David Wright’s rehab assignment has been slowed by shoulder pain, and Michael Conforto is deciding whether or not he’ll undergo surgery. Yikes. On the positive side, Matt Harvey is scheduled to return to the rotation this Friday. He returns to a 5.25 ERA over 70.1 IP.
Breaking down league batting average by count this season… pic.twitter.com/HT8EQFO7qd
— Daren Willman (@darenw) August 29, 2017
- Ok, not literally always, but if your pitch is there, you swing.
- Earlier today, Brett discussed the fact that Jeff Samardzija has cleared waivers, and what that could mean for a team like the Cubs both now (before September 1) and in the future (this offseason, in particular).
- I thought Kevin Pillar did something unbelievable last night, but when I zoomed in and #enhanced the picture, I realized he was simply using wings … cheater:
- And finally, DAMN … this is one smooth play all around:
— Baseball is Fun (@flippingbats) August 29, 2017