The Chicago Cubs are playing a relatively meaningful game later this evening, one in which they can prevent a series loss and lower their magic number into the teens with a single win.
But until then, let’s talk about the rest of the league, shall we?
- The Washington Nationals made some waves today, when they called up top outfield prospect Victor Robles, who ranks fourth among all prospects in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. MLB Trade Rumors believes this call-up was more about getting Robles a taste of the Majors, so that he can play a more meaningful role on the team next season, as opposed to angling for a prominent role in this upcoming postseason – though that can’t be ruled out yet either. Robles, 20, has yet to play above the Double-A level.
- Now that the Marlins’ former owner, Jeffery Loria, will be out of the picture in Miami the new ownership group can move on without any distract… whoops: Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins deal facing scrutiny from MLB. More specifically, the league appears to be examining whether A) the various investors in the Jeter group will be able to meet their financial obligations and B) whether the bid itself contains more cash than debt. There not yet any indications that the bid will be bad, according to some MLB execs, but apparently the Jeter group has been warned that their bid will get what amounts to a “proctology exam.” You can’t make this stuff up.
- After winning every single game of the season until last week (okay, not really), the Dodgers have now lost six in a row and nine of their past ten. Officially, they can no longer even tie the 116 win-record. At NBC Sports, Craig Calcaterra examines their recent losing ways and suggests that while it is bad, it’s hardly unprecedented among great teams.
- At Sports Illustrated, Tom Verducci discusses the Red Sox/Yankees/Apple Watches/sign-stealing, uhm, hullabaloo, and comes to a few reasonable conclusions. One, everyone steals signs in baseball, this, in and of itself, isn’t news and it certainly isn’t new (agreed). Two, the use of electronics does seem to add an extra layer of unethical behavior (agreed). And three, this is good for the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry (uh … whatever I guess. Sure).
- But before you go levying all of the “the use of technology makes it especially bad” allegations at the Red Sox, know that the team says they have video evidence of the YANKEES using a particular angle from the YES Network camera for the purposes of sign stealing, too. Wonderful. Oh, and on top of that, the Red Sox also feel that the Yankees are going out of their way to harass them, according to Evan Drellich of CSN New England, because the Yankees accused Doug Fister of using some sort of impermissible listening device, which ultimately turned out to be his damn mouthguard hanging around his ear. What an annoying side story this has become.
- Sticking with the Yankees, Dellin Betances, the Yankees closer who took the place of a struggling Aroldis Chapman, served up a walk-off, two-run home run to Manny Machado last night, dropping the Yankees to 3.5 games behind the Red Sox. Betances took some heat for throwing his curveball too often (14 of 20 pitches Wednesday night), and implied that his pitch mix was a mistake as his curveball wasn’t doing much. Now, the Yankees might consider reinserting Chapman into the ninth-inning role.
- At the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jesus Ortiz casually pretends he’s not comparing Stephen Piscotty, Tommy Pham, and Randal Grichuk to noted slugger J.D. Martinez as he weighs the Cardinals potential moves this offseason. More specifically, Ortiz wonders which of the three outfielders the Cardinals will trade this winter (perhaps even in a deal for Giancarlo Stanton) and whether they’ll be giving up too early on that “prospect.” Okie dokie.
- As you probably know, the Arizona Diamondbacks are currently riding a 13-game winning streak. But what you may have missed is that, before last night, they hadn’t trailed in 98 consecutive innings. Whoa. Remember how long those four games against the Mets felt during the 2015 NLCS (when the Cubs never led once)? That was just 35 innings. In any case, they came up five innings shy of the Major League record when it ended in the bottom of the first inning last night.
- In other crazy streak news:
That is 14 consecutive games with a walk for Mike Trout, a new Angels franchise record. His on-base percentage is .464, which is good.
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) September 6, 2017
- And one more:
Pablo Sandoval has now set a new record for futility in a @SFGiants uniform : zero hits in his last 38 at bats. No Bueno
— Marcos Breton (@MarcosBreton) September 7, 2017
- Major League pitchers are throwing fewer and fewer fastballs lately, but at FanGraphs Jeff Sullivan discovers it’s the sinker, not the four-seamer, who’s taking most of the hit. It’s a pretty interesting read, as usual, so be sure to check it out.
- The Toronto Blue Jays turned a dropped-ball error in left field into a double play, including outs at home and third. Yeah, pretty weird.