Sunday morning reading material: Ernie Harwell

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The Detroit Free Press is running an incredible three-part “final” interview this week with the late (and great) Ernie Harwell, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92.  From the Free Press’ lead-in:

“Last fall, Free Press sports editor Gene Myers, photographer Mandi
Wright and picture editor Diane Weiss visited Ernie and Lulu Harwell at
their modest apartment in Fox Run Village, a retirement center in Novi.
Ernie had agreed to do a long interview, to be his last extensive
session with the local media.”

The first part is up on their website this morning.  Part Two will run on Monday and Part Three on Tuesday.  Harwell spent nearly his entire adult life around the game of baseball and has more anecdotes on America’s pastime than anyone could possibly take in all at once.  The interviews are a must-read for any baseball fan, not just Tigers fans. 

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.