Are the Phillies doomed? Nah, don't panic

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The Phillies are reeling right now, having lost eight of ten and the division lead.  AOL’s Ed Price makes an astute observation, however:

Is the Phillies 2-8 slide a disaster? They had six 2-8 stretches in 2008, five 2-8
stretches in 2009 and a 1-9 stretch in 2009.

Good point. No team with as much talent as the Phillies should be judged by their worst moments, and while overreacting seems like a lot of fun right now, it’s pretty misguided business.

But I will offer one mild rebuttal, however: while the Phillies did have such stretches in 2008 and 2009, the NL East wasn’t as strong a division in those years as it is this year.  Sure, the Mets were in it until the end, but there were a ton of easy games against the Braves and Nats that year. Same goes for last year too.

This year? No one in the division is a total pushover, and there will be less room for error if the Phillies want to win it again. So like, any time you want to come out of the nosedive, felllas . . .

Kris Bryant exits game with sprained right ankle

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The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.

Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.

Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.

Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby

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Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.

Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).

Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.