All-Star game gets worst television ratings of all time

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Last night’s All-Star game was the lowest-rated in television history, with just 7.5 percent of the country tuning in to see the National League’s first win since way back in 1996.
That represents a drop of 16 percent compared to last year’s game and is worse than the previous low of 8.1 percent from 2005.
Interestingly, the “host market” of Los Angeles had just 8.6 percent tuning in, whereas the previous five host markets averaged 22.8 percent. St. Louis had this year’s highest local rating at 20.5 percent.
Also of note is that ratings for the previous night’s Home Run Derby were down 22 percent from last year.
“Omar Infante, All Star” apparently did not capture the imagination of the nation.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.