HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I was out of town all weekend but not totally removed from baseball. Indeed, on Saturday night I realized that I can get more games — plus MLB Network — on the dinky little cable system that serves my mother-in-law’s house in Mt. Hope, West Virginia than I can get on the cable system that serves my home here in the Columbus, Ohio Metroplex. That’s totally fair.  Can someone please remind me why I still live in this godforsaken place?

Here’s what went down while you were contemplating your existence this weekend:

  • Don Wakamatsu and Chone Figgins get into it in the dugout on Friday night. No apparent discipline for Figgins, plus he’s in the lineup the next day. Dead manager walking!

With the trade deadline hitting on Saturday, this is going to be a nutso week, everyone. I predict the rumor-to-transaction ratio to be something like 150:1. Keep clicking back here for a bit of sanity and insight into what is b.s. and what is not. Well, except when we spew our own b.s., but you’re used to that already.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.