HBT Weekend Wrapup

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Things you missed while you restrained yourself from killing perspective-free Ohio State football fans who actually had the gall to worry — after a 73-20 victory over some Directional U. — that “the defense just didn’t have the intensity it needs.” Or maybe that was just me. Columbus in the fall is worse than New York in the summer. Sure, some Yankees fans may get bent out of shape if the team doesn’t go 162-0, but at least they don’t expect 162 shutouts:

  • Jeff Francoeur hit his 100th home run. This story reminds me of those “he’s determined to finish what he started stories” about the guy who takes a week to complete the New York Marathon or something, only far, far less inspiring.
  • Baseball’s second-in-command is being forced out. I’m pretty sure DuPuy is part of, like, six different “blue ribbon panels” and “independent commissions” and what have you that Selig set up years ago in order to punt tough decisions he didn’t want to make. This either means that we may, for example, hear something about the A’s future sometime soon. Or it may mean that new commission members have to be appointed and 18 more months added to the studies so that they may get up to speed.
  • The Phillies and Mets got all snippy at each other. It’s cute how they think these games matter for something.
  • Tim Lincecum rejected a baseball in the Giants-Rockies game he perceived had not been subjected to the Coors Field humidor. And they say drugs dull the senses.
  • The Rangers clinched the right to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the AL East champion.
  • If effing with people was an Olympic sport, Ozzie Guillen would have medal-laden pictures of himself on the cover of Sports Illustrated like he was Mark Spitz or something.
  • Bob Brenly takes himself out of the running for the Cubs gig. A gig that I figure he’d have about a 0.02% chance of getting in the first place. He probably knew that, and rightfully figured that it would be better to “take himself out of the running” than to be seen as being passed over for the job.

And now, let us begin the last week of the regular season.

Albert Pujols hit his 597th career home run

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Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.

Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.

Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.

Chris Sale’s streak of starts with at least 10 strikeouts ends

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.

After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.

Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.