Turducken

HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I love Thanksgiving week. It brings back so many memories. Grandma’s turkey. Weird uncle Pete’s turducken. That time I learned about the Braves signing Andres Galarraga while I was sitting in the Charlotte, North Carolina airport waiting for a connecting flight . . .

  • It strikes me that the Derek Jeter saga is putting lie to that notion that baseball is truly cracking down on teams and agents using the press to negotiate this winter.
  • Jim Leyritz is acquitted of manslaughter charges. No joke here. Just don’t mess up the second chance you’ve been given, Jim.
  • Domonic Brown is learning that just because you’re sent to play winter ball doesn’t mean you actually get to play winter ball.
  • Oliver Perez is stinking up the Mexican League. This is probably a good thing. If he was pitching well down there the Mets would be tempted to start fresh with him next spring to see if he could snag a job. Now it’s way easier to simply release the guy.
  • The Marlins and Nats are both courting Javier Vazquez. It’d be nice if he stayed on the east coast this year, because if he gets to pitch in Citi Field it will allow some Yankees fans additional chances to boo him.
  • The bidding for Cliff Lee is expected to start at $120 million. I got this image of that “Saturday Night Live” sketch from the mid 80s when Christopher Guest was the auctioneer and he threatened to suffocate hamsters and shoot himself if the bidding didn’t go higher. I may be one of six people who remember that sketch.

Short week, kids. You can do this. Just pretend that today is Wednesday.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.