The Pirates stayed within a game of the first-place Brewers last night with a thrilling 7-4 win over the Cubs. They took the lead on a go-ahead three-run homer by catcher Michael McKenry off Carlos Marmol in the bottom of the eighth inning. And if McKenry’s name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t feel too bad. It was the first home run of his major league career.
Prominent All-Star snub Andrew McCutchen also homered in the victory while Joel Hanrahan pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 26th save in 26 chances.
Who knows how long they can keep this up, but it’s pretty cool to see that the Pirates are at least relevant in July.
Your Friday box scores:
Cubs 4, Pirates 7
Rockies 3, Nationals 2
Braves 2, Phillies 3
Blue Jays 11, Indians 7
Orioles 3, Red Sox 10
Astros 3, Marlins 6
Athletics 5, Rangers 8
Reds 7, Brewers 8
Twins 8, White Sox 5
Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 6
Tigers 6, Royals 4
Padres 0, Dodgers 1
Mariners 3, Angels 4
Mets 5, Giants 2
Rays vs. Yankees: POSTPONED
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.