HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I think half the time I write that as “Weekend Wrapup” and half the time I write it as “Weekend Wrap.”  Eh, consistency is overrated.

  • That A.J. Burnett-Joe Girardi business from Saturday night.  True Fact: I landed in New York at about 9:30 AM yesterday morning. My cab driver, however, already had detailed inside information about all of this from “a guy who knows a guy who [he] used to work for who works for the Yankees now.” From nine hours earlier. When the Yankees were in Minnesota. He says the media got it all wrong and that “there’s a whole f**kin’ bigger story there that the Yankees ain’t gonna tell nobody.” But my cab driver knew it. OK.
  • Chipper Jones is coming back next year. Bloggers: set your macros for “day-to-day with ____ soreness.”
  • K-Rod is open to returning to the Mets next year. The Mets could not be reached for comment because they knocked their phones off the hook while convulsing from the most violent laughing fit in recorded history.
  • Brian Cashman doesn’t want to be the Cubs’ GM.  Or the Orioles or anyone else’s for that matter. Because while he appreciates that folks like to write stories about him going various places, he is not, in fact, certifiably insane.
  • The Yankees could maybe be interested in Rich Harden. I suppose “Harden beating the Red Sox in Game four of the ALCS after the Sox passed on him due to his medicals back in July” would make for interesting off-season fodder in Boston.
  • I can’t decide if 2011 will be known as the “The Year of Appendectomies” or “The Year of Oblique Strains.”
  • Give ’em enough rope
  • Jeff Jered Weaver signed a big contract extension. Some folks are saying that he cost himself many millions by signing now instead of when he hits free agency after 2012. That’s probably true. It’s also true that to get those extra millions he’d likely have to at least entertain the notion of going to New York, the city that helped chew up and spit out his older brother, and to bypass the chance to stay in beautiful Southern California and the pitcher-friendly AL West for a sum that will set him and his descendants up for several generations. So no, I’m not gonna get on the guy for this.
  • The Pirates locked up young talent. Kind of a new approach for them. No, not the spending money part. The having young talent part.

Into the week we go. And if I seem more chipper than usual this week, realize that my kids go back to school tomorrow. And, for the first time they’re both gone all day, five days a week.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my kids and love havin’ ’em around — but now I can blog pants-free while listening to The Dead Kennedys cranked up to 11. At least until about 3:45pm when they get off the bus.

The kids I mean. Not the Dead Kennedys. They would have no business riding a school bus in my neighborhood.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.