St. Louis’ whole “best fans in baseball” thing can get a little tired. But there are times when the city truly backs it up. Like… well… last night.
Via MLB’s public relations department, 80 percent of the televisions in St. Louis were tuned into the FOX broadcast throughout Friday’s World Series Game 7, and 89 percent of the city’s screens were tuned in by the final out of the 6-2 victory.
St. Louis is different than other baseball-loving cities (like New York, Boston, Chicago or San Francisco) in that nearly all of its inhabitants were born or raised (or both) in the area. Because of industry, geography, and other factors, it’s not a place that attracts a ton of permanent out-of-towners.
Almost everyone grows up watching the Cardinals, with a decent-to-extensive understanding of the club’s history and the current roster makeup. Of course they were watching. But that 89 percent mark is still quite amazing, and a reflection of how baseball-crazy the Gateway City really can be.
Friday’s Game 7 drew a total of 25.4 million viewers around the country, making it the most-watched baseball game since the Red Sox ended their 86-year championship drought in St. Louis back in 2004.
The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.
Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.
Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.
Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.
Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).
Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.