For all of their success in the first half, the Pirates may yet turn in a 20th consecutive sub-500 season this year.
The Pirates became the first team since 2004 to commit seven errors in a game and lost 12-2 to the Cubs on Friday night.
Second baseman Brock Holt and left fielder Starling Marte both made two errors in the game. First baseman Gaby Sanchez, catcher Rod Bahajas and shortstop Josh Harrison made one each.
The Braves were the last team to have seven errors in a game, doing so in a loss to the Rockies eight years ago. It was the first time since 1985 that the Pirates had committed seven errors.
In so doing, they made a winner out of Cubs lefty Travis Wood for the first time in over two months. Wood allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings to snap his eight-game losing streak. The Cubs had lost each of his 10 starts since the All-Star break.
The Pirates are now 72-65 for the season. They’ll have to win nine of their remaining 25 games to finish at .500. The odds favor them getting there, but seeing as though they’re 13-21 since the beginning of August, it’s far from a lock.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.