Cole Hamels

Cole Hamels earns league-leading 11th loss

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Phillies starter Cole Hamels allowed four runs over six innings to the Mets tonight. As his offense once again failed to muster up a typical amount of run support — though three must have looked like a king’s ransom — Hamels was saddled with his Major League-leading 11th loss of the season. According to ESPN, Hamels entered the night having received the third-fewest runs of support on average at 2.75, trailing Stephen Strasburg (2.50) and Ricky Nolasco (2.53).

Hamels did not pitch particularly well tonight as he walked three and otherwise had mediocre control throughout his six innings. However, over his six previous starts in which he went 1-4, Hamels struck out 42, walked four (two intentionally), and allowed just two home runs in 37.1 innings. He was victimized by a .375 BABIP.

It’s been a weird year for the lefty. You can’t say he has pitched poorly over the course of the whole season, nor can you say he has been entirely unlucky.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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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.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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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.