Spirits are high at Chavez Ravine. With Sunday’s victory over the Cardinals, the club moved into a virtual tie for first place in the NL West with the slumping Giants, who were just swept at home by the Reds. Clayton Kershaw is, perhaps, pitching better than he has ever pitched before, and everything is clicking.
So it was no surprise that the Blue Crew had a bit of light-hearted fun at Scott Van Slyke’s expense during Sunday’s game. Van Slyke was given the “hot foot”, one of baseball’s best and most time-tested pranks. Even better, Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully got to call it:
The execution wasn’t the best, unfortunately, but they still got him. The Dodgers could learn a trick or two from “hot foot” master Roger McDowell.
During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.
We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:
And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:
The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.
Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.
Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.
Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.
Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.