The final American League All-Star voting update before the team is set

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The All-Star teams will be announced on Sunday, so this is the last time MLB officially updates the voting. And it’ll be the last time I officially see Jose Altuve in fourth place of a competition that, if it were based on merit instead of name recognition and the size of fan bases, he’d be winning.

Really, I can see arguments that Robinson Cano or Ian Kinsler are the better choices. Their numbers aren’t all that different than Altuve’s generally speaking. But Dustin Pedroia? Bah. He’s having his worst season as a major leaguer.  I still go with the notion that it’s cool for fans to go with the stars over the guys merely having good half-seasons, but Altuve is not some one-year wonder and, if there were justice in the cosmos, he’d be a star already.

Oh well. It’s just the All-Star game. I probably shouldn’t get worked up about it. I told myself I wouldn’t.

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Rich Hill has a perfect game through seven innings

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Dodgers starter Rich Hill is facing off against the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight. And he’s not having any trouble with them: he’s absolutely perfect though seven innings. He’s needed 73 pitches to get that far, so if he can keep the perfection up he certainly has enough in the tank to finish it.

Thing is: he may not even get the win. That’s because Pirates starter Trevor Williams has blanked the Dodgers through eight, scattering seven hits and four walks yet, somehow, not allowing a run to score.

The Pirates are coming to bat in the bottom of the eighth. We’ll keep you posted.

Zach Britton’s consecutive saves streak has ended at 60

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On September 20, 2015, Zach Britton blew a save against the Rays. Little did he know that he wouldn’t blow another save until August 23, 2017, converting 60 consecutive save opportunities.

Britton took the mound with a 7-5 lead in the top of the ninth inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Athletics. He yielded a single to Jed Lowrie, a double to Boog Powell, an RBI single to Marcus Semien, and a sacrifice fly to Matt Joyce to allow the A’s to close the two-run deficit. In the next at-bat, he uncorked a wild pitch and then walked Khris Davis before being removed from the game. Miguel Castro relieved Britton, but walked Ryon Healy on four pitches to load the bases. Castro wriggled out of the jam by getting Matt Olson to pop up and striking out Matt Chapman, stranding two of Britton’s runners.

Britton entered Wednesday’s action 11-for-11 in save chances on the season with a 2.88 ERA and a 19/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. He missed two months earlier this season with a strained left forearm.