There is no question mark on there because I’m not asking. I’m linking to Adam Kilgore’s excellent, perspective-providing piece on the downfall — however temporary it may be — of a kid who was killing it early last season and looked to be on the verge of an MVP run. Money quote:
In late April 2013, Harper was conquering worlds. Over the past 15 months, he has undergone surgery twice to repair injuries that forced him to change the swing he had honed his entire life. He is two months shy of his 22nd birthday. Tuesday night, Javier Baez made his major league debut for the Chicago Cubs, and for the first time since Harper made his debut in April 2012, a player younger than Harper appeared in a National League game.
Before he finished his radio appearance, Williams told the hosts, “He’ll be fine, you guys.”
Kilgore also contexualizes that little dustup Matt Williams had with the media yesterday over the possibility — raised by a radio host — that Harper could be sent down to the minors. We’re just as guilty, if not more guilty, as anyone in reacting in a kneejerk fashion to quotes and things. But Kilgore provides some nice perspective on all of this.
For the first time in a month and a half, Aaron Judge went an entire game without striking out, ending his record streak at 37 games. Judge had an RBI single and three walks in Tuesday night’s 13-4 victory over the Tigers.
Judge went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and zero strikeouts in a 9-4 loss to the Brewers on July 7. Between July 8 and August 20, Judge would strike out in all 37 games, breaking the record previously held by Adam Dunn, who struck out in the first 32 games of the 2012 season. If one counted streaks extending into multiple seasons, Dunn held the record at 36 games as he struck out in his final four games in 2011 as well.
After Tuesday’s performance, Judge is now hitting .284/.417/.594 with 37 home runs, 81 RBI, and 93 runs scored in 525 plate appearances on the season. He’s had a particularly rough second half, as he entered Tuesday with a .684 OPS since the All-Star break, a far cry from his 1.139 OPS before the break.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was able to get a ground ball past Pirates first baseman Josh Bell for a double leading off the top of the sixth inning of Tuesday night’s game. He would come around to score later in the inning on a Corey Seager single, breaking a 1-1 tie.
The double gave Gonzalez 2,000 hits for his career. He is the 282nd player in baseball history and the 11th active player to reach 2,000 career hits. Gonzalez also has 300 home runs, making him one of 94 players with at least 300 dingers and 2,000 hits.
Gonzalez, who was recently activated from the disabled list, entered Tuesday’s action hitting .247/.295/.330 with one home run and 25 RBI in 201 plate appearances on the season.