An 18-inning game could be good, theoretically speaking. It could feature a lot of action and drama and excitement. And that could be the case even if there’s very little scoring. But an 18-inning long game featuring four dozen batters turning on their heels in the batters box and walking back to the dugout has to be . . . trying.
That’s what happened in Chicago last night as the Yankees and Cubs combined for 48 strikeouts in their impromptu double bill, eventually won by New York. The 48 strikeouts set a major league record. There were 15 walks on the night too, as the teams combined for 583 pitches. The former record for strikeouts in a game was 43, set in a 20-inning game between the California Angels and Oakland Athletics in 1971.
Aaron Hicks struck out four times and walked twice in eight plate appearances. Chase Headley was 0-for-7 with four strikeouts of his own. The top three in the Cubs order, Kyle Schwarber, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, each struck out three times. Addison Russell and Willson Contreras struck out three times each as well.
Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.
Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.
There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.
It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.
Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.
The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.