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Catcher Carlos Ruiz pitched in last night’s rout of the Mariners

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Last night we had an ugly game in Minnesota as the Twins blasted the Seattle Mariners, 20-7. While it’s always fun to read the box scores after one of these things, there isn’t much that can salvage an ugly game as it’s happening. It’s just a lot of dejected guys on one team and a lot of guys laughing on the other, the outcome no longer in doubt.

But one saving grace of such games is the possibility of a position player pitching. It’s usually a utility infielder or a backup catcher. Last night M’s manager Scott Servais called on his backup catcher: Carlos Ruiz.

Chooch got off to a rough start when he entered the game in the bottom of the eighth, giving up a 450-foot homer to Eddie Rosario on his third pitch. Not that that’s so terrible given that Rosario hit three homers last night. Credit to Ruiz for at least going 1-1 on him first.

And heck, credit to Ruiz for shaking that off. He walked two guys and gave up a double, but no more runs scored. Andrew Miller is one of the best pitchers on the planet and he gave up a run to the Dodgers last night. Advantage: Chooch.

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Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.