HardballTalk 2017 Home Run Derby Predictions

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The Home Run Derby will be broadcast tonight at 8 PM ET on ESPN. It’s chock full of the game’s best sluggers, including defending champion Giancarlo Stanton who’ll try to repeat at his home park in Miami.

Here are the matchups with each player’s seed included in parentheses:

As we did last year, Craig, Ashley, and I have peered into our crystal ball to tell you exactly what’s going to happen tonight.

Craig

First Round

  • Sanchez upsets Stanton in the first round. UPSET OF THE CENTURY! Logan Morrison HANGS HIS HEAD IN SHAME!
  • Sano beats Moustakas
  • Judge KILLS Bour
  • Bellinger beats Blackmon

Second Round

  • Sano beats Sanchez — Gary peaks early and gets exhausted
  • Judge beats Bellinger

Finals

  • Judge beats Sano, launching 1000 “the torch has been passed” columns. Then Stanton kills him next year and normalcy is returned.

Ashley

First Round

  • Stanton over Sanchez
  • Sano over Moustakas
  • Judge over Bour
  • Bellinger over Blackmon

Life works out just as you expect it will. The established slugger vs. rookie slugger narrative lives on, and Miguel Sano and Cody Bellinger play their supporting roles with grace and dignity.

Second Round

  • Sano over Stanton
  • Judge over Bellinger

Stanton falls short of glory, prompting the Marlins to turn off the home run machine. If Bigfoot can’t hit all of the dingers, no dingers shall be celebrated with colorful lights, leaping fish and Lisa Frank levels of spectacle. Aaron Judge soldiers on.

Finals

  • Judge over Sano

Judge beats Sano by one mammoth home run, but fails to clear 500 feet. The ghost of Joe DiMaggio demands his rookie home run title back and sentences Judge to the curse of all Yankee Home Run Derby champions: the inability to repeat.

Bill

First Round

  • Sanchez holds his own, making Logan Morrison eat crow, but ultimately falls a couple homers short and Stanton moves on
  • Sano advances past Moustakas and hits the most home runs of any player in the first round
  • Bour beats Judge somehow
  • Blackmon takes down Bellinger, who will have the fewest home runs in the first round

Second Round

  • Sano gets gassed from hitting so many homers and Stanton moves on to the finals
  • Blackmon doesn’t stop hitting homers, breezes past Bour

Finals

  •  Stanton narrowly edges Blackmon to repeat as Home Run Derby champion

Feel free to leave your own predictions in the comments. Should be a fun night.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.