Jake Arrieta

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Major League Baseball tweets, “There’s no right or wrong way to play.”

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Bat flipping has been a source of intense controversy in recent years in baseball. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta said earlier this year that if a young player flips his bat after hitting a home run off of him, “He might wear the next one in the ribs.”

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista famously flipped his bat after hitting a crucial home run in Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS against the Rangers. He was criticized relentlessly by old-timers for not playing the game “the right way” and the Rangers held a grudge against him that lasted into the middle of the next season when second baseman Rougned Odor punched him. Odor said, “Perhaps he was wrong, and perhaps I was also wrong.”

Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera, perhaps baseball’s most infamous bat flipper, said earlier this year, “I don’t want to get drilled [in retaliation]. But I’m not going to change the way I play.”

While white players are certainly no strangers to flipping bats, the art was embraced and perfected by international players. ESPN ran a feature in June called the Beisbol Experience. Some players were asked about the difference in cultures. Carlos Beltran said, “Here, baseball is a big business. In Puerto Rico, baseball is more a place where fans go to the field to cheer, to go crazy; there’s loud music.” Carlos Gonzalez said, “Maybe for guys from Cuba and the Dominican Republic, there’s a larger difference because they put more flair into the way they play, and they come to the United States and people don’t really like that.”

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Major League Baseball sent out this tweet with a video:

It’s a great video and encapsulates everything Major League Baseball should be promoting: diversity, enthusiasm, individuality. Except, well, it hasn’t really been promoting any of that otherwise. The mostly-white pitchers who have gone after mostly-Hispanic players like Herrera, Bautista, Yoenis Cespedes, and Yasiel Puig for their celebratory ways have been punished, but it’s hardly been a legitimate effort to stamp out the “play the game the right way” culture that blots out other cultures. As a result, MLB appears two-faced here. You can’t say, “There’s no right or wrong way to play” while giving a relative slap on the wrist to players who throw projectiles at 100 MPH in the vicinity of players’ heads or punch them in the face in retaliation.

If there’s “no right or wrong way to play,” why has Herrera resigned himself to eventually being hurt in retaliation? The tweet above is a great sentiment, but it needs to be backed up by action.

Jake Arrieta likely to miss his next start

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Update (10:14 PM ET): Per CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, the MRI revealed a Grade 1 hamstring strain.

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Cubs manager Joe Maddon believes starter Jake Arrieta will likely miss his next start as a result of a right hamstring injury, MLB.com’s Bob Cohn and Carrie Muskat report. Arrieta left Monday’s start against the Pirates with the injury. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday but the results aren’t back yet.

Maddon said, “We’re probably gonna push him back, regardless of what the news is.¬†It’s hard to imagine he’ll start his next time out.”

Arrieta, 31, is carrying a 3.48 ERA with a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings over 28 starts this season. While the Cubs still have a lot of fighting left to do to secure their spot atop the NL Central, the club will likely be cautious with their prized right-hander.

If Arrieta is indeed skipped in the rotation, Mike Montgomery will start in his place against the Brewers over the weekend.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 13, Dodgers 0: That was a slaughter. And the man swinging the biggest meat cleaver was J.D. Martinez who went deep four times and drove in six. He’s the second guy to hit four bombs in a game this season, following Scooter Gennett, and only the 18th man to do it in major league history. What’s more, Martinez had more homers than the Dodgers had hits (4-3). Robbie Ray was responsible for that, shutting out Los Angeles for seven and two-thirds and striking out 14 Dodgers batters. Arizona has now won 11 games in a row. The Dodgers have lost nine of ten.

Here are Martinez’s blasts:

 

Angels 11, Athletics 9:¬†Kole Calhoun¬†hit a two-run triple in the 11th inning to give the Angels the win but the news here was that the Angels used 12 pitchers to get through those 11 innings. Every manager who worked before, say, 1988 is rolling in their graves. Even the ones who aren’t dead yet.¬†Three Angels pitchers didn’t record an out, which is just, oh my God. The major league record is 13 pitchers, but that was in a 16-inning game. Someone had best go check on Mike Scioscia today, because he probably hasn’t gotten that much exercise since he was trying to make his first big league team in camp 40 years ago.

Reds 5, Brewers 4: If you’re gonna guess who hit a big walkoff homer on any given day in Major League Baseball you’d probably go a long dang time before you picked Billy Hamilton. Hamilton had his day yesterday, however, smacking a walkoff solo shot to beat the Brewers. Hamilton also threw a runner out at home for his 12th assist of the year. After the game he said this:

“Saving a run was better for me. Me and [Adam] Duvall go out there every day to try to outdo each other. He still has one up on me. I’d rather throw a guy out than hit the big homer. but I’ll take both of them.”

Hmmmm. Can’t say I’d feel the same way, but given that he’s done both things and I’ll never do either, he’s in a better position to know.

Royals 7, Tigers 6: Alex Gordon had a day in the field. Doing this:

And this. Both in the fourth inning. Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar homered for the Royals as well. The Tigers have lost five straight and have very apparently given up on the year.

Mets 11, Phillies 7: Jose Reyes and Asrbubal Cabrera homered to back Rafael Montero who wasn’t great but was good enough. After the game all 25 men on the Mets roster had season ending surgery, probably.

Yankees 7, Orioles 4:¬†Starlin Castro¬†homered and drove in three runs and Didi Gregorius¬†went deep as well as the Yankees won their fourth in their last five. Aaron Judge¬†drew four walks, singled and scored a run, which seems to go against the whole idea of throwing stuff in on Judge and making him show you his shoulder doesn’t hurt. The Orioles have now lost three of five. Seems like they were on a roll just ten minutes ago.

Indians 5, White Sox 3: That’s 12 straight wins for Cleveland. Trevor Bauer¬†allowed two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six and a third to win his eighth decision in a row. The Indians’ franchise record winning streak is 14, set just last year. Oh, Bauer and Avisail Garcia had a little exchange in this one over whether it’s OK to throw breaking balls to big league batters. Watch the body language in this sequence:

And now listen to Bauer’s explanation:

Rockies 4, Giants 3: Carlos Gonzalez won the game on a walkoff walk, ending the Rockies’ four-game losing streak. Charlie¬†Blackmon hit his 33rd homer of the season and¬†DJ LeMahieu¬†extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Colorado is now 8-0 at home against the Giants this season.

Pirates 12, Cubs 0:¬†Chad Kuhl shut the Cubs out on four hits over seven innings and two relievers took it the rest of the way.¬†Max Moroff and Josh Bell each went 3-for-5 with four RBI for the Pirates. Jake Arrieta left with a hamstring injury for Chicago. He says it was just a cramp and believes he’ll make his next start.

Cardinals 2, Padres 0: Carlos Martinez tossed a three-hit complete game shutout with ten strikeouts and Yadi Molina hit a two-run RBI single in the fourth. That’s it. You now know everything of note that happened in that game.

Astros 6, Mariners 2:¬†¬†Alex Bregman¬†had a tiebreaking two-run double in Houston’s four-run seventh inning and Josh Reddick knocked in two that frame as well.¬†Yuli Gurriel¬†and¬†Brian McCann¬†had solo homers and Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs while pitching into the eighth. Houston has won five straight.

Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 4:  Kendrys Morales, Jose Bautista and Raffy Lopez all took Rick Porcello deep on a day when the reigning Cy Young Award winner was tagged for seven runs on ten hits and was handed his 16th loss on the year. Meanwhile his counterpart J.A. Happ allowed just one earned run in five and two-thirds. Boston has lost four of five and its division lead is down to two and a half games.

Nationals 7, Marlins 2: Anthony Rendon And Daniel Murphy each hit homers and had two-run doubles, wth Rendon driving in four runs and Murphy driving in three. With that the Nats won easily, but as always, Giancarlo Stanton gets some press in a losing cause. He hit his 53rd homer of the year. And he dented a TV camera as he did it, breaking its zoom lens function. Really:

Rays 11, Twins 4:  Corey Dickerson homered and doubled twice. He, Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier drove in two runs a piece. Evan Longoria drove in three. The Rays are now three games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card with 23 left to play.

Rangers 8, Braves 2: Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Mazara homered as the Rangers won in a laugher. Andrus had homered twice on Sunday too. The Rangers lead all of baseball with 215 homers on the year.