Craig Calcaterra

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 06: Anthony Rizzo #44 of the Chicago Cubs hits a solo home run in the 3rd inning against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field on May 6, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo removed from lineup with back tightness

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ATLANTA — First baseman Anthony Rizzo has been scratched from the Chicago Cubs’ lineup against the Atlanta Braves due to back tightness.

The Cubs say Rizzo’s status is day to day.

Javier Baez moves from third base to first base in the reconfigured lineup for Friday night’s game. Kris Bryant is starting at third base and rookie Albert Almora enters the lineup in left field.

Rizzo has started 56 of the team’s 58 games at first base. Bryant made the other two starts at first base.

Rizzo, hitting .259, has 13 homers and is tied with Bryant for second in the NL with 43 RBIs.

What’s on tap: Previewing tonight’s action

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Derek Holland #45 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Chicago White Sox in the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Happy weekend once again. A full slate of action tonight like every Friday night. The highlight for those of you of a certain age is a rematch of the 1972 World Series. What? You don’t have a burning desire to relive the 1972 World Series? Man, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Of more current relevance are the Orioles and Jays meeting in Toronto. As I mentioned this morning, Baltimore is on a roll and they’re in the process of meeting first Toronto and then Boston on the road. Could be a big week or so for them. Out west we have just as big a matchup in Seattle, where the Rangers take on the Mariners. Stay up late and watch it so you don’t have to play catchup at the end of the year when they’re involved in the most compelling division race and you need to pretend you know what you’re talking about.

Note: that last bit was me talking to myself more than any of you. What? I go to bed early. I’m old. Sue me.

Detroit Tigers (Mike Pelfrey) @ New York Yankees (CC Sabathia), 7:05 PM EDT, Yankee Stadium

Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson) @ Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), 7:05 PM EDT, Nationals Park

St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park

Baltimore Orioles (Kavin Gausman) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 7:07 PM EDT, Rogers Centre

Houston Astros (Lance McCullers) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Andiese), 7:10 PM EDT, Tropicana Field

Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray) @ Cincinnati Reds (Anthony DeSclafani), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ Atlanta Braves (Bud Norris), 7:35 PM EDT, Turner Field

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 8:10 PM EDT, Target Field

Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 8:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field

New York Mets (Matt Harvey) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Junior Guerra), 8:10 PM EDT, Miller Park

San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 8:40 PM EDT, Coors Field

Miami Marlins (Justin Nicolino) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin), 9:40 PM EDT, Chase Field

Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber) @ Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago), 10:05 PM EDT, Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Texas Rangers (Derek Holland) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 10:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

The hardest hit ball in Statcast history resulted in an easy double play

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Statcast is pretty neat. The brainchild of MLBAM collects data using a series of high-resolution optical cameras and radar equipment to precisely track the location and movements of the ball and every player on the field at any given time. The result: new data about how hard balls are hit in the form of the dramatic sounding “exit velocity.” The angle of elevation of each batted ball. Route efficiency for hitters and other things. So much new data.

Data, however, is kind of useless without context. It takes some time to get context and Statcast has only been around a couple of years. A lot of smart people are messing around with all of that new data and I am confident that at some point there will be some insights gained about our beloved game based on the manipulation and interpretation of said data. They’re smart dudes.

For now, though, it’s generally being talked about — at least by broadcasters and fans — like some kind of parlor trick or something from those 1001 interesting facts books. “Oh, wow, look how hard that ball was hit!” being the most common thing you hear mentioned. On some abstract level it’s cool that we know that a homer had an exit velocity of 103 m.p.h. or whatever, but for now, until we can say something beyond just how hard the ball was hit, all that really matters is that it went over the fence.

Which brings us to the hardest-hit ball of all time! It happened last night in the Marlins-Twins game. It was a hit off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton. Not surprising! He hits the ball hard! It also happened to be a ground ball which turned into one of the easier double plays you’ll see on a given night:

Obviously angle of elevation matters a good bit too. And at some point I’m sure someone will be able to make some keen insights into how those things go together with the type of pitch delivered and perhaps explain how hitters can maximize the chances of the sweet spot in both of those metrics coming together. For now, however, it’s still “oh, neat,” as I pencil in 4-6-3 into my scorebook.