Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
Four games? The calendar turns to September, a hint of crispness fills the air and the playoffs suddenly seem near and tangible and all we get are four games? Gee whiz, MLB, clean it up!
Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Braves 9, Padres 6: Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer and walked with the bases loaded for a third RBI. Freeman, if you haven’t noticed, is having a fantastic season. He’s hitting .289/.389/.553 and, though he toils in relative anonymity on one of baseball’s worst teams, he’s one of the best players in the NL this season.
Marlins 6, Mets 4: The Marlins’ five-game skid comes to an end thanks in part to Christian Yelich‘s four RBI night. He also stole two bases and he made a run-saving diving catch with the bases loaded and two outs to save some runs. The Marlins are three back in the Wild Card after a crappy August. I don’t watch too many Marlins games if I can help it, so wake me up when September ends to see if they’re back in the race.
Cubs 5, Giants 4: Addison Russell hit a two-run single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning to bring the Cubs back from behind and to start their September right where their 22-6 August left off. Jeff Samardzija returned to Wrigley Field and only made it through four innings, needing 87 pitches to do even that. Cubs starter Mike Montgomery only went four innings himself, but Chicago got five scoreless frames from its bullpen.
Twins 8, White Sox 5: The 13-game losing streak is no more! Byron Buxton returned to the bigs with a three-run homer. Trevor Plouffe added a two-run bomb of his own. Jose Quintana, who led the AL in ERA coming into the game, was rocked for seven runs on seven hits in five innings and saw his ERA rise from 2.77 to 3.05. He’s now fourth behind Aaron Sanchez, Cole Hamels and Danny Duffy. What a night.
Earlier today Ken Rosenthal reported that the Dodgers approached the Diamondbacks about trading for Zack Greinke. That went no place. I suggested that, even if they were going to trade Greinke, they should wait until the offseason when there are more teams who might want to get involved.
Apparently, though, they aren’t even giving it a thought:
There are sillier ideas. The Dbacks were without A.J. Pollack until this past week due to an injury and hopefully they’ll have him all year. They still have Paul Goldschmidt. Shelby Miller can’t be worse. The system is something of a mess but there is talent at the big league level. Unlike 2016, there’s a decent chance not EVERYTHING will go wrong next year, so make someone bowl you over.
Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic spoke with Washington Nationals players about the heckling they’ve received over the years. He starts it with a thought-provoking question:
Imagine going about your day at work and having a complete stranger with a beer in their hand and a hot dog in the other yell bad words at you and make detailed references to your personal life.
Yeah, “imagine.” In other news, you all should totally go get a comments section of your own. It’s the best!
OK, anyway, back to the Nationals. Yes they, like all ballplayers get their fair share of heckling abuse. Sometimes it’s personal. Sometimes it’s meant to be funny but often, at least in the examples the player give, the humor is . . . lacking. I’m sure a lot of it is funny to the drunk guys when they think it up, but things like “road trip to Canada!” and “I know! I know! We should all open a a BAR together!!” seem like good ideas to drunk guys too.
There was one surprising bit in there, though: Philly is way too nice to Bryce Harper:
Harper, in fact, doesn’t hear it much from Philly fans at all.
“More Atlanta than Philly. I don’t get much in Philly, actually,” he said. “I enjoy playing in Philly. I don’t get much from Phillies fans going crazy. Of course, the Mets, the Dodgers, San Francisco.”
Man, you guys gotta step up your game.