Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.

Clayton Kershaw throws a bullpen session, feels good

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The Dodgers have been without Clayton Kershaw since late June but somehow managed to make up a ton of ground in the NL West and enter play tonight with a one-game lead over the Giants. OK, the “somehow” has a lot to do with the Giants sucking eggs since the break, but the standings are the standings.

The key part here is that (a) even if they’ve done OK without him, having Clayton Kershaw back at some point would be really nice for the Dodgers; and (b) the Giants may, at any time, cease sucking eggs. As such, this is a good news for L.A.:

Kershaw said that when he is cleared to pitch in games — and that has yet to happen — that he’ll expect a rehab start.

What’s on Tap: Previewing tonight’s action

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A full slate of games tonight, as it’s Tuesday and that’s what happens on Tuesday.

The biggest one is out in Los Angeles where Madison Bumgarner and the Giants start a big series against the Dodgers. San Francisco is game back in the standings but they have their ace going for them, which is nice. He can hit a little bit too.

The Mets are running Jonathon Niese out against the Cardinals, which is interesting given that they had a day off yesterday and could’ve skipped Niese, but hey, they ain’t my team.

Prospect Jake Thompson of the Phillies, making his fourth career start, goes against the relatively grizzled veteran Carlos Rodon, who is making his 44th. Rodon is just over a year older than Thompson. Practically ancient.

The matchups:

Houston Astros (Joe Musgrove) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Ivan Nova), 7:05 PM EDT , PNC Park

Washington Nationals (Reynaldo Lopez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs) @ Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey), 7:07 PM EDT, Rogers Centre

Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer), 7:10 PM EDT, Tropicana Field

Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @ Miami Marlins (Andrew Cashner), 7:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park

Texas Rangers (Derek Holland) @ Cincinnati Reds (Dan Straily), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson), 8:10 PM EDT, Miller Park

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Minnesota Twins (Kyle Gibson), 8:10 PM EDT, Target Field

Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson) @ Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon), 8:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field

New York Mets (Jonathon Niese) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Jaime Garcia), 8:15 PM EDT, Busch Stadium

Atlanta Braves (Rob Whalen) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley), 9:40 PM EDT , Chase Field

Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) @ Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea), 10:05 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ San Diego Padres (Christian Frederich), 10:10 PM EDT, Petco Park

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Seattle Mariners (Tiajuan Walker), 10:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

San Francisco Giants (Madison Bumgarnder) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 10:10 PM EDT, Dodger Stadium