Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Hunter Pence has a minor setback in a rehab game


Giants outfielder Hunter Pence had to leave his rehab game early yesterday due to a setback with his leg. It appears to be minor, howver.

Pence, rehabbing his surgically-repaired hamstring with Triple-A Sacramento, pulled up lame after hitting a third-inning single and was immediately lifted from yesterday’s game. Giants GM Bobby Evans says it was minor, however, and may have been the aggravation of some scar tissue, not a new injury. It’s possible Pence will be OK and will play today, in fact.

Pence was scheduled to return to the Giants late this month. That would still seem to be on track, but it’s worth watching.

Jason Hammel was prescribed potato chips by his doctor. Really.


Cubs starter Jason Hammel had to leave his last start before the All-Star break due to cramps in his right hand. That’s not good. The Cubs have a team doctor, though, and the team doctor told Hammel how to deal with that problem. Stretching? No. Potassium supplements? No.

Potato chips.

Here’s Hammel explaining it:

“For my cramps, if it’s a chronic thing, he said, ‘Potato chips,’ because they have a lot of potassium and the sea salt helps retain water. So I focused on that over the break and ate a lot of potato chips, and I think it turned out pretty well. Potato chip prescription … that’s what I’m going to try to go with.”

So far so good. He pitched yesterday and allowed one run over six innings, struck out seven, walked one and got the win.

My doctor only tells me “diet” and “exercise” and “avoid fatty foods” and “it probably doesn’t matter what we do anyway because you’re 43 now and, really, it’s all about managing the decline.” Maybe I need to start seeing the Cubs’ team doctor.

Photo of the Day: a rainbow at Nationals Park

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The Washington Nationals are 56-36 and hold a seven game lead over the New York Mets. They have one of the best young players in the game in Bryce Harper, a pitching staff that allows fewer runs than any team in all of Major League Baseball and the fourth best offense in the National League. They’ve won five games in a row, three of which came against the Mets, and are heading into today’s game against the Pirates coming off of a 6-0 victory last night.

Yep, things are going pretty well for them. you might even say they are living a magically charmed life these days. Even if you weren’t inclined to say such things, this scene at Nationals Park from last night may have changed your mind.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates works in the first inning under a rainbow against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)