Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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Video: Aaron Judge asked Yankees fans about . . . Aaron Judge

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Aaron Judge has been one of the best stories of the season so far. He’s a rookie with barely any time under his belt. He smacked 14 homers in his first 33 games and has put up a line of .316/.420/.744 while leading the Yankees to the top of the AL East.

That’s really something, but it still may not be enough to make Judge a household name. Or at least a household face. Even in New York, among Yankees fans, who should probably know better.

Some Yankees fans anyway. Like the ones who found themselves on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” last night, face to face with Judge himself. Whether they knew it or not.

Watch:

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 8, Dodgers 4: Four wins in a row for the Giants. They had a four-run fourth inning off of Brandon McCarthy, partially due to hitting him well, partially due to a brain lock he had, cutting off a Corey Seager throw intended to nail a runner who was dead to rights at home. We all have bad days at the office, I guess. Sometimes we misplace a file. Sometimes we lose a sale. Sometimes we lose track of a baserunner. Sometimes we intentionally reveal classified secrets to foreign agents which seriously jeopardize national security and intelligence-gathering. You just shake it off and try again tomorrow, ya know?

Diamondbacks 7, Mets 3Yasmany Tomas, Jeff Mathis and Daniel Descalso homered in a six-run eighth inning as the Mets lost their fifth straight. When the Noah Syndergaard injury fiasco and the Matt Harvey fiasco were going down and I was saying the Mets were in trouble, a non-trivial number of you said stuff like “they’ve won their last couple of series” or “they’re in second place.” I suppose that was technically correct at the time, but as I wake up and look at the news today, I am somewhat less impressed with people making technical arguments than I normally am.

Braves 10, Blue Jays 6: The Jays’ five-game winning streak comes to an end. Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, somehow not passing out with shock first at seeing actual men on base when he came to the plate. Nick Markakis homered and drove in three.

Angels 5, White Sox 3Mike Trout hit a solo shot off of Mike Pelfrey, breaking a 3-3 tie. It’s the fourth consecutive game in which Trout has homered, leaving him one shy of the Angels’ record. He’s at .352/.450/.752 and is on a pace to hit 47 homers. He will also never get the full-court promotional press from MLB the way a guy who has been retired for three years just did.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager each hit a two-run homer and reliever Tony Zych put out a ninth inning fire to stop a would-be A’s comeback. The fire was started by M’s closer Edwin Diaz who walked four of the five batters he faced. There were 15 walks overall in this game. Sounds riveting.

Indians 8, Rays 7: Indians starter Carlos Carrasco exited in the fourth inning because of tightness in his left pectoral muscle, but at least the Indians had a three-run lead when he did. The Cleveland bullpen allowed an inherited runner to score and Andrew Miller and Cody Allen of all people gave up two more later, but for the most part  they didn’t break over the final five innings.

Astros 7, Marlins 2: Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three as the Astros win despite not getting to their hotel in Miami until 5am yesterday morning. And despite the “momentum” the Marlins were supposed to have after winning on Sunday. Momentum is not a thing in baseball. Often sleep isn’t a thing either.

Padres 6, Brewers 5: This one went to extras and Eric Sogard put Milwaukee up with a 10th inning homer. Hunter Renfroe did him one better, though, smacking a two-run walkoff homer in the bottom half. Renfroe drove in four runs overall.

Great Moments in Inventing Stats to Make Derek Jeter Look Better

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As I’ve said a couple of times in the past 24 hours, it’s possible to say that Derek Jeter is among the all-time greats while still thinking that some people overrate him.

That’s not a slight on Jeter. A player doesn’t “rate” himself, after all. It’s a comment on other people saying things that are unreasonable, separate and apart from whatever it is Derek Jeter did on the field. For example, it’s fair to say that Jeter was one of the best ballplayers of his era and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Saying he was the best shortstop of all time, however, is simply not accurate by any objective measure and serves to overrate him.

That’s the usual stuff. We’ve heard that for years. On the occasion of his number retirement ceremony last night, some folks are taking it to a new level:

That’s . . . not a thing. And has no bearing on any reasonable assessment of Derek Jeter as an individual player. To the extent one thinks it does, someone needs to be consistent and use the stat to slam Ernie Banks as a bum.

I don’t expect that, though, because the people who say such things about Derek Jeter’s “personal W-L” record are not really invested in that metric as anything meaningful. They simply want to pump up the Jeter hype. To overrate him, for whatever reason.