Tag: Chicago Cubs

Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel leaves start with tight left hamstring

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Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel threw only 12 pitches in a flawless top of the first inning Wednesday night against the rival Cardinals, but Clayton Richard was spotted warming up in the bottom half of the first and took the mound in the top of the second. Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com has the reason

Hammel’s next scheduled start isn’t until after the All-Star break, so he shouldn’t miss a rotation turn. But the Cubs need all the wins they can get against the division-leading Cardinals and Hammel obviously gave them a much better chance Wednesday than Richard, who allowed two runs in his first frame. Hammel boasts a 2.86 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 105/18 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 total innings this season for third-place Chicago.

Your 2015 MLB Home Run Derby participants …

Great American Ball Park

The participants in the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park are being revealed live on Sportscenter at 6 p.m. ET. We’ll list all of the names here as they come out …


Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
Joc Pederson, CF, Dodgers


Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
Prince Fielder, 1B, Rangers
Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles

The event is July 13 — next Monday night. For a rundown of the new format, head here.

A-Rod would not turn the All-Star Game into a circus. It already is one.


Fox’s Jon Morosi talks about A-Rod not making the All-Star team. He rightfully dismisses the idea that A-Rod should be kept out because of morals or PEDs or any of that stuff. And really, no one is arguing that he should be, even if he suffered some with fans because of that. But he still thinks it’s best that Rodriguez not be there.


1. The fans had their chance to vote him in. If they truly wanted him there, he would have finished higher than fifth among AL designated hitters — more than 7 million votes behind Cruz.

2. If A-Rod had been named to the All-Star team, he’d dominate much of the pregame discussion in Cincinnati. Would the debate draw greater attention to this year’s Midsummer Classic? Perhaps. But it would drain plenty of oxygen from what people who love the game should be discussing: the tremendous influx of young talent to the sport.

This seems really bizarre to me.

As for reason one, the All-Star Game has a bifurcated roster selection process for a reason. That reason is that the fans often don’t know what they’re doing. But more to the point, the fans pick eight or nine dudes. Each team has 34 guys on it. Why is it OK to say it’s good that A-Rod is not on the team because the fans didn’t want him there and not say the same thing about D.J. Lemahieu? They didn’t want him either. Or Brandon Crawford or A.J. Pollock? If a guy is worthy, he’s put on the team most of the time in spite of the fans not voting for him. That’s the whole design of the thing.

As for the second reason, isn’t Morosi here saying “we, the media, would be unable to do anything but talk about A-Rod if he were here and we need to be saved from ourselves?” Because last I checked, A-Rod — especially the bland, non-controversial version of him we’re seeing this year — isn’t doing much to force coverage other than the occasional “hey, he’s playing well” piece. Morosi himself talks about what people “should be discussing.” Why could he and everyone else discuss that and ignore the backup DH? Of course they could, but to admit that may force one to admit that all of the stuff said and written about A-Rod over the past couple of years is just as much media-driven as it is A-Rod driven.

More to the point, however, since when do we care if the All-Star Game is a circus? It’s already got military flyovers, celebrity softball tournaments, actual parades, an actual festival, gimmicky substitutions, multiple pop and country stars giving performances and Pete Freakin’ Rose.

Ultimately, I don’t care that A-Rod didn’t make it. Prince Fielder basically took his slot and Prince Fielder is having a really great year. And really, A-Rod could probably use a break anyway. If he were leading the league in five categories, fine, it’s a snub, but to be honest he’s having a good but not great season and a lot of guys who have seasons like this don’t make All-Star teams.

But in 2015, with a new commissioner and evolving sports preferences in the U.S., it is paramount that MLB leverage its All-Star Game into a stage for Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Joc Pederson, Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado. We need to learn more about their stories. By now, we’re familiar enough with the tale of Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez.

Dude, you’re the reporter and a TV personality for the network televising the entire thing. If you want us to learn about these stories, maybe tell us? Or does A-Rod run Fox too?

There was a bad call in the Cardinals-Cubs game last night and the current replay system made it possible.

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The Cardinals led the Cubs by a run in the seventh inning of last night’s nightcap. There were two men on and Addison Russell was at the plate. Russell chopped one down the first base line that first hit in foul territory then skipped past first base, also in foul territory.

Yet a run scored, a runner went to third base and Russell ended up safe at first. Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness was ejected on the play arguing, quite understandably, that a game-tying RBI should not happen on an obviously foul ball.

MLB doesn’t have the video embeddable, but you can watch the play here. The announcers entertain the notion that the ball crossed over the bag in fair territory, but for that to be possible the ball would have to travel in such a manner as to make the Warren Commission’s magic bullet look like the straightest thing ever.

More importantly, you can get Derrick Goold’s story about the play and why it was not reviewable by replay. The short version: fair/foul plays on the base lines that occur in front of the umpires are judgment calls. Despite the fact that fair/foul calls in the outfield are not. All of this part of the grand, messy bargain that is the current replay system.

A bargain, as Goold argues and as we at HBT have argued ever since the idea of replay was first broached, is severely flawed by virtue of the challenge system and the lack of a replay ump in the booth who can watch the game in real time and immediately fix calls. Add to it the idea that field umpires are entitled to deference, either on calls that are reviewed or the category of calls, like this one, which are not subject to it.

The system we have is a better one than no system. But it is not the best system that could be implemented, not because of unsolvable technological challenges, but because the system that was adopted was itself flawed. What makes it all the more galling is that neither John Schuerholz, Joe Torre, Bud Selig or anyone else involved in its implementation ever explained why we must have challenges or why we can’t have a booth ump.

It was just asserted — like so many other things baseball does — that it was just fine and all alternatives had been considered and none of you worry your pretty little heads about it.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Johnny Cueto


Reds 5, Nationals 0: Johnny Cueto has submitted his resume to the other 29 teams, nailed the interview and now awaits offers. Or at least the Reds do, and they’re likely going to get a nice haul for him. A complete game two-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and not a care in the world that his opponent was Max Scherzer. Joey Votto didn’t much care that he was facing Scherzer either, as he went 3-for-5 with a double, homer and three driven in. Neither Votto nor Cueto was selected for the All-Star team, by the way.

Pirates 3, Padres 2: A couple of Pirates, including Gregory Polanco got a save here. As in helping save a groundscrew member who was being swallowed up by the tarp during a third inning rain delay:

Later an even better highlight: Justin Upton stone-cold robbing Andrew McCutchen of what would’ve been a go-ahead homer in the fifth:


The Pirates got the win anyway, again with help from Polanco, who hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth.

Royals 9, Rays 5Royals 7, Rays 1: The walkoff grand slam by Paulo Orlando in the first game was only soured a tad for the Royals in that it came against Brad Boxberger, who Royals manager Ned Yost had just added to the All-Star team the day before. Maybe rethinking the omission of Corey Kluber is in order? Eh, maybe not. In the second game it was the Alex Gordon show, as he drove in four on a 4-for-5 night. The Royals are now four and a half up in the Central, tied for the biggest division lead in all of baseball with the Cardinals.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 4Cubs 5, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals’ lead was reduced thanks to dropping both ends of this twin bill. Jake Arrieta held their bats at bay and Anthony Rizzo homered. Worse: Kolten Wong went out with a head contusion. Addison Russell helped lead a comeback in the nightcap, giving the Cubs the first doubleheader sweep of the Cardinals since 1992. Note: the Addison Russell hit in that comeback was REALLY controversial. More on that later.

Athletics 4, Yankees 3: Bad day for All-Star relievers, eh? Here Brett Lawrie homered off Dellin Betances in extras. Not that Lawrie dominated the night — he struck out thrice and was behind in the count to Betances, almost to the Golden Sombrero — but he certainly made up for it. Oakland has strangely owned the Yankees of late, having won 12 of their last 15 meetings.

Red Sox 4, Marlins 3: The Sox came from behind with a three-run seventh, with all of those runs coming off the bat of Xander Bogaerts, who cleared the bases with a single. Wade Miley struck out nine.

Indians 2, Astros 0: Corey Kluber: not an All-Star, but he did shut down one of the scariest lineups in the American League, tossing shutout ball into the seventh. Michael Brantley was 3-for-4 with a homer.

Diamondbacks 4, Rangers 2: Robbie Ray took a shutout into the eighth inning, outdueling Yovani Gallardo, whose long-playing scoreless innings streak ended at 33 and a third.

Blue Jays 2, White Sox 1: Felix Doubront started this one, his first start since last year. It went well: six and two-thirds innings, one earned run and six strikeouts. Josh Donaldson’s fourth inning homer was the eventual game-winner, as the Jays played a rare low-scoring game.

Braves 4, Brewers 3: Manny Banuelos put up his second nice start to begin his major league career, allowing one run in five and a third. This after his debut in which he pitched five and two-thirds shutout innings against the Nats. A.J. Pierzynski homered and had three hits in all. Pierzynski is hitting .289 on the year and has an OPS of .778. I never would’ve guessed he’d be that solid, but he’s been a solid pickup for Atlanta.

Twins 8, Orioles 3: Miguel Sano hit his first career homer — a two-run shot — and walked with the bases loaded. He has hit safely in all six games since he was called up. This has been an absolutely nuts year for great young players being called up.

Angels 10, Rockies 2: Four homers from the Angels’ bats: Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Matt Joyce and Chris Iannetta. The Angels have won four straight, scoring 43 runs in those games. It’s almost as if playing the Rangers in Texas and the Rockies in Colorado is good for offense.

Mariners 7, Tigers 6: Robinson Cano with a walkoff single in the bottom of the 11th. Cano also hit a solo homer. The Tigers had their chances in the 10th and 11th innings, having the go-ahead run at third both times, but couldn’t deliver.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 2: Chad Billingsley faced his old mates in Dodger Stadium and notched his first win in over two years. A nice story after the dude had two elbow surgeries. Not a lot of guys could come back from that. The Phillies beat up Brett Anderson a bit, who didn’t look completely right after slipping on the mound early on, but he apparently didn’t hurt himself or anything. Maybe it was my imagination.

Giants 3, Mets 0: Hunter Pence comes back and just like that the Giants’ seven-game losing streak ended. Pence made a sweet sliding catch to turn a double play and drove in two runs on a single and a fielder’s choice. Matt Cain tossed six shutout innings.