Manny Acta is the "current" Nationals manager

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After several days of unchecked speculation, someone from the Nationals has finally said something about Manny Acta:

Rizzo spoke publicly about the reports for the first time before
Tuesday’s game with the Yankees, and while he offered nothing
resembling a definitive statement on Acta’s status, he said the front
office hasn’t discussed the issue with him.

“It’s certainly uncomfortable with the speculation,” Rizzo said.
“Names are being bandied about of replacements, and we haven’t even
discussed it with the current manager. He’s still our manager. We
support him. And all the reports that happened over the weekend, I
don’t know where those reports come from. And there’s not much to
comment on reports that there’s no basis to.”

Which is strange, because the current manager says that it was discussed
with the current manager: “I spoke to them the same day it came out.
It’s a rumor,” Acta said. One wonders why it took so long for Rizzo to
give Acta this vote of confidence.

Not that it’s really a vote of confidence. Indeed, perhaps the most
notable thing about all of this is that Rizzo calls Acta “the current
manager” in the first place. Strange choice of title for a guy you’re
supposedly not firing. Would you feel comfortable if your boss called
you the “current” accounts receivable clerk or the “current” assistant
to the comptroller? I sure wouldn’t.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.