The year in shutouts

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I wanted to dig into scoreless games for a minute. Here’s a look at the teams throwing the most and fewest and then the teams that are on the other end.

Throwing shutouts

Most
Braves – 8
Brewers – 8
Phillies – 8
Rangers – 8
Tigers – 8
Mariners – 7

Fewest
Blue Jays – 1
Cubs – 1
Astros – 2
Reds – 2
Yankees – 2

Nothing seems especially out of place there, except maybe Detroit’s ranking. The Tigers are just 23rd in MLB in ERA. They do have Justin Verlander, of course, but he’s been on the mound for just two of the shutouts.

Getting shut out

Most
Padres – 11
Angels – 9
Nationals – 9
Pirates – 8
Athletics – 7
Indians – 7

Fewest
Astros – 1
Diamondbacks – 1
Blue Jays – 2
Mariners – 2
Orioles – 2
Rangers – 2
Reds – 2
Tigers – 2

Ah, yes, the Padres. That was my reason for pulling up the numbers in the first place. Baseball’s lowest scoring team has been shut out 11 times. But not making the list were the Giants. They’ve scored just six more runs than the Padres this season (230 to 224), but they’ve only been shut out six times.

Seeing Houston on the second list is a something of a shocker. The Astros rank 18th in MLB scoring at 262 runs, but they always manage at least one or two runs per game. The Red Sox, who lead the majors with 350 runs, have already been shut out five times, while the Yankees, in second with 330 runs, have been held scoreless four times.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.