The Twins’ first eight hitters reach base, all come around to score

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I saw the eight-spot the Twins put up in the first inning against Madison Bumgarner last night, but didn’t dig down into the play by play of it all until a few minutes ago.  And how about this: the first eight batters all got hits, and all eight came around to score. That’s some trick. In fact, it’s a trick that hasn’t been done for over 20 years, when the Yankees did it against the Orioles in late 1990.

By the way, that’s eight straight wins for the Twins and 15 of 17 in the win column. The same Twins who I so adroitly declared dead a week or two ago because, as is always the case, I know nothing about everything.

On the bright side, if Minnesota goes on to win the World Series, that will be two straight years in which a death sentence from me inspired greatness.  It may be an odd gift, but it’s a gift all the same.

Mariners claim Kaleb Cowart off waivers from Angels

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The Mariners announced that the club claimed Kaleb Cowart off waivers from the Angels. Interestingly, the Mariners list Cowart as both an outfielder and a right-handed pitcher. Cowart has never pitched professionally, but the Mariners will try him as a two-way player next season, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. Cowart was a highly regarded pitcher in high school.

Cowart, 26, has played all over the field, spending most of his time at third base and second base, but also logging a handful of innings at first base, shortstop, and left field.  He hasn’t hit much at all, owning a career .177/.241/.293 triple-slash line across 380 plate appearances in the big leagues. It makes sense to try another angle.

Shohei Ohtani, of course, is helping to popularize the rebirth of the two-way player. In his first year in the majors after having played in Japan for five years, Ohtani won the AL Rookie of the Year Award by posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances along with a 3.31 ERA over 10 starts. Don’t expect Cowart to hit those lofty numbers, but additional versatility could prolong his life in the majors.