Heath Bell continues to struggle

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Last night was a good night to stink because so much other stuff was happening. This is especially true if your team won.  And it’s especially true if the stat that says you stink — blown save — was given to another guy.  But don’t think you got away with this, Heath Bell, we were watching.  You screwed up again.

Bell was called into the ninth inning of the Marlins-Giants game with his team on top 2-0.  He then allowed two runs on three hits while failing to record an out.  He was bailed out of the blown save when Ozzie Guillen put in Steve Cishek to try to clean up Bell’s mess, but the Giants tying the game in the ninth was really Bell’s doing.  Giancarlo Stanton’s 10th inning homer salvaged things.

Bell now has an 11.74 ERA, has allowed 13 hits in seven and two-thirds innings and has blown four saves.  Lesser struggles caused Ozzie Guillen to move Jose Reyes down in the lineup.  Will he do something about the Marlins’ closer situation now?

Aaron Judge homers off of Max Scherzer, American League takes a 1-0 lead

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Despite the earlier rain, the All-Star Game got underway on time and following the usual pregame festivities Max Scherzer took the hill to face the American League.

Scherzer did great in the first inning, striking out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve and then, following a walk to Mike Trout and giving up a single to J.D. Matinez, retired Jose Ramirez on a weak popup. Scherzer was cooing with gas: the reigning Cy Young winner had not thrown a pitch as fast as 98 m.p.h. all season, but he threw three of those during his scoreless first.

Chris Sale‘s work in the bottom half was more about nasty stuff than mere heat. Following a leadoff single allowed to Javier Baez he got Nolan Arenado to fly out to left, struck out Paul Goldschmidt on a nasty slider and then got Freddie Freeman out via a fly to left.

Aaron Judge led off the second. The same Aaron Judge someone wrote today could be trade bait if the Yankees felt so inclined. Which, um, OK, that was dumb anyway, but it looked even dumber when Judge muscled Scherzer’s second pitch — a letter-high fastball — out to left field with many, many feet to spare for a homer.

Scherzer got the rest of the A.L. side, but the damage had been done. The American League leads 1-0 after an inning and a half.