Ryan Dempster won’t be back until after the All-Star break

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At the outset, please note that as of this week, anything that will or will not happen until “after the All-Star” break is no longer really scary. Because the All-Star break is less than two weeks from now. Seems crazy early and stuff, but it’s where we are.  The upshot: “until after the All-Star break” is now merely descriptive and informative, not scary.

Anyway: Ryan Dempster won’t be back until after the All-Star break. He was originally eligible to come back this past Sunday and, as recently as a couple of days ago, the Cubs thought he’d miss only one start.  But I guess his strained right lat muscle is still not 100%.

No sense rushing him. He needs to be healthy for the end of July — and the trade deadline — not the beginning.

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.