The American League won, but the two best pitching performances came from the National League last night.
First was Jacob deGrom, who struck out the AL on ten pitches in the sixth inning, placing his fastball wherever he wanted it and making dudes look silly. Watch:
The second was Aroldis Chapman, who was given the top of the ninth by manager Bruce Bochy. He threw 14 pitches. He too struck out the side. Twelve of those pitches topped 100 m.p.h. Which is sort of a thing he does:
Giving these guys one inning to air it out after a day off on Monday and the knowledge that they won’t have to pitch again until Friday is basically no fair. It’s especially no fair to let a guy who normally has to pace himself as a starter like deGrom to go full blast for one inning.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.