For the second straight year a neck injury threatens to ruin Twins closer Glen Perkins’ otherwise outstanding season.
Last year he was cruising along with a 2.44 ERA through late August when he began to struggle while trying to pitch through a neck injury, allowing 10 runs in eight appearances before being shut down in mid-September.
This year Perkins converted each of his first 29 save chances while posting a 1.37 ERA through late July, but he’s allowed eight runs in nine appearances since then and is now in need of a cortisone short and further examination.
For now Perkins remains on the Twins’ active roster, but if the injury is truly similar to last season it’s hard to imagine the three-time All-Star pitching through it.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.