Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Trevor Hoffman are poised for induction next year


They didn’t quite make it — you need that solid 75% to be elected — but Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Trevor Hoffman are now officially knocking on the Hall of Fame’s door.

Bagwell received 71.6% of the vote in his sixth year of eligibility, up from 55.7%, which is a HUGE jump. He has four more years to go to gain that extra 3.4%. Raines, in his ninth and penultimate year, got 69.8%, compared to last year’s 55%. Not too shabby either. Trevor Hoffman, in his first year on the ballot, got 67.3%. By way of comparison, Mike Piazza was at 69.9% last year and crossed over to 83% today.

Hoffman has nine more years to get to 75%, which seems inevitable. One year left for Raines and four years for Bagwell is not a lot of time for big advances, but they no longer need big advances. In fact, they seem to be sure things. The vast majority of players who received at least 50% of the Baseball Hall of Fame vote at some point were eventually elected by the time their eligibility expired and EVERYONE who got to where Bagwell and Raines are have gotten there. The exceptions to that 50% class include Gil Hodges and Jack Morris, each of whom were marginal candidates by the numbers compared to Bagwell and Raines. Lee Smith is heading in that direction, though he only once broke 50%, barely, before sliding back down to where he is now.

Another thing working in favor of these three: next year’s class is far, far weaker than this year’s and definitely weaker than last year’s. The biggest newcomers will be Vlad Guerrero, who will get a good deal of support but is not necessarily a sure thing. Manny Ramirez would be an easy-in if not for his multiple failed PED tests, so he won’t receive a huge number of votes. Ivan Rodriguez and Jorge Posada will likely get considerable support but, again, are nothing like Ken Griffey Jr. or Randy Johnson sure-things.

Beyond them: no one who will make it, meaning that there will be two fewer guys taking up space on the ballot now that Griffey and Piazza are in and no monsters crowding them out. Barring a planet-killing meteor strike, the class of 2017 will include Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Trevor Hoffman.

McCutchen’s sacrifice fly lifts Pirates to 5-4 win, extends Athletics’ road losing streak to 15

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen’s tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth inning lifted Pittsburgh to a 5-4 victory over Oakland on Monday night, extending the Pirates’ win streak to six games and sending the Athletics to their record-tying 15th consecutive road loss.

The 15 straight defeats away from home matches the Athletics’ record since they moved from Kansas City in 1968. Oakland set that mark in 1986.

The major league-worst Athletics (12-50) have lost five games in a row overall. They are on pace to finish the season exactly 100 games under .500 at 31-131.

“It’s tough,” Athletics manager Mark Kotsay said. “Tonight’s game, we didn’t play well enough to win the game. I don’t want to say we gave the game away but there were a lot of instances where we had a chance to capitalize on opportunities and didn’t do it.”

McCutchen also singled and drew three walks to go with two RBIs. The 2013 NL MVP now has 1,998 career hits.

With the score tied at 4, Ji Hwan Bae led off the decisive eighth inning with a single off Sam Moll (0-3) and advanced to third on Austin Hedges’ one-out single. McCutchen’s sac fly plated Bae.

“I was just trying to get the job done. I understand the situation there,” McCutchen said. “We just need to get the run. I was trying to bear down against a hard thrower and trying to get that run in as much as I can, and I was able to do it and have a good at-bat.”

Angel Perdomo (1-0) retired both hitters he faced. and Colin Holdeman pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his first career save. It was an eventful inning for Holderman as the first three batters reached base, but he struck out Carlos Perez with runners on the corners to end it.

“I began my career as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues but ever since I was switched to relief, this has been the goal, to get a save in the big leagues,” Holderman said.

Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo gave up three runs and four hits with five strikeouts and two walks.

Oakland left-hander JP Sears did not allow a hit until Mark Mathias’ leadoff single in the fifth but was unable to make it through the inning. Sears was charged with one run in 4 2/3 innings while allowing two hits, walking five and striking out six.

Sears has not allowed more than two runs in five consecutive starts. His nine no-decisions are the most in the major leagues.

Ryan Noda and Brent Rooker had two hits each for the Athletics.

The Athletics tied the score at 4-4 in the eighth inning on pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz’s run-scoring double. Oakland left the bases loaded, though, when Nick Allen hit an inning-ending flyout.

Consecutive bases-loaded walks keyed a three-run sixth inning that put the Pirates 4-3. McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds each worked bases on balls off Shintaro Fujinami to tie the score at 3-all and pinch-hitter Jack Suwinski followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Athletics opened the scoring in the first inning when rookie Esteury Ruiz reached on catcher’s interference, stole his MLB-leading 30th base of the season and scored on Noda’s single. Seth Brown doubled in a run in the third and came home on Perez’s sacrifice fly to push Oakland’s lead to 3-0.

Connor Joe hit an RBI double for the Pirates in the fifth.

The Pirates drew 10 walks, their most in a game in nearly two years.

“We had a bunch of opportunities that we didn’t capitalize (on), but the thing I think I was most proud of is we got down and we didn’t rush to get back,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “We were still patient.”


Athletics: LHP Kirby Snead (strained shoulder) is expected to pitch in the Arizona Complex League on Tuesday, which will be his first game action since spring training. … RHP Freddy Tarnok (strained shoulder) will throw a bullpen on Tuesday.


Pirates catching prospect Henry Davis was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis from Double-A Altoona. In 41 games at Double-A this season, the 23-year-old hit .284 with 10 home runs and seven stolen bases.

“He was performing offensively at a level where we felt like he was more than ready to meet the challenges,” Pirates general manager Ben Cherington said. “He improved as an offensive player even since spring training, focusing on the things we were challenging him on. Defensively, he’s made strides too.”

Davis was the first overall selection in the 2021 amateur draft from the University of Louisville.


Athletics RHP James Kaprielian (0-6, 8.12 ERA) will make his first start in June after taking the loss in all four starts in May and face RHP Mitch Keller (7-1, 3.25). Keller has eight or more strikeouts in seven consecutive starts, the longest streak by a Pirates pitcher in the modern era (since 1901).