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Odubel Herrera willing to take a fastball to the ribs to keep flipping his bat

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Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh inning of Saturday’s win against the Giants, flipping his bat in the process. He did so against reliever Hunter Strickland, the man who memorably drilled Bryce Harper, catalyzing a benches-clearing brawl that resulted in his being suspended six games.

Herrera was pulled aside by veteran teammate Andres Blanco, who pointed out the man Herrera may have offended. Herrera said, via CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury, “I’m sure that some pitchers may find it offensive, but I’m not trying to offend anyone. That’s just the way I am and that’s the way I’m going to play.”

Herrera understands that he may, at some point, rub someone the wrong way and he may have to take a fastball in the ribs. The outfielder said, “Of course, it worries me a little bit. I don’t want to get drilled. But I’m not going to change the way I play. If I get hit, I’m just going to have to rub it.”

Through the end of May, Herrera was batting an uncharacteristic .218/.262/.326, so he hadn’t had many opportunities to meaningfully flip his bat. But along with Saturday’s double, Herrera also homered and doubled twice on Sunday, so he may finally be getting out of his rut.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.