Rick Honeycutt unlikely to come back as Dodgers pitching coach

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It’s kind of messed up that, on the eve of the Dodgers playing in an elimination World Series game, chatter about possibly coaching staff changes are filtering out of L.A., but I suppose the news and gossip doesn’t stop for anything.

This news and gossip: Dodgers longtime pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, seems unlikely to come back for next season. Here’s Robert Murray of FanRag Sports:

There is increasing chatter that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2018 season, league sources tell FanRag Sports. His contract expires at the conclusion of the season . . . It’s likely that if Honeycutt does leave, the Dodgers look for someone who is more on page with the front office in regards to analytics.

As Murray notes, Honeycutt is very popular with Clayton Kershaw and other Dodgers pitchers. He’s held the job since 2006, which covers Kershaw’s entire major league career and spans the tenure of four Dodgers managers and two ownership groups. He’s well-regarded in the game, obviously.

No coaches last forever, though, so Honeycutt may be coaching his last game for the Dodgers tonight.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).