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Brandon McCarthy: Profiles in Honesty

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I’m guessing most ballplayers who play on the east coast stay up and watch west coast games when their work is done. I know for sure that Braves starter Brandon McCarthy does, because he often tweets about the games he’s watching into the wee hours.

Last night, for example, we know he was watching the Angels-Mariners game, because like everyone else, he was talking about Mike Trout:

 

That tweet — while in part a reaction to Trout’s big night — was more specifically made in service of McCarthy’s criticism of MLB Network for not doing enough to talk about and promote the game’s top players. He’d later say that, despite the fact that Trout is a fellow big leaguer, he knows very little about him. McCarthy’s got a point about that and I agree that MLB could and should do better with this sort of thing.

The tweet brought a response from one of McCarthy’s followers, suggesting ways in which McCarthy could remedy this in the meantime:

Not the worst idea, except for one thing . . .

McCarthy is 5-3 and that’s not too bad. He’s on pace to match his career-high in starts with 32, and every baseball man will tell you that there is considerable value in having a guy who will take that ball every fifth day. Winning teams — and the Braves are a winning team — are characterized by pitchers’ health more than just about anything.

That said: we appreciate the honesty and self-awareness, Brandon. We live in an age where such things are in short supply and we should rightly cherish them wherever they can be found.

Twins reach historic home run total during 11-4 rout of White Sox

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The Twins trampled the White Sox on Friday night, cruising to a cool 11-4 lead over their division rivals and collecting their sixth double-digit win of 2019. Even more impressive, they picked up their 99th, 100th, and 101st home runs, a feat that’s rarely been matched in a team’s first 50 games of any given season.

The first homer of the night was delivered by Eddie Rosario in the third inning. Working against a single-run deficit, Rosario lifted an 0-1 fastball from the White Sox’ Reynaldo López, planting it firmly in the left field stands and evening the score, 4-4. Two batters later, Rosario’s solo home run got a sequel: a 398-footer from Miguel Sanó, this one postmarked for the upper deck in left.

In the fourth, now leading 5-4, the Twins saw a third and final homer from the bat of Max Kepler, whose center-field blast traveled a projected 397 feet to give the club a two-run advantage. Per MLB Stats, the Twins’ record — 101 homers in 50 games — stands second only to that of the 1999 Mariners, who managed to club 102 home runs before their 51st game of the season.

While the record has undoubtedly been a team effort, Rosario leads the pack with a team-best 15 homers so far this year, closely followed by C.J. Cron (13), Max Kepler (11), and Jonathan Schoop (10). Sanó, whose solo shot marked the team’s 100th home run of 2019, has just five, though there’s little doubt he’ll reach double digits before the end of the season.

According to MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, the Twins also made it to an even 300 runs scored in 2019, for a satisfying average of six runs per game and a new franchise record (previous high mark: 273 runs scored in 1992). With the win, they improved to 34-16 on the year and continue to hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the AL Central.