The best kind of baseball defies explanation, and that’s exactly what Justin Bour gave spectators during the Angels-Cubs game on Saturday.
In the top of the first inning, with two outs and the bases empty, Bour lined an 0-1 pitch from Kyle Hendricks into the right field corner, where it was promptly scooped by Ben Zobrist. Zobrist fired the ball back toward first base, forcing Bour to dive back to the bag at the last second, but the ball ricocheted off of Bour’s foot and caromed toward the dugout.
Bour took off for second base and beat a close tag from Javier Báez, but in doing so, turned away from umpire Marty Foster and apparently missed the safe call. As he made a slow return to the Angels’ dugout, Báez had plenty of time to run over and apply the tag for the inning-ending out.
Watch it all unfold here:
The Angels didn’t suffer too horribly for the missed call; following two RBI singles from David Fletcher and Zack Cozart, a productive double play from Chris Stratton, and a pair of run-scoring walks from Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun, they lead the Cubs 5-2 in the seventh.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.