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Trump takes credit for Red Sox sweeping Mariners

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning, the Mariners are a bad team that started off hot and is now finding its level. As I also mentioned in the recaps this morning, the Red Sox are a good team that started off poorly and is now finding its level. As such, one should not be terribly surprised that Seattle came to Fenway Park this past weekend and got swept by Boston in pretty resounding fashion.

Of course, there are some others who have a different explanation for why the Red Sox swept the series:

I suppose that’s one possibility.

Another possibility is that the president is — shockingly — engaging in some fallacious correlation/causation reasoning.

I mean, Hector Velázquez skipped the White House visit because he took specific issue with Trump’s comments about his native Mexico and he tossed five innings of two-run ball and got the win yesterday. Maybe his snubbing of Trump was what gave him his best outing of the season. Rafael Devers went 9-for-14 with a homer, a couple of doubles and seven RBI over the weekend after giving Trump a pass. Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-10 with three RBI on the weekend after skipping out. Alex Cora, of course, managed the Sox to all three of those wins despite his decision to avoid a meeting with Trump.

I’m joking of course. There is no correlation or causation to be found here, whether the player in question went to the White House or not, because visiting a politician — or choosing not to visit a politician — in no way impacts one’s baseball performance. To suggest otherwise is either (a) to be silly; or (b) to be cynically using a non-political actor, like a popular sports team, as a political prop in order to bathe in unearned glory and to make oneself look or feel better.

Which is, actually, a pretty good reason for a sports team that has no desire to be cast in a political light to go see said politician.

Pirates shut down Chris Archer

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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.