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Michael Lorenzen had a Babe Ruth night

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I suppose that headline is somewhat misleading because Babe Ruth played only in day games, thus a “Babe Ruth night” could refer exclusively to his off-the-field conduct and, frankly, that probably takes things into a decidedly more PG-13 direction than we usually go around here. Maybe I should’ve said “a Babe Ruth game.”

So what is a “Babe Ruth game” in this context: one in which the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen pretty much did everything:  he was the winning pitcher but he also hit a homer and played in the outfield. According to the good folks at the Elias Sports Bureau, the last guy to do that was Babe Ruth, who did so for the Yankees on June 13, 1921.

To be fair, Lorenzen’s win was a vulture job as he blew a one-run lead by giving up a homer to Jay Bruce in the seventh inning. But, after José Iglesias put the Reds back on top with a homer of his own in the bottom half, Lorenzen pitched a clean top half of the eighth inning and then added insurance with a solo dinger in the bottom of the eighth. He was relieved in the ninth and moved to center field. His highlights:

Lorenzen has appeared in 66 games as a reliever this year but he also has 19 plate appearances, having manned the outfield in 18 different games. His batting line: .353/.421/.588 with a double, a homer, four driven in and two walks. He’s a pretty spiffy all-around athlete that I would not be surprised used more commonly as a two-way guy going forward.

And the Reds are starting him in center field this afternoon.

UPDATE: They’re already underway in Cincinnati and Lorenzen is already having himself a game:

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.