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Michael Lorenzen had a Babe Ruth night


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:

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.