Kris Bryant
Getty Images

Video: Kris Bryant ties Ernie Banks’ home run record

5 Comments

The Cubs bulldozed their way to a couple of home run records on Saturday, dominating the Pirates 14-1 to edge closer to the division lead. Powering that 14-run spread: two singles, a double, and four home runs, the latter of which bumped the team’s total to a single-season, franchise-record 237 in 2019.

Ben Zobrist took care of the first home run, teeing off against Pittsburgh rookie James Marvel in the second inning with a solo shot, his first of the year. Kris Bryant followed with a two-run blast in the fourth, while Nico Hoerner’s record-breaking three-run homer in the sixth and Victor Caratini‘s solo bomb in the seventh were the cherries on top of a decisive win.

For Bryant, Saturday’s home run felt a little more special than usual. He picked up a 1-1 fastball from Marvel and returned it to left field for his 29th homer of the season, bringing him to a career total of 136. It’s an impressive pace for the three-time All-Star; as he nears the conclusion of his fifth season in the majors, he’s on the verge of surpassing the franchise record set by Cubs Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks, who also belted 136 homers through his first five seasons with the club.

While the Cubs have been on an unbelievable tear this month — leading all NL teams with 68 runs scored in the first two weeks of September — it would still take some serious effort for them to lay claim to the home run title by season’s end. They currently rank second in the National League and seventh overall with 237 home runs, well below the NL-leading Dodgers (261) and league-leading Yankees (285).

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
Bob Levey/Getty Images
3 Comments

Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.