Another week gone by, another slew of big moments from the week. There were ups, so of course there were also downs. Enough pomp and circumstance, let’s get into them.
- Stanton Blasts 41st Home Run: Giancarlo Stanton has been on an absolutely torrid pace since the all-star break, hitting 20 homers in a 32 game span. That’s not a typo he really did that. When asked about Stanton’s streak, Nolan Arenado, who is no slouch with the bat himself, said:”Twenty homers in 32 games is unbelievable. I’ve never heard of anything like that. He’s got 20 homers in 32 games. I’ve got 26 homers in 4 1/2 months.” Just days after taking the MLB lead in long balls, Stanton keeps it up, losing 8 balls in 9 games. So this is what happens when he stays healthy.
- Cardinals Catch the Champs: It’s a baseball season, so it really wouldn’t be right without the St. Louis Cardinals in the heat of the pennant race. A year removed after being well out of the divisional race, the cardinals have caught the Cubs and are tied for first place in the heated NL Central. The Cards have won eight consecutive games, being the second team from Missouri in two months to get hot like this. The NL Central is still wide open, so don’t count out Matheny’s club just yet. The redbirds have plenty of fight left.
- Andrew Benintendi Lights up the Bronx: Red Sox Left Fielder and former rookie of the year shoo-in, Andrew Benintendi made it clear he likes hitting in Yankee Stadium. Benintendi and the Sox bruised up Luis Severino, as the rookie blasted two three-run jacks off the Bombers starter. A day after the a bullpen meltdown, the Sox re-established a 4.5 game lead in the tight AL East Race. Benintendi’s six rbi helped the sox to an easy 10-5 victory in New York.
Bellinger Closing in on Dodgers Record: The Dodgers are close to a record, what else is new. Cody Bellinger continues crushing the baseball as he launched his 34th of the year. That’s extremely impressive for a rookie, especially when considering Bellinger was called up at the very end of April, missing nearly a month of the season. Bellinger is now just one HR shy of Mike Piazza’s rookie record of 35. Knowing Bellinger, he could set a new record tonight.
- Army Vet Chris Rowley Impresses in Debut: Chris Rowley, who left baseball to serve in the army, finally got his chance to make his debut. Pitching for the Blue Jays, Rowley was fantastic over 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just one run, working into the sixth inning, as he quieted the Pirates bats. Rowley picked up his first big league win as the Jays cruised to a 7-2 victory. It’s a fantastic story, and one that deserves to be followed.
- Mariners Retire No. 11: Edgar Martinez was once one of the great Designated Hitters of his day, and perhaps of all time. The Mariners have recognized his skill and time with the organization by retiring his number 11. Already having a street to Safeco Field named after him, Edgar Martinez Drive, Martinez was once again honored by the Mariners and the city of Seattle, as his number 11 flew atop the famous Space Needle. Congratulations Edgar.
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- Harper Carried off Field: Bryce Harper had to be carried off the field during a game between the Nationals and Giants Saturday. The All-Star collapsed with a knee injury as he was trying to beat out a ground ball. Upon getting to first Harper flew off the bag and remained on the ground, clutching his leg. The Nationals have since revealed there was no ligament damage which is good news, but the injury is scary nonetheless. Hope for the best for Bryce and a speedy recovery.
- Mets-Yankees Deadline Drama: This past week saw the two New York clubs lock horns in the press over a deal not done at the trade deadline. After the Mets dealt Jay Bruce to the Indians, not accepting the Yankees offer for the slugger, the drama began. The Yankees felt their offer was better, as they offered more prospects. Mets GM Sandy Alderson defended the deal, and pointed to the Indians accepting the rest of Bruce’s salary as part of his reasoning. It later came to light that the two clubs had been close on a deal for 2B Neil Walker, that fell apart just minutes before the deadline, as the Yankees balked over concerns with Walkers medicals. The two trades not done led to many reports of scorn within the front offices.
- Lester Fades in Sixth: Jon Lester, after handling the D-Backs through five innings, hit a wall in the sixth as the Snakes notched four runs, which was enough to give them the victory. Lester has had a good and bad starts this year. Just a year removed from being in Cy Young Contention and starting Game 1 of the World Series, Lester has faded a bit this year, which is indicative of the cubs whole rotation. Lester currently holds an 8-7 record with an ERA just shy of 4.
- Willson Contreras DL Stint: Willson Contreras was providing some solid firepower for an underperforming Cubs team. In a fairly weak division many expected the cubs to run away with the division. Just when they began to make their move post all-star break, their catcher Willson Contreras went to the DL. This is a serious blow, as Contreras has proven that he can carry the lineup in the past, and was playing well during the Cubs surge. The Cubbies trade for Alex Avila helps to bolster the backstop in Contreras’ absence, as well as provide veteran leadership. However, Avila was meant to be a backup for a reason, as Contreras was coming into his own as a solid middle of the order bat.
- Rich Hill Hospitalized: While trying to lay down a bunt in a game against the Padres, LA starter Rich Hill Was struck in the throat by a Clayton Richard fastball. Hill managed to stay in the game and pitch another two innings, but had to be hospitalized after the game. The pitch caused a scary scene in which Hill, keeled over the batter’s box holding his throat. Teammate Cody Bellinger said “I saw him grab his throat so I didn’t know what to expect but I’m glad he is all right.” Pretty spectacular that Hill stayed in the game, but jeez this was scary.