By Andrew Kahn
A Kansas City Royal still leads in All-Star voting at catcher, third, short, second, two outfield spots, and DH, but Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera has jumped ahead at first base and the Angels’ Mike Trout is still the leading vote-getter in the outfield. Voting ends in less than a week.
3K for A-Rod
Alex Rodriguez recorded his 3,000th hit a week ago, but he still doesn’t have the ball. The odds of him obtaining it have improved though. Just like Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit, A-Rod’s was a home run at Yankee Stadium (those two and Wade Boggs, who reached the milestone with Tampa Bay, are the only three to do it with a homer). It’s an understatement to say fans feel differently about Jeter and Rodriguez, so there was a good chance that whoever caught the ball might not want to give it back, but that was especially true considering it was caught by a guy who has made a career of snagging balls at big league games, Zack Hample. Hample initially wrote on Twitter that he’d give A-Rod “the finger and a dummy ball,” but has softened on that stance and is now asking for a charitable donation and some memorabilia for himself, all while basking in the attention that has come his way. You might say Hample is the A-Rod of ball collectors.
It’s impossible to earn $210 million in two starts, but Max Scherzer tried his best. He followed up a 16-strikeout one-hitter with a 10-strikeout, 0-walk no-hitter on Saturday. The only Pirate to reach base was pinch-hitter Jose Tabata, who was hit by a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth. The Pirates trailed 6-0 and if Tabata didn’t lean into the pitch, he certainly made no effort to get out of the way. Scherzer had no issue with it, saying it was a breaking ball that backed up instead of break. As you’ll see below, there were several impressive defensive plays to keep the no-hitter intact. Scherzer takes the mound again tonight against the lowly Phillies, trying to continue Washington’s streak of 41 1/3 consecutive innings of scoreless work from its starting pitchers.
Chris Sale is on an impressive pitching streak as well. He struck out 10 batters in his last start, on Wednesday, joining Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers since 1914 to record double-digit strikeouts in seven straight starts. But the White Sox, 32-40 on the season, were just 3-4 in in those starts. In his previous outing, he joined Martinez and Johnson in having made five straight starts with at least 12 Ks. Wednesday’s performance, despite the high strikeout total, was not good: he gave up five earned runs against Minnesota. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Sale is 1-3 with a 6.46 ERA against the Twins this season and 5-1 with a 1.88 ERA against everyone else.
Josh Donaldson is gaining on Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas in All-Star votes, and his tremendous catch on Wednesday should give him a boost. Donaldson tracked a pop-up towards the side wall down the third base line and dove into the stands to make the catch:
What made it even more exciting is that Toronto’s pitcher, Marco Estrada, had a perfect game going at the time. He would lose it in the eighth, the second consecutive start in which he took at least a no-hitter that deep, proving that Scherzer and Sale aren’t the only two hurlers on a hot streak.
Roses are red, Rose is a liar
I always found it funny when Pete Rose or his defenders pointed out that he never bet on the Reds to lose. Even if that were true, Rose admitted to sometimes betting on them to win—what does that say about he games he decided not to bet on them? Anyway, a recent Outside the Lines report revealed that Rose lied when he said he never bet on games as a player. It’s unclear if this new development will affect his quest to get into the Hall of Fame. But if on-field results were all that mattered, he’d already be in. And the gambling stuff we knew about even before this latest news was enough to keep him out.
Andrew Kahn is a regular contributor to CBS Local who also writes for Newsday and The Wall Street Journal. He writes about baseball and other sports at http://andrewjkahn.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @AndrewKahn