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Good morning baseball fans!
Logan Morrison is probably done for the season with a left wrist injury.
The Cardinals are very good on the road, and it may help them in October.
Their likely one-off Wild Card game opponents are the Giants. In 2016, Baseball-Reference gives batters the edge at AT&T Park (batting — 104, pitching — 103). The Cardinals need offense, and AT&T Park may be better for a homer-happy team than Busch Stadium in a one-game playoff. If the Cardinals wind up playing the Mets at Citi Field, the edge there goes to pitchers (batting — 99, pitching — 99), but it's about on par with Busch (batting — 100 pitching — 99). They did hit two home runs during their three games in New York.
If the Cardinals make it past the Wild Card round, they will face the Cubs. In theory, Wrigley is not a great ballpark for home run hitters. Baseball-Reference has it at batting — 95 and pitching — 93 this year, heavily favoring pitchers. Ever the contrarians, the Cardinals have played seven games at Wrigley in 2016 and hit fourteen home runs. Two home runs per game in a pitchers' park? Go figure. They are 5-2 at the friendly confines this season.
As the cherry on top, the AL won the All-Star Game, so the NL team must win a game on the road in the World Series. For the Cardinals? Bring it on. While the odds are stacked against any WC team, their road record indicates the Cardinals could pull off the improbable.
Here is a roundup of news from around the National League East.
Even after an encouraging start against the Tigers, the Orioles will closely monitor Chris Tillman.
Rich Hill was pulled from a perfect game. What does history have to say about that interesting situation?
It’s the kind of gutsy move that should encourage the Dodgers that they have the right person in charge. Despite knowing how unpopular the decision would be, even with his own players, Roberts put the the interests of the team first, and made the difficult call. He took the criticism for it. He lost sleep over it. But he did it anyway.
Too many managers in baseball make decisions designed to avoid criticism. Roberts ran headfirst into the criticism because he believed it was the right thing to do. That’s the kind of move we should respect, even if we all wish, in a perfect world, we could have seen Hill get a chance to get six more outs. It’s not a perfect world, and Rich Hill doesn’t have perfect blisters, so instead, we’ll have to settle for watching Rich Hill pitch in October. That will be fun too.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1998, after watching Mark McGwire break the single season home run record, Sammy Sosa becomes the second person of the week to break the record.