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July 26, 2017

What You Need to Know

Hug Watch

by Martin Alonso


The Tuesday Takeaway

#Hugwatch was on Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre, as Sonny Gray and Yonder Alonso may have played their final games for the A’s. Unfortunately, the Blue Jays spoiled any chance of going out in a blaze of glory, plating four unearned runs to take the game.

It all started on a Justin Smoak single. Kendrys Morales followed quickly on a force attempt by Gray, which ended up as an error. With runners on first and third, Troy Tulowitzki grounded out, scoring Smoak to open up the game. After an Ezequiel Cabrera single and a Kevin Pillar strikeout, Ryan Goins doubled to make it 3-0 in favor of the Blue Jays.

Jose Bautista drove in the final run on a ground-rule double before Gray was finally able to strike out Russell Martin to end the inning.

After all was said and done, Gray ended up going six innings, giving up four runs (none earned), striking out nine and walking two. According to Baseball-Reference’s Play Index, he is the first pitcher in the history of the game to have such a stat line.

Despite taking the loss, Gray’s outing was somewhat impressive and he's still considered the best pitcher available on the trade market, maintaining a 3.22 DRA and 88 cFIP. Meanwhile, Oakland still battled over the rest of the game, but it took a combination of Roberto Osuna and Josh Donaldson to close the door for the visitors.

Quick Hits

The Cubs hosted the White Sox for the second consecutive day in a matinee. But before the game was under way, Willson Contreras gave away a jersey to one of his younger fans. Then, to add a little more flair to the afternoon, he got the home team on board with a three-run home run off Carlos Rodon.

The Cubs ended up taking the game 7-2.

***

Over in St. Louis, the Cardinals started the day announcing that Dexter Fowler was headed to the 10-day disabled list. Taking his place would be Harrison Bader, their no. 8 prospect. His debut got off to a rocky start, with Bader going 0-for-3 with a strikeout. That is until the bottom of the ninth, when Bader doubled to left for his first career hit.

The night ended up a success as Jedd Gyorko hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Bader and handing the Cardinals the win over the Rockies.

***

In Cleveland, rookie Bradley Zimmer started it off by hitting his first career grand slam against the Angels. But, after 11 innings, the score was tied at 7-7. With the bases loaded, in came Edwin Encarnacion, who was not to be outdone by his teammate and belted the second grand slam of the game, sending many Cleveland fans home with a smile on their faces.

***

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to Yoenis Cespedes’ little league home run, one of the most exciting plays of the day if not the year.

Defensive Play of the Day

Cincinnati managed to turn their first triple play in 22 years. And who better to do it against than former Red Todd Frazier.

Frazier hit a liner toward Jose Peraza, who quickly stepped on second base for the first out and then doubled up Frazier for the second out. Joey Votto noticed that Didi Gregorius had strayed further than he should have, threw the ball to Eugenio Suarez, and caught Gregorius in a run down for the third out.

However, the triple play came at a price, as Matt Holliday managed to score during the run down to give the Yankees the lead.

What to Watch on Wednesday

Chris Sale (1.89 DRA, 57 cFIP) takes the mound for the Red Sox in an attempt to win the rubber match against the Mariners, who will counter with Andrew Moore (3.15 DRA, 91 cFIP). Game starts at 3:40 pm EST.

Meanwhile on the East Coast, Jimmy Nelson (3.21 DRA, 81 cFIP) continues his impressive season for the Brewers as they look to take the second of a three-game series against Gio Gonzalez (3.52 DRA, 101 cFIP) and the Nationals. First pitch at 7:05 pm EST.

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