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September 13, 2017

What You Need to Know

Twenty!

by Nicolas Stellini


The Tuesday Takeaway

It happened. It’s an occasion that comes around only so every so often, and when it does it should be handled only with the utmost care. This is a rare, precious thing, the sort of baseball feat they make movies about.

Inevitability struck on Tuesday. The Indians won their 20th game in a row. Corey Kluber was utterly brilliant. He twirled a shutout against a Detroit team that stood no chance at all. Cleveland has bludgeoned during their streak, but runs were in short supply this time around. It didn’t matter with Kluber on the hill.

And now they’ll try for an American League-record 21st consecutive win. The odds are in their favor.

Quick Hits from Tuesday

It happened. It’s an occasion that comes around only every so often, and when it does it should be handled only with the utmost care. This is a rare, precious thing, the sort of baseball feat they make movies about.

The Dodgers won a game.

This may sound like a shocking and deceitful claim, but I watched it with my own eyes. I can tell you for sure that it’s true. The Dodgers really did win a baseball game, despite the fates trying their damndest to prevent it. Los Angeles clinched a playoff spot with the win, and somehow, the team with the best record in baseball will be playing in October.

Though they have played like it for an extended period of time, the Dodgers are not a bad team. This is still the group that went 43-7, albeit with a few more bumps and bruises. They are still at their core a stupendously talented collection of players. They still have Clayton Kershaw, who pitched well enough to win last night, despite not being exactly Kershaw-esque. They still have Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, and Kenley Jansen. They still have Yasiel Puig, who can throw out runners in the next county and smash balls off the wall.

They are still the Dodgers. And now that they’ve somehow broken their Brothers Grimm curse, they’re going to be just as formidable as ever. Los Angeles won’t see all of those 115 wins that were once foretold, but they’ll still be deadly.

Or, they could just start losing again. Baseball is a funny sport.

***

The Phillies won, and then they didn’t.

Instant replay is fun! With the emotionless gesture of an umpire, following the unseen decisions of another umpire in another state, all of the joy and flying gum of the Phillies was rendered moot.

I bet nobody told Dee Gordon on Tuesday morning that he’d be helping the grounds crew remove a layer of Double Bubble from the infield dirt that night. He probably would have believed that Rhys Hoskins would hit two home runs, though, and that those dingers would help fuel a Philadelphia comeback.

The Phillies celebrated again in the 15th inning. They actually won that time.

***

It hasn’t been a pretty year for Carlos Gonzalez. He’s been the worst thing about a shockingly good Rockies team, a below replacement-level wart on a great year. His normal brilliance is seemingly gone. The Rockies have done just fine without his usual offense, but they’d sure be happy if it suddenly came back.

Well, he’d hit .429 this month before Tuesday night. And then he whipped two homers over the right field wall in Arizona.

That’s vintage CarGo right there. The gorgeously smooth swing, the swagger, the distance on the balls. It doesn’t get much better than that. The Rockies would absolutely love it if he could keep swinging like that, especially if he did it in the Wild Card game.

Defensive Play of the Day

What can’t Jose Ramirez do? He can hit, he can hit for power, and he can play a bunch of different positions. He can play them fairly well, too.

We’re watching a star being born right before our eyes.

What to Watch on Wednesday

Afternoon baseball comes your way again today. We recommend the 1:10 game between the Yankees and Rays. Chris Archer is pitching, and if that isn’t enough, you’ve got Gary Sanchez and Kevin Kiermaier and a few more of the game’s most aesthetically pleasing players in one place. Goof off at work and give this your attention instead.

Then when you get home, tune in to the Nats and the Braves. Max Scherzer is going to carve Atlanta up, and you can get a good look at Luiz Gohara. He’s young and exciting and he’s got that whole prospect thing going on.

Later in the evening, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will presumably be playing Home Run Derby all on their own, and their games have been delightful this season. Unless you have a rooting interest here, of course. Then they’ve been stress-inducing nightmares. Impartiality will save us all.

Nicolas Stellini is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Nicolas's other articles. You can contact Nicolas by clicking here

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (09/13)
<< Previous Column
What You Need to Know:... (09/12)
Next Column >>
What You Need to Know:... (09/14)
Next Article >>
BP En Espanol: La ulti... (09/13)

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