The big — and sad — story of the day was Prince Fielder‘s news conference announcing he’ll no longer be able to play baseball, his career over at 32. I wrote this piece. Our top five:
1. Just win, baby. Here’s what the Texas Rangers have done the past three games against the Colorado Rockies:
Wednesday — Down 4-3, score twice in the bottom of the eighth to win 5-4.
Tuesday — Down 5-2, score four in the top of the eighth to win 7-5.
Monday — Down 3-1, score three in the top of the ninth to win 4-3.
On Sunday, they beat the Houston Astros in 11 innings. On Saturday, they won 3-2. They’ve won five in a row and improved to 26-8 in one-run games, best in the majors. Of course it’s the best record in the majors. That’s an insane .765 winning percentage. You may remember back in 2012 when the Baltimore Orioles went 29-9 in one-run games (and went 16-2 in extra innings). That was a .763 winning percentage, which was the best for an MLB team in one-run games since Grover Cleveland was a one-term president.
After I tweeted that out, a reader suggested that nobody is talking about the Rangers being super lucky and not really that good like they did about those Orioles. I have seen some of that, actually, although it’s less muted now after the Rangers bolstered themselves with their trade deadline acquisitions. But it’s a good point: We expect these extreme anomalies to eventually regress to the mean — team or individual. But things don’t always regress; they never did with the 2012 Orioles, and maybe they won’t with the Rangers. Or maybe they will. It’s baseball and baseball is difficult to predict. A random distribution of events? Or clutch hitting and pitching?
Anyway, with closer Sam Dyson unavailable on Wednesday after throwing 24 pitches the night before, Jeff Banister turned to Matt Bush in the bottom of the ninth, Rangers fans on their feet making a lot of noise. He cruised through a 14-pitch inning for his first career save. One of the season’s best stories, Bush also got the win on Sunday with two scoreless frames, and his ERA sits at 2.56.
You know, the Cubs have deservedly received a lot of attention. Hey, it’s the Cubs. But don’t forget the Rangers are trying to erase their history as well. Born as the Washington Senators in 1961 and in Texas since 1972, the Rangers have never won a World Series. Maybe they’re the team of destiny.
Adrian Beltre is now tied with JOE DIMAGGIO for 47th all-time with 1537 RBI. pic.twitter.com/fhycxeAFdR
— Jared Sandler (@SandlerJ) August 11, 2016
2. J.A. Happ will never lose again. He pitched six scoreless innings, he’s 16-3 with a 2.96 ERA, and he has won 10 straight decisions, matching teammate Aaron Sanchez with that feat. From ESPN Stats Info: The 2016 Blue Jays are the first team to have two pitchers win at least 10 straight decisions in a season since the 2001 Mariners (Paul Abbott and Jamie Moyer).
— MLB (@MLB) August 11, 2016
4. This is why you never order nachos at a baseball game. Unless you’re a really, really big fan of fake cheese sauce.
Sometimes it’s just nacho day: https://t.co/V9Dd85CZPH
— ESPN (@espn) August 11, 2016
5. David Ortiz fouls ball off shin, leaves game, Red Sox fans don’t breathe for 12 minutes. He’s day-to-day, although there were a few moments there when we wondered if Ortiz’s career was shockingly over with a busted shin. Considering everything else that has happened this week, it seemed that’s where we were heading. Oh, Alex Rodriguez pinch hit and got booed. Glad you didn’t disappoint, Red Sox fans.