JR Towles is hitting .294 this season; 9 home runs. Plays for the Bridgeport BlueFish in the Atlantic Independent League. Towles played 5 years with the Houston Astros; career .187 average in 428 at bats, 11 home runs, but two of them against Pedro Martinez. Kinda weird, but what’s even weirder is he only faced Pedro two times.
Small sample fluke I guess, but once you’ve arrived in the major leagues, strange things can happen. Same with teams and match ups. Any team can win on any given day. Heck, even the lowly Astros have managed 5 wins against Oakland this year. They also lost 8 times, but still.
Teams and cities who happen to be in first place and feel the need to already print playoff tickets is a common show of premature arrogance this time of year. Detroit fell out of first place last night; Verlander to the MRI room. Hello Royal Powder Blue led by former Brewer catcher and Brewer manager Ned Yost.
The regular season is the full course meal anyway; the playoffs bitter sweet…autumn’s death march.
Savor it while it lasts says the wind, 44 games remaining. The Cubs and Wrigley Field are always festival. Team records never matter. And when the Brewers visit; a 90 minute bus trip away, it’s an even bigger festival. A strange four game series; Brewers Cubs began at Wrigley last night. Strange because three of the games are night games.
Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo was determined to do what house cats do; leave the bones of mice at the back stoop as a token of appreciation. Last week against San Francisco, Yo couldn’t find the strike zone and when he did, the Giants hit him. Big bummer because his entire family was visiting from Texas and Mexico. Well, they made the 90 minute trip to Chicago and witnessed a different Yo last night.
Gallardo didn’t walk anyone and was ahead of just about every batter. Very rare for Gallardo; so much command. He’s a different pitcher. No more 10 strikeouts per nine innings like earlier in his career, but no more 4 walks either. The high fastball was moving last night and so was the spiked curve for 7 solid innings and only 1 earned run.
Mark Reynolds launched his 20th home run; a no doubter in the second inning….even Reynolds flicked the bat in a rare show of “hey look at me,” but it was the fan in the bleachers. What a Catch! And then in Wrigley loyalty, he surrendered the souvenir; flung it back onto the field as they do in Chicago when the opposition goes yard.
It’s a win win situation; turns a home run by the visitors into a local celebration. A couple of impressive lighting and thunder displays over Lake Michigan almost delayed the game, but the grounds crew was tuned to the forecast; said it would blow over and it did.
The game was tied 1-1 in the seventh when Scooter Gennett hit a wind blown deep fly to left field. Ryan Braun was on second base after singling and stealing second. Rookie Cub outfielder Arismendy Alcantara circled under the ball; a fireman trying to catch a suicide jumper. The ball bounced off his glove and disappeared into the ivy.
Braun was convinced Alcantra caught the ball and raced back to second with prudence; to tag up, but then realized the ball dropped so he raced around third and headed home and was tagged out, but Gennett took second and Khris Davis stepped to the plate, maybe thinking ” I got your back Braun. I’ll drive in the go ahead run.”
And Davis maybe had Hank Aaron in mind. Cubs impressive starter Jake Arrieta hung the first slider of the game and Aaron always said “if the pitcher hang it, bang it.” Davis lined a double down the left field line. Final Score; Brewers 3, Cubs 1.
The Brewers are 66-53.