Players Who Sucked This Week

Football

The Chicago Bears couldn’t get their run game going, managing just 20 yards on 16 carries along with a fumble – Jordan Howard finished with less than a yard per carry. Marlon Mack rushed six times for -3 yards. Total rookie move!

Deshone Kizer completed less than 50% of his passes and threw three picks, but I guess we can blame that on migraines. Blake Bortles continues to struggle as an NFL quarterback, turning the ball over three times and losing to division rival Titans.

Ezekiel Elliott was held to eight yards on nine carries. Fantasy owners were mad; Broncos fans and Cowboys haters were not.

Keller Chryst had a QBR of 4.9 with less than 100 passing yards and three turnovers. Stanford lost to San Diego State, then dropped out of the rankings. Conner Manning turned the ball over four times, but it’s a lot harder to play at Penn State when you’re Georgia State.

The Ragin Cajuns’ Jordan Davis was responsible for five turnovers against Texas A&M, not like they were gonna beat them anyway. Tyler Keane of Coastal Carolina completed 44% of his passes and threw three picks. Brandon Duncan of Arkansas-Pine Bluff three three picks en route to a 48-3 beatdown by Arkansas State. Darquez Lee of the Southern Jaguars started but couldn’t finish the game against UT San Antonio, completing only three of 13 passes with two interceptions. Bryce Rivers came in with a big league but had three turnovers, one being a pick-six. Rough week for the small schools.

Zach Smith and Baylor are winless after losing their first three games of the season, against teams they should’ve blown out. He turned the ball over four times in his first start, and their offensive troubles are going to make for a dreadful season.

Nevada are 0-3 to start the year, their latest loss against Idaho State. They lost to who you ask? Exactly.

Kent Myers was benched after going 9-28 passing for 54 yards and a pick. Think he’ll get the start next week? Doubtful.

Quarterback blues: Morgan State’s quarterbacks combined to throw 8-23 for 65 yards and four turnovers (3 interceptions).  I know they were expected to lose against a Division I school, but they should play a little better than that. Kent State’s combined for 117 yards on 17 throws – only seven of those were were caught, and one of those by the defense. And lastly, Rice’s completed 11 of 25 passes for 113 yards and an interception.

San Jose State had some bad luck to start the game against Utah. Sam Allen was brought in to replace Montel Aaron after a lack of offensive production cost him. Allen was much worse though, throwing two interceptions in only five attempts. He completed two passes for a measly 15 yards

 

Baseball

The Worst Player of the Week goes to Dylan Covey. In two starts, he gave up nine runs in 9 ⅓ innings, walked eight batters, lost both games, and now sits at 0-6 with a 8.18 ERA for the year. (More on that horrific second start later.)

Chad Bettis and Wade Miley gave Covey a run for his money as the worst. Both gave up five and six runs, respectively, before being pulled midway through the first inning. Strange coincidence both games were on the same day.  

Doug Fister and Matt Harvey were their own worst enemy twice last week, losing both starts with a combined 23 earned runs in 13 innings. Actually Fister lost his first one because his team bailed him out last night.

The weekly one-and-done’s: Gio Gonzalez, Max Scherzer, Sean Manaea, Carlos Martinez, Edwin Jackson, Jason Hammel, Jeremy Hellickson, Andrew Cash, Myles Jaye, Seth Lugo, and Erasmo Ramirez. Tyler Glasnow made his first start since June and the rust showed – five runs and six walks led to a 2-8 loss to the Brewers.

Travis Wood, Jose Valdez, and Cory Mazzoni combined to allow 16 runs in nearly 7 innings last Tuesday against the Twins. Then Jordan Lyles and Miguel Diaz followed suit by allowing 10 runs in less than five innings on Saturday. Mazzoni came into that game to surrender six more and wouldn’t you believe it, the Padres lost 16-0 TWICE in the same week.

Calling all relievers who can’t hold a lead or just make deficits worse: Matt Bush, Jacob Rhame, Chris Rowley, Brian Ellington, and Jesse Chavez. Francis Martes somehow managed to let four guys score without getting an out. Austin Pruitt and Chase Whitley combined to give up eight runs (five earned) in the 14th and 15th innings against the Red Sox Friday night.

Chad Bell, Warwick Saupold, Joe Jimenez, and Victor Alcantara combined to allow 15 of the White Sox’s 17 runs last Thursday. Dylan Covey, Chris Beck and Mike Pelfrey returned the favor Sunday night, losing to those Tigers 12-0.

 

Players Who Sucked Again

Joe Biagini would be a dishonorable mention for his eight-inning no decision, but he blew it Sunday night unable to escape the second inning before giving up six runs.

Before the Phillies starting annihilating the Marlins Thursday night I thought to myself, “Whenever Vance Worley is pitching the Marlins are at a great advantage to lose.” He didn’t even last two innings before giving up 9 runs.

Dishonorable Mentions

LeSean McCoy matched Howard’s terrible rushing performance on 12 carries (0.8 YPC), but he was the team’s leading receiver. The Bills’ offense was sad anyways, putting up 3 points against the Panthers.

Tanner Lee threw three interceptions, but ran for two scores. His late interception solidified Nebraska’s loss. Colgate’s Grant Breneman completed just 26% of his passes for 56 yards. However, he led his team in rushing with 68 yards on 14 carries.

Josh Allen couldn’t figure out Oregon’s defense, having a 38% completion percentage with two turnovers. But he did score the only touchdown for the Cowboys.

Nick Pivetta and Dan Straily started the week with bad starts, but made up for it last night.

 

*Stats week of 9/12-18

Photo Credits:
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http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/vance-worley-of-the-miami-marlins-reacts-after-walking-in-a-news-photo/806577390?esource=SEO_GIS_CDN_Redirect#vance-worley-of-the-miami-marlins-reacts-after-walking-in-a-run-in-picture-id806577390

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Players Who Sucked This Week

Let’s start the week off with what used to be the biggest name in sports, and is now the biggest gossip surrounding sports: ESPN. They mistakenly identified the Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph. See for yourself.  That other guy looks way too chill to be a head coach.

 

Football

The Worst Player of the Week goes to Andy Dalton. Less than 50% passing and five turnovers (four INTs) led to a 0.7 QBR which is the third worst ever, according to that gossip site.

The Worst Team of the Week goes to the Indianapolis Colts. They lost to the Rams by 37 points, their biggest loss since losing in Jacksonville (Week 14 of 2015) by 45. Both of Scott Tolzein’s interceptions turned into pick-sixes. And yes, Tolzein also makes this week’s list due to his 50% completion rate and those two interceptions.

The Saints’ rushing attack was very weak for the amount of talent they have – 60 yards on 21 carries (53 on 19 carries from Peterson, Kamara, and Ingram). Fans are hoping it’s just week 1 blues.

The Houston Texans made a terrible season debut in front of their home crowd, losing to the Jaguars 29-7. What’s even worse is that Bortles threw just over 50% with no touchdowns and a pick. Four turnovers by Watson and Savage didn’t help matters. Only good news was seeing JJ Watt back in action.

Carson Palmer and Kirk Cousins both turned the ball over three times on their way to a Week 1 loss. Unfortunately, one of them is their team’s future and the other is on his way out.

 

Baseball

Seth Smith, Corey Dickerson, and Dexter Fowler managed to got hitless last week. Smith struck out in every game (6 total), Dickerson struck out 10 times in 17 at-bats, and Fowler struck out in half of his at-bats. Surprisingly none grounded into a double play, and Dickerson and Fowler each scored a run.

There were a lot of one-hit wonders last week: Steven Souza Jr., Alex Mejia, Welington Castillo, Yonder Alonso, Andrew Romine, Mallex Smith, Martin Maldonado, Tommy La Stella, Sandy Leon, Andrelton Simmons, Jay Bruce, Stephen Vogt, Yasmani Grandal, Bradley Zimmer, Joc Pederson, and Luis Valbuena.

Guillermo Heredia hit .095 for the week with several K’s. Domingo Santana hit .158 with nine strikeouts. Chris Davis hit .100 with half of his at-bats being strikeouts.

Kevin Gausman has had an up-and-down season, the latter being what happened last week – five runs in three innings with a  WHIP of 2.67. He better be on the up if the Orioles want to make the playoffs.

Joe Biagini continues to be a detriment to the Blue Jays rotation, allowing five runs in 3 ⅓ innings against the Red Sox.

Mike Pelfrey was bad as a starter and a reliever. It’s been a long time since he was an effective pitcher. Myles Jaye and Anibal Sanchez had similar weeks, but there is still hope for them.

“Did I really lose another one?”

These dude just had a bad start: David Holmberg, Jameson Taillon, Chris Archer, Matt Andriese, Jake Thompson, Patrick Corbin, A.J. Griffin, Brandon Woodruff, Miguel Gonzalez, Matt Garza, and Travis Wood. Maybe next week fellas.

Mike Montgomery, Justin Grimm, and Rob Zastryzny gave up 14 of the Brewers’ 15 runs in seven innings on Saturday evening. Let’s chalk it up to a Cubs fluke.

These relief pitchers were anything but – Jacob Barnes, Caleb Smith, Jace Fry, Vance Worley, Luke Gregerson, Reymin Guduan, Dellin Betances, Paul Sewald, Mark Melancon, Tyler Clippard, Josh Osich, Michael Feliz, Sam Moll, Jesse Chavez, Blake Wood, John Curtiss, Nick Martinez, Matt Wisler. Yes, it is weird that a lot of these guys are on the Astros. Tyson Ross and Andrew Chafin were the worst relievers, with a combined 10 earned runs in three innings and a WHIP of 6.0.

Kelvin Herrera won’t break the Royals’ already-underwhelming season, but five runs and a WHIP of 7.0 sure won’t help things.

“Let’s take you somewhere so we have a better chance to win.”

 

Players Who Sucked Again

Kyle Freeland did it again! He was the worst starter of the week, losing his first start and giving up a combined five runs in just over six innings of work between his two starts. Part of me feels bad for that liner he took to the shoulder, but I won’t let him off the hook.

Never though Madison Bumgarner would make the list, but here he is. He’s lost his last two starts with a combined 11 runs in as many innings. This is really not the year for the Giants.

Jharel Cotton made last week’s list and would have been a Dishonorable Mention this week, so why not put him here? Welcome to the club!

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Neil Walker, Yuli Gurriel, and Roberto Perez all had just one hit in 10+ at-bats, but they were home runs. If you’re gonna avoid hitting the ball, might as make the sole one count.

Jason Vargas gave up seven runs in just two innings in his first start, but turned it around with one run in five innings. He’s now 15-10 after being 13-4 going into August. Bartolo Colon was the opposite, following a good start with a bad one, but he lost both because his team couldn’t score more than two runs in his first.

Ariel Hernandez didn’t record an out in his first appearance despite giving up two runs and three outs, but then pitched like he was paid to in his next. Rex Brothers struck out the side in his first appearance, then allowed four runs without recording an out in his next.

Trevor Cahill wasn’t the worst pitcher in the AL Central, but he definitely was not someone you’d want deciding your game.7 ⅔ innings with eight strikeouts, but six runs and four walks? Make up your mind dude!

 

Got anyone to add? Write ‘em in the comments.

 

Stats week of 9/5-11

 

Photo Credits:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4e/e7/b2/4ee7b229826ddcfcd4d6c8f97598e505.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/236x/af/ca/cf/afcacf4fc91146b3551103eb3a4f2375–help-wanted-football-memes.jpg
https://espngrantland.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/chris-davis-strikeout-orioles-tri.jpg
https://suntimesmedia.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/683521202_68837645.jpg?w=763&h=509
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Players Who Sucked This Week

It got a little boring only hating on baseball. So with football back, I’m back to remind players how awful they played. Let’s get to it!

 

Football

The Florida Gators’ offense was useless in their season opener, gaining 192 offensive yards. Eleven of those were rushing, and Malik Zaire had -29 of those. But don’t worry Gator fans! BYU had less than 100 yards of offense against LSU, finishing with -5 rushing yards. And yes of course, they were shut out. Let’s not leave out the Hoosiers and their offensive struggles – they managed just 17 yards on 27 carries against the Buckeyes.

Shame on the FBS schools who lost their opener to an FCS opponent: Georgia State, East Carolina, Baylor, UNLV. It might be a long season for your fans.

Tyler Harris transferred from UCF to Rhode Island, and us Knights fans are glad to see him go after he threw SIX interceptions against the Chippewas.

Riley Ferguson is supposed to be one of the top QB’s in the AAC, but a 40% completion rate with no TDs and an INT is not how you live up to hype.

Kent Myers of Utah State couldn’t do much right against the Badgers, throwing three picks en route to a 49-point loss.

Ben and Davis Cheek are not brothers, but they played like terrible twins. They each completed two passes in 9 and 10 attempts respectively, and both had one interception. Ben threw for 19 more yards than Davis…who only had 22.

James Morgan completed less than 30% of his passes with an interception. Bowling Green would go on to lose to Michigan State by 24; good for you if you picked the Spartans to cover the 17 point spread. Thomas Woodson threw a measly 71 yards with a pick. Akron lost by 52, more than their spread of +30.

Missouri’s defense allowed Missouri State to score 43 points and gain 492 yards of offense. Their SEC opponents are probably looking forward to crushing them with a real offense.

Saturday was further proof Brandon Harris should never be a quarterback. He went 7-16 for 60 yards and two interceptions and was benched halfway through the second quarter.

Gardner Minshew of ECU went 7-18 for 82 yards and an interception. He was benched in the second half, but ECU still lost to James Madison – an FCS school.

Jeremy Cox of Old Dominion ran for 22 yards on 14 carries with two fumbles and losing one. But he did catch seven passes for 43 yards. Maybe they were screens. Of course I didn’t watch the game, who would?

Brice Ramsey is Georgia’s last hope at quarterback, and they better pray he doesn’t have to play again. Both of his pass attempts were interceptions, at home, against Appalachian State.

Brendan Greene of Hampton was benched after completing one of nine passes for 10 yards. Yeesh.`

Shai Werts ran for 16 yards on 23 carries. He completed 50% of his passes for 8 yards and a pick. Montana State’s Chris Murray threw for only 28 yards with a 42% completion rate and an interception. To make things worse, his Bobcats were blanked. That’ll kill your confidence to start the season.

Tony Brooks-James of the not so mighty Ducks rushed nine times for 32 yards and lost two fumbles. Try stickum next time. (Yes I know that is not the best video quality.)

Desmond Hite of Incarnate Word racked up zero yards on 15 carries. That’s right, a donut for a rushing total. He kinda made up for it with 18 receiving yards.

Texas A&M couldn’t do two things against the Bruins – hold a huge lead and throw the ball. They deserved that tragic loss.

 

Baseball

Mikie Mahtook gave Jose Ramirez his first of two homers by trying to be flashy. He was then robbed of a homer by Alex Gordon. Speaking of Gordon, he couldn’t hit for squat last week going 1-12 with five strikeouts.

Leury Garcia is one for his last 20 with eight strikeouts, four coming in the same game. To the batting cages!

Matt Davidson went 2 for 27 last week, striking out 12 times and drawing no walks. But he has 23 home runs on the year. Second coming of Adam Dunn?

Pablo Sandoval has no hits in his his last 31 at bats. His batting average has plummeted from .288 to .196. Given his age and being on the Giants, it’s going to be hard to bring it back up.

Sean Rodriguez had two hits in 18 at bats with at least one strikeout in every game (9 total). His batting average is even worse than Sandoval’s, sitting at .174 for the season.

Joey Rickard hasn’t provided much offensive for the Orioles since coming up from Triple-A, having one hit in 12 at bats.

As good as he’s been and will likely be in the hall of fame, Miguel Cabrera has made it to the list. He hasn’t gotten a hit in his last 16 attempts, but he’s really been terrible all year. Not too happy I took him in the first round of my fantasy league. His teammate Ian Kinsler has also had a down year, hitting .107 in his last seven games.

Mark Reynolds is having quite a comeback year, but hitting .055 in 18 at bats with 9 strikeouts for the week is gonna land you on this list.

Junichi Tazawa was not a helpful reliever, losing in one of his appearances and letting the Nationals cushion their lead last Tuesday. Kyle Crick of the Giants wasn’t any better, but does it really matter when your team is that bad?

Chris Flexen and Chasen Bradford of the Mets gave up 14 combined runs to the Reds last week. Flexen followed it up with almost identical numbers against the Astros.

Mike Fiers had a bad week, not making it to the 5th inning in both starts while giving up 14 combined runs.

It would take forever to individually call out starters who had one bad start, so let’s rattle em off now: Chris Smith, Troy Scribner, Rich Hill, Jerad Eickhoff, Ubaldo Jimenez, Ivan Nova, Derek Holland,

 Parker Bridwell, Kendall Graveman, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Kenta Maeda, Jeremy Hellickson, Marco Estrada, Gerrit Cole, Buck Farmer, Tyler Skaggs, Kyle Freeland, Dillon Gee, Matt Harvey, Lucas Sims, Onelki Garcia, Yu Darvish, Jharel Cotton, Matt Andriese, Chad Bell, Madison Bumgarner. Notice anything odd? Yep, all of the Dodgers’ pitchers made the list. Well except Kershaw, that dude is too good.

Ricky Rodriguez is not a household name, and weekly stats like this won’t get him there: 2 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 1 BLSV. Same goes for Richard Rodriguez’s first two career appearances: four runs on six hits in two innings. Coincidence they have similar names?

Sam Dyson continues to struggle, giving up five runs and recording only one out against the Cardinals on Friday. Maybe it’s time to call it quits?

Mike Dunn was anything but a relief for the Rockies last week, giving up four runs in three appearances in less than two innings of work. Lucky for him he didn’t record a loss or blown save.

The pitching staffs of the Braves and Cubs on Saturday were non-existent, with the game ending 12-14 in the Cubs favor. Also, the entire pitching staff on the Royals sucked by giving up 17 runs to the Twins.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Ian Kennedy was the Rays’ MVP last Monday letting seven runs go by in less than three innings. He then kind of made up for it next game against the Twins, but wasn’t credited with the win.

Jose Urena went four innings and gave up four in runs in his first start of the week, and then went seven with only one run. Too bad his offense couldn’t help him in Sunday’s game.

Aaron Nola had a great start against the Braves (who doesn’t), but then got rocked by the Marlins.

Corey Dickerson was hitting terribly all week until last night when he hit two doubles and a homer to help the Rays beat the Twins.

 

Got anyone to add? Write ’em in the comments.

 

Stats week of 8/28-9/4

 

Photo Credits:
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Players Who Sucked This Week

It’s been awhile since I took time out of my day to call out athletes who might make a lot of money, but fail to make plays throughout the week. And while only baseball is in season, it’s time to bring back Players Who Sucked This Week. Even the president came to pay his respects!

 

Clayton Richard had one of the worst starts of his career, giving up 11 runs in just under four innings. His teammate Kevin Quackenbush also had a terrible week allowing eight runs in three innings of relief – six of those runs came in the same game Richard gave up 11, and the Rockies crushed the Padres 18-4.

Matt Bush helped Baltimore to a 10-2 win, but four of his five runs allowed were unearned. Hard to win when your defense doesn’t help.

James Pazos was consistently bad, totaling 0.2 innings of work with five hits, five runs, two walks, and not a single strikeout. Back to the Minors?

Brad Boxberger might have been the worst reliever of the week, losing in both appearances with a blown save. Especially that blown save. At home against the Rangers. That was rough.

Tyson Ross might have had the worst week for a starting pitcher, giving up 14 runs (12 earned) and walking seven in seven total innings. Travis Wood was almost as bad, allowing 10 runs in nine innings. Both pitchers lost their first start of the week. Oh, and Lance McCullers Jr. was almost as bad as Wood, giving up 10 earned runs in just over nine innings. But he didn’t lose either of his starts.

“OH! It was that bad?!”

Jason Vargas was much improved in his second start of the week, but I won’t let his awful start in Detroit slip by. Six runs, two home runs, and four walks in 2 ⅔ innings ain’t pretty.

Scott Feldman’s bum knee might have affected his play. And by might, I mean he only lasted one inning after five runs and two homers.

Cheers to all the guys who pitched in one game and are enjoying the needed time off: Jeff Hoffman, Mike Leake, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Michael Fulmer. I almost gave Alex Wood a break since it was his first loss of the season.

Jeff Beliveau couldn’t record an out in two appearances and gave up seven runs in the process. No wonder he was sent back to the Minors.

Just as we cheered the pitchers who had one bad start, let’s hear it for the hitters who got just one hit in 10+ at-bats: Alex Avila, Kole Calhoun, Jarrod Dyson, Jonathan Lucroy, Sean Rodriguez, Scott Schebler, and Joc Pederson.

Tim Beckham and Dansby Swanson didn’t get a single hit in 13 and 14 at-bats, respectively. Curtis Granderson and Jacoby Ellsbury both went 0 for 10 at the plate last week. As the POTUS says…SAD!

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Miguel Cabrera might be the greatest hitter of this generation, but he hasn’t played like it this season. He batted .125 last week with seven strikeouts. He’s currently hitting .256 on the season, which would be an all-time low if the season ended today. I’m really just mad because I picked him first in fantasy.

Nick Wittgren gave up three runs in a blowout loss to the Phillies last Wednesday, but picked up a win in his next appearance.

Ivan Nova had a classic good game-bad game week. First start is a quality one which nets him a win, and the next one has him letting seven runners cross the plate en route to a 3-13 loss.

 

Got anyone to add? Write ’em in the comments.

 

*Stats week of 7/17-23

 

Photo credits:
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Top Storylines for the Rest of the MLB Season

With the MLB season set to resume on Friday, the playoff races will start to heat up in what should be another exciting finish to the regular season. Three of the six division leaders are holding on to a lead of fewer than six games. In the American League, there are eight teams in the Wild Card race separated by four games or less. Aside from the annual playoff races, there are a handful of storylines that will fun to watch throughout the rest of the season.

Can the Cubs shake off their World Series hangover?

As expected, the Cubs have experienced quite the hangover after ending a historic championship drought last October when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series. Despite returning basically the entire championship team, the squad has been far from dominant. In fact, they’ve been average. Chicago sits 5.5 games being the Milwaukee Brewers with a record of 43-45. For reference, the Cubs were 53-35 at the break a year ago before going on to win 103 games.

Following the 2012 World Series, the champs have averaged 78 wins the following season. The last team to make it back to the World Series after winning it was the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies. The last team to repeat was the 2000 New York Yankees. While recent history may not be on the Cubs’ side, they still have one of the most dangerous lineups in all of baseball. Can they get it together? With a terrific manager like Joe Maddon and a roster as talented as the Cubs, I’d bet on a big second half run and a return to the postseason. 

Will any stars be traded?

Much has been made about the speculated, historic free agent class of 2018. The list includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Donaldson, Dallas Keuchel, Daniel Murphy, David Price and Andrew McCutchen. If any of these players hit the open market, it’s reasonable to expect a significant bidding war for each player. While the 2018 offseason is still 16 months away, we have to wonder if any teams fearful of their players leaving in free agency will attempt to cash in on their value.

Teams across all sports hate to lose star players. The only thing they hate more than losing star players is losing them without getting anything in return. Each of the aforementioned players should yield a return of multiple high-rated prospects that could accelerate a rebuild or retool, depending on the team’s situation. Like all sports, the closer a player gets to becoming a free agent, the more their trade value plummets. I’m not guaranteeing or even predicting one of these high profile players gets moved within the next few weeks, but I won’t rule it out and it’s something to watch all the way up to the July 31st deadline.

Phillies chasing the 1962 Mets 

The Phillies are bad. That might be an understatement. Vegas pinned a 73.5 over/under win total before the season, which didn’t seem crazy at the time since Philadelphia won 71 games the previous year and added a handful of productive veterans in the offseason. At the All-Star Break, the Phillies sit at 29-58, the worst record in the MLB by nine games. To compound on their ineptitude, they’re also an MLB-worst 11-23 in one-run games.

They would need a miraculous 45-30 second half to hit the over and finish 74-88. That looks all but impossible. The Phillies are currently on pace to finish 54-108. As bad as they have been, there is plenty of reason to believe they’ll be even worse in the second half. Some of their best players such as Jeremy Hellickson, Maikel Franco, and Pat Neshek have reportedly already drawn trade interest. Assuming any are moved for young prospects, the Phillies will likely struggle even more down the stretch. Don’t rule out Philadelphia catching the 1962 Mets and their MLB-record 120 losses.

Aaron Judge’s pursuit of Mark McGwire

Aaron Judge has been the story of the 2017 MLB Season. He cruised into the break with a league-leading 30 home runs. He put his power on national display with an incredible Home Run Derby performance on Monday Night. Mark McGwire holds the rookie record for home runs with 49, which he accomplished back in 1987. During that season, McGwire entered the All-Star Break with 33 home runs, three ahead of Judge.

Judge is on pace for 56 home runs. If Judge can pick up where he left off, he should be able to break the 30-year old record by early September. McGwire tailed off in the second half back in 1987, only hitting 16 home runs. Aaron Judge hasn’t afforded himself the same flexibility to coast down the stretch. With as exciting a player as he is, most fans, myself included will be rooting hard for Judge to reach the big 5-0.

 

Source Credits:

businessinsider.com/aaron-judge-put-a-dent-in-yankee-stadium-with-a-home-run-2017-7

baseball-reference.com/

theintelligencer.com/sports/article/Pirates-score-10-in-1st-beat-Cubs-14-3-11276102.php

si.com/mlb/video/2016/06/20/pirates-andrew-mccutchen-trade-deadline

reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/6m1ndx/when_the_phillies_are_so_bad_espn_wont_add_them/

usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2010-01-11-mcgwire-steroids-early-years_N.htm

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Players Who Sucked This Week

There’s a million baseballers on this week’s list again. Okay not a million but still too many to count.

 

Hockey

What happened to the Senators on Sunday? All playoff games were close this past week except for the bludgeoning the Penguins gave them last night. Other than that, what we’ve seen from the the NHL playoffs thus far should make for an awesome Stanley Cup Final.

 

Basketball

Danny Green went 5-18 from the field and shot .200 from long range. But would it really matter if he played better? Nope! The Warriors are still going to the Finals.

Matt Barnes shot .143 from the floor and missed all three-point attempts. Another bench-sitting player dude named Deron Williams wasn’t much better, shooting .182 from the field.

Both the Celtics and Cavaliers get a mention for being blown out by 44 points and blowing a huge lead, respectively.

 

Baseball

Jered Weaver should consider retirement or the Padres need to cut him. He didn’t make it out of the first inning Friday night before giving up seven runs on five hits and two walks. Heck, even the opposing pitcher had an RBI and run scored in the first inning. He’s now 0-5 with a 7.44 ERA for the season.

Tommy Milone had two rough starts last week – he combined for 12 earned runs, four home runs, and five walks in eight total innings. He also earned his first two losses of the season.

The following guys pitched one game and that’s probably all the coach wanted to see: Ian Kennedy, Julio Teheran, Chris Heston, AJ Griffin, Julio Urías, Josh Tomlin, Zach Eflin, Scott Feldman, Jason Hammel, and Tom Koehler.

Chris Young added to Ian Kennedy’s terrible Sunday start, giving up three more runs in five innings of “relief” work.

Yovani Gallardo and Dillon Overton gave up 14 earned runs to the White Sox in 8 innings. Yikes!

“I’ll never figure out these guys”

Jarlin Garcia was a great relief pitcher if you were on the Astros or Dodgers. He gave up five runs in 3 ⅔ innings of work, boosting his ERA from 3.00 to 5.02.

Masahiro Tanaka let Yankees fans and this fantasy owner down. But I’m not too mad since it was against my Rays.

Mike Bolsinger started and lost two games last week, giving up nine earned runs in as many innings.

Mike Montgomery might’ve been the worst reliever of the week. In two games he allowed five runs in less than three innings while walking four batters. He was credited with the loss in the latter game. Enny Romero gave him a run for his money as the worst. Jose Alvarez, David Hernandez, Blake Wood, Donnie Hart, and Giovanni Gallegos are also here to join the terrible relief party.

Tanner Roark was not like himself last Thursday, surrendering seven runs in five innings. He even nearly upped his ERA a full point!

Oliver Perez had two relief appearances where he didn’t even record an out. Talk about being expendable.

Michael Ynoa appeared in just one game but it’s one he’ll want to forget (four runs and only one out). His teammate Anthony Swarzak joins him after giving up three runs without an out in his last appearance.

Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler were both terrible last Monday. I got nothing clever to go with that.

Ryan Goins was the worst hitter of the week, going 1-23 from the plate with eight strikeouts. His teammate Darwin Barney cut it close by going 2-23. Adam Rosales was slightly better than both as he went 2-22 but then he had to strike out 12 times so now I don’t know who the worst hitter is.

Goins trying to figure out what went wrong.

Tuffy Gosewisch went 1-13 at the plate and struck out eight times. He was then demoted to triple-A. Justin Ruggiano was also terrible in 13 at-bats, dropping his BA by 36 points and striking out eight times as well.

TJ Rivera had a stunning .091 BA for the week but somehow managed to get an RBI.

Joe Panik got his act together by the end of the week, but still hit .111 in five games.

Luis Valbuena went without a hit in 17 at-bats but also had an RBI. His BA plummeted from .265 to .176.

Jace Peterson hit .125 for the somehow-second-place-Braves with nine K’s.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Joe Musgrove is hit or miss. Should I drop him from my fantasy team? I’m leaning yes.

Chad Kuhl had a terrible Tuesday but bounced back yesterday against the Phillies.

Marc Andre-Fleury shutout the Senators last Monday, then allowed four goals on nine shots Wednesday before being pulled in the first period.

 

Got anyone to add? Write ‘em in the comments.

 

*Stats week of May 15-21

 

Photo credits:
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Players Who Sucked This Week

I’m back after forgetting to do last week’s list, and there are a ton of baseball players on the list. Like what-the-heck-happened-to-these-players-last-week a ton.

 

Hockey

Craig Anderson let up 11 goals in three games last week, losing two of them. With a .867 SV% in those three starts, he’s the lone hockey player on this week’s list.

The Oilers’ defense allowed 64 shots against Talbot Friday night and lost in double overtime; eight Anaheim skaters had 5 or more shots on goal. They got it together last night, beating the Ducks to force Game 7.

 

Basketball

There weren’t any consistently terrible performers last week except some guy Dejounte Murray. Of note, Harden went 3-17 from the field in Wednesday’s loss to the Spurs.

 

Baseball

Nick Tepesch didn’t last two innings before allowing 7 runs against the Red Sox Friday night.

The face you make after the two worst outings of your career.

Brett Anderson was any-word-you-can-think-of awful on the mound last week. In two starts he didn’t last two total innings, gave up 12 runs on 13 hits, and was credited with two losses. His ERA jumped from 3.54 to 8.18. This is mean, but maybe it’s a good thing he’s currently on the DL.

Jered Weaver is just terrible this year. No really, check out his game log.

Matt Belisle and Justin Haley combined for 10 runs in the 9th inning Sunday afternoon, 7 of them earned. The Twins ended up losing 17-6 instead of a respectable 7-6.

Mike Foltynewicz, Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, Kyle Kendrick, Nick Martínez, Trevor Bauer, Jameson Taillon, Mat Latos, Matt Moore, Marcus Stroman and Ian Kennedy all had a crappy start last week. They didn’t help any fantasy owners.

Ty Blach got his second start after a solid outing against the Padres (well duh), and really messed it up. Like three innings, 11 hits, eight earned runs, two homers, and a walk messed up.

Miguel Diaz was every hitter’s dream come true last week. In three appearances he pitched 2 ⅔ innings, gave up 10 total runs on seven hits, and walked four guys. His ERA is now 10.67.

Matt Cain pitched atrocious last Friday. I think he may have celebrated the Mexican holiday before the game because how else do you rationalize 10 hits, nine runs, and six walks in 3 ⅓ innings of work?

Basically sums up Cain’s career post-2013.

Brad Ziegler made two appearances and lost both. The worse one came Friday night when he gave up five runs without getting a batter out and the Marlins lost 8-7. Maybe he went out with Cain.

Luke Gregerson wasn’t quite as bad as Ziegler overall, but consistently sucked in both appearances. He allowed five runs between the two games, gave up five hits, but escaped both without a loss.

Cesar Valdez nearly matched Sonny Gray’s box score last Tuesday with five hits, four runs, and three home runs…except Valdez did it in one inning instead of six.

Austin Pruitt screwed up Blake Snell’s last start, giving up five runs on seven hits in the 6th inning which led to the Marlins beating the Rays at home.

Josh Collmenter helped contribute to three losses for the Braves last week, giving up six runs over four innings of relief work. But who’s worse was Matt Wisler, giving up seven runs in less than two innings.

Dylan Covey gave up six runs in each of his starts, had a WHIP of 2.16, and lost both.

Abraham Almonte, Chris Heisey, and Austin Hedges all went hitless last week. Yup, not even one basehit.

Danny Espinosa also went hitless, but his streak goes back to April 28. His season BA sits at .147.

What did Matt Wieters, Carlos Gonzalez, Christian Vazquez, Kelby Tomlinson, Jackie Bradley Jr., Ryan Flaherty, Yasmany Tomas, and Russell Martin all have in common last week? Getting just one hit in 10 or more at bats.

Carlos Gomez and Shin-Soo Choo both managed four hits in 25+ at bats last week.

Steven Souza Jr. collected two hits in 17 at-bats, struck out seven times, and dropped his average 27 points in the slumping process. The Rays season looks pretty similar to his stat line.

Jason Heyward hasn’t improved much from last year, and he only got worse in his last five games going 1-13.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Jeremy Hellickson wasn’t awful but really didn’t pitch that great in two starts. He didn’t make it through the 5th inning in both and gave up nine runs in nearly as many innings.

John Gibson played well in his first two starts winning both against the Oilers, but then allowed three goals on six attempts to start yesterday’s game. Jonathan Bernier didn’t help by allowing two more in the first, then another two before they lost 7-1.

 

Got anyone to add? Write ‘em in the comments.

 

Stats week of May 1-7

 

Photo credits:
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https://usatftw.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/ap_nlds_dodgers_mets_baseball_76678384.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1
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http://the30ish.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/braves.jpg

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Players Who Sucked This Week

This should have been posted yesterday but I had a brief episode of amnesia and forgot I wrote this til now. Better late than never!

 

Hockey

The Blackhawks and Flames get the nod for getting swept in the first round of the playoffs.

That feeling when you get swept.

That feeling when you get swept.

Brian Elliott let up six goals on 30 shots, including two on only three shots in Wednesday’s sweeping loss to the Ducks. I’m still confused how the Flames (and Maple Leafs) made the playoffs.

Sergei Bobrovsky was not impressive in his two final playoff games, giving up nine goals with a .857 SV% in those contests.

Braden Holtby and Frederik Andersen both made their opposing skaters look good. The Capitals-Leafs series was a shootout with only one game not going into overtime. The Caps now face the Penguins and will not make it past them if Holtby continues to let shots go by.

 

Basketball

The Pacers set the record for biggest blown lead in the playoffs (26 pts). Then they lost Sunday and were swept by Cavaliers. If it’s any consolation, they lost the series by a combined 16 points.

I bet you clicked that.

I bet you tried to click that.

Manu Ginobili missed every single field goal attempt in the 2017 playoffs thus far. He’s got at least two more games to make up for it.

Markieff Morris nearly fouled out in the last two games he’s played in and shot .294 from the field.

Mike Muscala only made one shot in seven attempts, and nearly fouled out Wednesday.

 

Baseball

The Padres had some plain bad luck last Tuesday night. First their pitcher Cosart bunted the ball with men on first and second; the catcher snagged the ball and threw out the lead runner. Then in the following inning the D-backs scored on a 2-out, bases loaded walk. Then Chris Owings BUNTED the ball,Stammen bobbled the ball and made a throwing error which led to two more runs. The Padres ended up losing 11-2. It might be one of those years for ‘em.

This is the face of an 0-20 guy.

This is the face of an 0-20 guy.

Jeff Mathis is hitless in his last 20 at bats, striking out in half of them. Luckily for the D-backs he isn’t the starting catcher.

JaCoby Jones couldn’t reach base in 14 plate appearances this week, striking out nine times. Not to mention he got hit in the face by a pitch. This was not a good week for him. Marwin Gonzalez also went 0-14 but drew three walks. This lack of hitting has dropped his average 135 points in the last ten games. Cody Asche went 0-10 this week with half being strikeouts. His season average is a tragic .057 as of now. What’s with all these guys with the donut stats?

Dansby Swanson went 3-28 last week with a season average of .139. The former first overall pick is off to a poor start.

Kevin Gausman is making me regret drafting him. He’s given up 13 combined runs in his last two starts over eight innings. His season ERA sits at 7.50 with a WHIP of 2.04. He better get back on track.

Kyle Gibson continues to underwhelm the Minnesota fan base with his lackluster pitching. He lost both starts with a combined nine earned runs, 17 hits, and four walks. He’s 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA to start the year.

Twins fans can relate.

Twins fans can relate.

I picked up Cody Reed after he pitched eight shutout innings prior to his first start. Then naturally he gives up seven runs in just two innings. That sucks for both of us.

Julio Teheran had just one start but gave up as many runs as that Reed fella above him. But he lasted two more innings. So he wasn’t quite as bad as Reed.

Rafael Montero outsucked both Reed and Teheran; he gave up three runs in only a third of an inning. He was then sent down to the Minors.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Cam Talbot allowed five goals last Tuesday, but stopped 50 of the next 54 shots he faced.

 

Got anyone to add? Write ‘em in the comments.

 

Stats week of 4/17-23

 

Photo Credits:
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http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/twinsgal041816+3+19.JPG

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Players Who Sucked This Week

Baseball

Jeremy Guthrie has a 135 ERA after giving up ten runs and not making it out of the first inning…on his birthday! He was then demoted to the minors. He takes the crown as Worst of the Week. And Most Unlucky.

jeremy-guthrie-disaster-start-nationals

Miguel Cabrera got off to a terrible start but finally got a hit in yesterday’s game. I picked him in the first round so I’m gonna need some production out of him next week.

Brent Suter allowed four runs, four hits, and two walks in one inning against the Cubs on Saturday. Then got optioned to Triple-A. Ouch.

Jarrett Parker, Austin Hedges, Jacob May, and Russell Martin all had one thing in common at the plate – zero hits. They combined to go 0-56, but somehow drove in 4 runs and scored 3 of their own.

Jose Reyes, Keon Broxton and Mark Canha got one hit each. But they weren’t quite as bad as Greg Bird and Kirk Nieuwenhuis who struck out a combined 15 times.

You like that Parker/Hedges/May/Martin?!

You like that Parker-Hedges-May-Martin?!

Byron Buxton continues to have trouble hitting in the majors, striking out 14 times in his first 26 at bats of the season.

Masahiro Tanaka, Francisco Liriano, Bronson Arroyo, AJ Griffin, Matthew Boyd, and Raul Alcantara all had rough starts to the season.

Christian Bethancourt has been awful in relief for the Padres. Then again, the Padres are awful. To put it in numbers, Bethancourt has given up 7 runs in 1 ⅔ innings of work (ERA 32.40), 5.40 WHIP, and batters are hitting .375 against him.

Matt Strahm may have given up less runs in successive games, but his ERA is 47.25, WHIP is 7.50, and he hasn’t struck out one batter. He won’t last long with the Royals at this rate.

Casey Fien and Edwin Diaz totally blew yesterday’s game in Anaheim. Seattle was up 9-3 going into the bottom of the 9th. So yes, they ended up losing 10-9.

Sam Dyson has been a fantasy player’s nightmare. Following a stellar 2016 season, the Rangers’ closer has given up 8 runs in 3 games thus far. His ERA stands at 36.00 and he’s been credited with two blown saves.

sam dyson

It’s been a rough start for Dyson.

 

Hockey

Brian Elliott ended his season the same way he started it – three straight losses.

Calvin Pickard lost three of his last four starts to close out his team’s abysmal campaign. He gave up 14 goals in those games, and Colorado ends their season as the worst team of the 2016-17 NHL season.

2017-2018 slogan

2017-2018 slogan

The Blackhawks defense allowed 51 shots last Tuesday against the Avalanche; props to Scott Darling for saving 47 of them. And Corey Crawford ended the regular season on a 3-game losing streak.

Corey Schneider lost his last five games of the season, allowing 11 in his last two. The Devils finish as the worst team in the Eastern Conference.

 

Basketball

Justin Jackson missed all nine three-pointers he took. That’s gonna hurt his draft stock.

justin jackson

Dorian Finney-Smith has shot .235 over the last 5 games, making just one three-pointer in 15 attempts. Quincy Acy shot worse overall (.222) but made more three-pointers. One more to be exact.

Michael Carter-Williams is the only shooter under .200 this week. I take that back, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also shot under .200. But he has the longest name on this week’s list. And he missed all seven three-point attempts.

Denzel Valentine went downhill after shooting 50% from the field in last Sunday’s game in New Orleans. Over the next three games, he missed 12 of 13 shots, including 7 of 8 three-pointers.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Robin Lehner was mostly responsible for his Sabres’ back-to-back 4-2 losses to start the week, but stopped 65 of 69 shots in his next two starts. The Sabres finished the season as the second-worst team in the East.

Jhoulys Chacin allowed 9 runs in his first start to the Dodgers, then bounced back with a scoreless outing against the Giants for his first win.

Luke Gregerson dgregorsonidn’t allow a run in his first three appearances. So of course he gave up six runs on five hits and a walk Saturday afternoon against the Royals.

Mark Melancon started the season by blowing his first save opportunity, but then redeemed himself in yesterday’s contest.

Shawn Armstrong pitched a total of two scoreless innings to start the 2017 season, then got rocked in Arizona for five runs in an inning of work.

It took Brandon Moss four games to get a hit, and it was the only way he knew how – a homerun.

 

 

Got anyone to add? Write ‘em in the comments.

 

Stats week of 4/2-9

 

Photo Credits:
https://cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/2017/04/08/jeremy-guthrie-disaster-start-nationals.jpg
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MLB Avoided a Lockout When it Needed to the Most

Last Wednesday Night, the MLB Player’s Association and Major League Baseball agreed to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The deal came together right before the December 1st deadline, avoiding a potential lockout. It’s a new five year deal that should aid the growth of baseball over the next few years.

kg-1The significance of the timely agreement cannot be overstated. Most sports fans yawn when the sports news shifts to the updates on labor agreements and disputes. As important as this element of sports may be, it’s more than an appropriate reaction, considering people turn to sports for entertainment and an escape from real life. Generally the CBA jargon and sports business discussion can bring us right back to the day-to-day that fans are trying to get away from for a few hours when they sit down to enjoy a game.

In this case, the agreement of the new CBA is something for all baseball fans to celebrate.The celebration has little to do with the specific changes, such as the All Star Game no longer determining home field advantage in the World Series. Sure, the players have to be pretty psyched about the luxury tax increase, thus driving up the salaries. But the best thing to come out of the new CBA right before the deadline may be that baseball will avoid facing its first interruption in 22 years.

The last Major League Baseball strike took place in 1994, consequently cancelling the World Series. For most of the 20th century, baseball dominated the sports landscape in the United States, thus why it has been referred to as “America’s Pastime”. The sad reality is that the 1994 strike drove several fans away from baseball, and many have not completely come back to restore their loyalty to the first sport they loved.

600Baseball experienced a resurgence in 1998 during the home run chase between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The country was on the edge of their seat as they watched these power hitters chase Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs he hit in 1961. It was long-considered the most sacred record in sports. Both hitters broke the 37-year-old record, with McGwire hitting 70 and Sosa hitting 66 home runs in 1998. It was an exciting, can’t-miss spectacle that had sports fans enthralled by baseball again.

Just three seasons later, Barry Bonds broke the record by hitting 73 home runs in 2001. As captivating as these home run chases were, it only took a few years to muddy these historic performances with the revelation of steroid use by Bonds, Sosa, McGwire and several additional high-profile players who were once considered future members of Cooperstown. It was an ugly episode in American sports, as it escalated to court hearings at Capitol Hill.

alg-roger-jpgThese hearings being broadcast on television, most notably Roger Clemens lying to a grand jury, were every bit as detrimental to fan support as the 1994 strike. It is somewhat of a paradox that the PED use that led to the home run potency and newfound fan interest is what ultimately pushed fans away again.

As baseball began declining again, the NFL rose to become the leader in the American sports landscape, with the NBA also taking advantage of its opportunity to pass MLB in the popularity standings. For the past few years, there has not been much argument of the hierarchy of professional sports.

The pace of the game, a separate issue, has certainly not helped in the modern “need for constant action and stimulation” world facilitated by cell phone addiction and DVR’s allowing viewers to fast-forward through commercials. The younger generation that did not grow up watching baseball struggles to sit through an entire nine-inning baseball game without splitting their attention with another television program or even by consistently looking down at a mobile device during pitches.

Going into this past season, all signs have pointed to baseball continuing to slip out of the spotlight. It had been a sad realization for lifelong baseball fans like myself. Being a baseball fan is a much different experience than being a fan of the other sports. The ballparks each have their own character, the statistics are more significant, the history is special and attending your first game is a rite of passage. Brad Pitt, who portrayed Oakland Athletics General Manager, Billy Beane in “Moneyball” said it best, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

ap_16307048511872_wide-74dda739c96989746fabc464d6299cec2a53f28d-s900-c85It’s a feeling very easy to relate to, and one that resurfaced at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Baseball season has been over for about a month. The season came to a classic conclusion, an incredible World Series decided in a dramatic Game 7 with the Chicago Cubs ending their historic championship drought. In my memory of watching baseball, it may be the greatest game I have ever seen.

This was just the World Series that baseball needed. The game had an excitement level that non-baseball fans could appreciate. Aside from the story fans, specifically in Chicago have been awaiting to be told for what feels like way too long, the series and final game was one that had every viewer on the edge of their seat.

With as enjoyable as the ending to the baseball season was, writers and the most prudent baseball fans knew that the potential for a lockout was looming. With the fan fallout that occurred back in 1994, it was not far-fetched to believe that it would be “Deva vu all over again”, as the late Yogi Berra would say.

It would have been the worst timing, just as baseball went into the offseason with an unbelievable amount of momentum. A 2017 lockout would have instantly popped the enormous balloon blown up by the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians by delivering an all-time World Series. Thanks to last week’s resolution, the fear was quelled.

While the MLB season came to a conclusion 33 days ago, for the first time in too long, I am already looking forward to pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training in February. While the narrative may be different for Cubs fans this offseason, all baseball fans can say with optimism that “There’s Always Next Year.” This time the meaning is less about disappointment, but more about the state of the game and the great baseball that lies ahead.  

Photo Credits: http://bgr.com/2016/11/02/world-series-game-7-live-stream-cubs-indians/

http://nypost.com/2016/06/16/mlb-union-optimistic-about-cba-amid-qualifying-offer-dispute/

http://www.clickhole.com/article/oral-history-1998-major-league-baseball-home-run-c-4441

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/roger-clemens-case-heats-gym-owner-kelly-blair-issued-subpoena-testify-grand-jury-article-1.427876

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/11/01/500290738/indians-host-chicago-cubs-in-game-6-of-the-world-series-in-cleveland-tonight