Don Baylor 1949-2017

Don Baylor, longtime AL player and later an NL manager, has passed away at the age of 68. Baylor played over 2000 games, all in the AL, in a career spanning 19 years that included an MVP selection in 1979 and appearances in 7 post-seasons and 3 World Series. After his playing days, Baylor was the first manager of the expansion Colorado Rockies, guiding them to a post-season appearance in only their third season. More on Baylor after the jump.

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Marquee Matchup – Cubs vs. Brewers

The front runners in the NL Central squared off last weekend in Milwaukee. The Brewers had held down top spot for 60 straight days until the Cubs caught them last week, with the Baby Bears holding a 1½ game lead entering this series. The Northsiders were riding high with an 11-2 run since the All-Star break while Milwaukee had hit the skids with a 2-9 swoon.

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Leadoff hitters are slugging at an unprecedented rate (in the first at bat)

Last week Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the Chicago Cubs, hit leadoff for the first time in his seven year career. Before Rizzo’s first at bat, Cubs’ color man Jim Deshaies recalled:

Big Riz did it a couple of times in spring training, and on one occasion he went out there and ambushed the first pitch and hit a home run.

Two pitches into the regular season version of this experiment Rizzo hit a leadoff home run. The next evening Rizzo, still batting in the No.1 spot, made an impact one pitch sooner by hitting the first offering of the game over the outfield fence.

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Yankee Judgernaut Rolls On

After 5 straight games scoring at least 8 runs, the Yankees reached the 60 game mark scoring 353 runs and belting 102 home runs, the latter a new Yankee record, and the former the third highest Yankee total of the expansion era.

Leading the Pinstripers is phenom Aaron Judge, boasting leading marks in the AL triple crown categories, other AL firsts in WAR, walks, runs, total bases and runs created, and 2nd place in OBP, SLG, OPS, oWAR and right field TZR. More after the jump.

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