Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
BOB WOLFF DIES
— Kevin Maher (@KMaherNews12) July 16, 2017
Bob Wolff, whose highlights in eight decades as a broadcaster include calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, died Saturday. He was 96. Wolff was primarily known for calling Rangers and Knicks games, but also did play-by-play starting in 1940 for the first incarnation of Washington Senators, who later became the Twins, and in the early 1960s, voiced NBC’s Game of the Week.
Madison Square Garden released a statement on his death Sunday evening.
“Bob Wolff was not only one of the seminal figures in American sportscasting, but he was a part of the very fabric of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers for more than six decades,” the statement read. “In addition to leaving behind an unmatched body of work, his spirit carries on in hudnreds of broadcasters he mentored and the millions of fans he touched. His legacy will live forever.”
Wolff was inducted into the broadcasting wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995.
PLAY OF THE YEAR?
Home run derby champion Aaron Judge thought he had hit his 31st home run Sunday night, but Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Red Sox wouldn’t allow it. A home run would have cut Boston’s lead to 3-2, but instead the catch preserved David Price’s eight scoreless innings. Boston went on to a 3-0 win to split the four-game series.
Jose Quintana cost the Cubs dearly—two Top 100 Prospects (Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease) and two others. But the defending champs believe they can still make a run at the NL Central crown and Quintana’s first start Sunday has to buoy that belief. The 28-year-old lefthander struck out 12 and walked none in seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 win over the Orioles. The Cubs have now won three in a row to finally move over .500, 4 1/2 games behind Milwaukee.
Nothing can stop the Dodgers these days. But for at least one at-bat, Marcell Ozuna slowed their roll. The Marlins left fielder climbed the wall, anchored himself and took a home run from Enrique Hernandez in the sixth inning Sunday. The Dodgers still went on to win, 3-2, but don’t blame Ozuna. After all, they’ve won 29 of 33.
MR. INSIDE, MR. OUTSIDE
When is a home run both an inside-the-park, and conventional homer? On Sunday, apparently. Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies hit a blast to center field at Citi Field that hit the top of the wall in left center field and raced around the bases before Curtis Granderson could get the ball back to the infield. Granderson thought the ball was a home run and therefore seemed less urgent to retrieve the ball. But Blackmon was unsure and sped ’round the sacks. Later, umpires ruled it should have been a home run, but Blackmon had already taken care of it.
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) July 16, 2017
The trading deadline is two weeks away, but teams aren’t waiting. The Nationals, who have the worst bullpen ERA in the majors, on Sunday swung a deal for relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson of the Athletics. Kyle Glaser broke down the deal, in which veteran reliever Blake Treinen and prospects Sheldon Neuse and Jesus Luzardo went to Oakland.
Keep firing, Stacy! https://t.co/vCTgLvghrF
— IWBC (@IWBC4Me) July 16, 2017
Stacy Piagno made history last year when she and Kelsie Whitmore played for the Sonoma Stompers of the independent Pacific Association. On Saturday, she blazed another trail. Piagno pitched seven innings in a 16-1 win over the Pittsburg Diamonds, becoming just the third woman to win a baseball game in an American men’s professional league game.
“This was a great night for Stacy and a fantastic night for baseball,” Stompers president and general manager Theo Fightmaster said in a news release. “This was a start she’s been preparing for, and she validated the opportunity she was given. That was an incredible performance against a very tough lineup.”
Piagno retired the final 11 batters and 16 of the final 17 she faced.
“I’m not just out here for a hoax,” Piagno said in a news release. “It proves to myself that yes, all the hard work can pay off and yes, I can be successful out here.”