- We're the SI staff and you're stuck in front of your computer on a holiday. Tweet us questions about baseball, American history or, frankly, whatever you want on this glorious holiday!
Gabriel Baumgaertner [1:30 p.m.]: Greetings, fellow Americans. We're the SI staff, most of us directly affiliated with the MLB team, others on the social media and Extra Mustard desks. We're working today, which is great because there's baseball on! Hopefully you're eating, day drinking and avoiding your in-laws. Or, like us, you may be in front of a computer while elsewhere, the hot dogs glisten and your uncle will soon hop off grilling duties to on play all-time quarterback during the family's impromptu touch football game.
The fireworks are hours away, so in the meantime, join us! Ask us questions about baseball if you like. Or the origins of the American Revolution. Or American literature. Or The Bachelorette? The point is it's a holiday, it's the summertime, and we're here to keep you company.
When you're not asking us questions, we'll treat you to trivia questions, fun tidbits and commentary on the afternoon games. The key is to tweet us whatever you want to talk about at @SI_MLB. We've already had one intrepid staffer argue to eat your hot dogs without any toppings. So we're off to a rollicking start already. Meanwhile, let's talk Mets-Nationals, Yankees-Blue Jays or whatever questions you have about baseball ... or anything else!
Jon Tayler [5:50 p.m.]: FINAL in Chicago: The Rays hold off the Cubs, 6–5. The panic on the North Side continues for another day, as the Cubs will likely fall another game further behind the Brewers in the NL Central race.
Jon Tayler [5:37 p.m.]: I genuinely don’t know how or why the O’s feel like they can win when any of their starters save Dylan Bundy take the hill.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [5:34 p.m.]: I genuinely don't know how or why the O's feel like they can win when Ubaldo takes the hill every fifth day.
Jon Tayler [5:33 p.m.]: And in other monstrous homers of the day, Eric Thames takes Ubaldo to the second deck in rightfield at Miller Park for a solo blast. 4-0 Brewers. Someone please put the Orioles’ pitching staff out of its misery. ... UPDATE: Ubaldo has given up another homer, this one to Travis Shaw. 5-0 Brewers. This is a cry for help from the O’s.
Jon Tayler [5:14 p.m.]: And to answer my previous question about the Yankees re: first base, they won’t be kicking around Chris Carter any more. That's the second time they've DFAd Carter this season.
Roster Moves: After today's game, 1B Chris Carter was DFAed. INF Ji-Man Choi will be signed to a ML contract & selected to the 25-man roster— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) July 4, 2017
Jon Tayler [5:12 p.m.]: Albert Pujols took Twins reliever Taylor Rogers to the crossroads with a mammoth solo home run into the seats way above the bullpens at Target Field. That’s career dinger No. 603 for Pujols, but his Angels still trail, 5–3, in the eighth.
Jon Tayler [4:45 p.m.]: Stephen Vogt demolished a ball to center off of Ubaldo Jimenez for his third homer in six games as a Brewer, and the dugout responds with a “WE BELIEVE IN STEPHEN VOGT” chant. The Orioles’ pitching is so, so, so, so bad. 3–0 Brewers.
Jon Tayler [4:25 p.m.]: Byron Buxton blasts a solo homer to left. The Twins are … fun? They’re up 5–2 on the Angels in the sixth.
Buxton's homer was tagged. Had an exit velo of 107.1 mph and went a projected 416 feet. Low launch angle of 21 degrees.— Rhett Bollinger (@RhettBollinger) July 4, 2017
Gabriel Baumgaertner [4:20 p.m.]: The look when you realize you've been anointed one of the best fans in baseball.
Jon Tayler [4:20 p.m.]: FINAL in the Bronx: Jays 4, Yankees 1. As a result of beating an American team on July 4, Canada now gets ownership of whichever state it wants.
Jon Tayler [4:07 p.m.]: Helpfully set up by Giancarlo Stanton hitting a ball so hard that I’m amazed it didn’t explode.
There's exit velocity, and then there's Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge exit velocity. Stanton's line drive came off his bat at 117.6 mph.— Jenifer Langosch (@LangoschMLB) July 4, 2017
Gabriel Baumgaertner [4:06 p.m.]: Christian Yelich cranks a three-run HR to give the Marlins a 3–2 lead over the Cardinals. Never forget that Yelich is a dead ringer for John Frances Daley from Freaks and Geeks.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [3:56 p.m.]: Ian Happ juuuust missed with this throw.
Jon Tayler [3:48 PM]: In St. Louis, Marlins starter Jose Ureña had a no-hitter through four … then gave up a single to Paul DeJong and a homer to Greg Garcia, because of course those are the guys who broke it up. 2-0 Cardinals in the fifth.
Jon Tayler [3:46]: And another quarter of it came with the Phillies in 2009.
Jon Tayler [3:45]: And for what it’s worth, Happ’s career WAR is 15.3, over a quarter of which (4.5) came last year.
Jon Tayler [3:45 PM]: J.A. Happ’s career resurgence was our first warning that Ray Searage is a warlock from another dimension.
Mitch Goldich [3:44 PM]: Six strong from J.A. Happ in that one. J.A. Happ or Ian Happ: Who will have a better career?
Jon Tayler [3:44 p.m.]: Home plate ump Ron Kulpa isn’t wining any fans in the Bronx with his strike zone today, as he rings up Brett Gardner on a questionable third strike call with one on and two out in the seventh and Aaron Judge on deck in a three-run game. Still 4-1 Blue Jays there.
Jon Tayler: [3:39 PM]: The exit velocity on that one is going to be fun.
Mitch Goldich [3:39 PM]: That will be a goofy looking double on the spray chart, the first hop might have been 5 feet from the plate.
Mitch Goldich [3:38 PM]: Wow, next batter hits a chopper off Lester's leg that goes into the outfield for a two-run double.
Jon Tayler [3:36 PM]: Counter-argument: The DH rules and is good. I know I’m going to lose this fight against two NL guys, but still.
Mitch Goldich [3:35 p.m.]: First career hit, awesome.
Mitch Goldich [3:35 p.m.]: Chris Archer shows bunt, swings away, base hit. Ban. The. DH.
Jon Tayler [3:33 p.m.]: And yet the Giants are about to fall to 19 games under .500. This is a really weird season.
Mitch Goldich [3:33 p.m.]: I mean, the Braves are 40–41 at the halfway point.
Jon Tayler [3:32 p.m.]: Like, Peter Bourjos is playing for them right now. How is that a contending team?
Jon Tayler [3:32 p.m.]: Every time I look at the Rays’ record and see them above .500, I assume I’m hallucinating.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [3:30 p.m.]: Remember Tim Beckham? The guy the Rays drafted No. 1 overall ahead of Buster Posey? He just cranked a two-run shot off of Jon Lester, his 11th homer of the year. What a story he has been this season. The Rays—who now lead the Cubs 3–1 in the fourth inning—simply astound me.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [3:26 p.m.]: If the Yankees can't figure out their holes at first and third base, then they'll miss the playoffs no matter how well Judge and Gary Sanchez perform.
Jon Tayler [3:22 p.m.]: At a certain point, should the Yankees just stop playing a first baseman? Everyone’s hurt except Chris Carter, who hasn’t hit and has been a brutal fielder so far.
Mitch Goldich [3:05 p.m]: Imagine if he switched to hitting lefty and became Babe Ruth. If he just woke up one day and was like, "Oh damn, had it wrong this whole time." There are position players who should maybe try this.
Mitch Goldich [3:05 p.m.]: So Lance Lynn just decided he's a left handed hitter now. Got down a beautiful bunt with 2 strikes, though they did get the guy out at second on a close play. Regardless, I love this and we should ban the DH.
Jon Tayler [2:57 p.m.]: And in New York, Aaron Judge strikes out with two on and two out. Canada continues its reign of terror; 4-1 Blue Jays after five.
Jon Tayler [2:54 p.m.]: Out in Detroit, Brandon Crawford just cranked a two-run shot to tie things up between two wildly disappointing teams. 3-3, Giants and Tigers.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:50 p.m.]: Aaron Judge might actually be from another planet. Stats like these have become routine for the rookie.
Jon Tayler [2:30 p.m.]: Some good news for Atlanta, which is somehow mildly in contention.
Jon Tayler [2:25 p.m.]: Aaron Judge can definitely fix the subways, which he will do by carrying the trains to and from their stations by himself.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:24 p.m.]: American superstar Aaron Judge homers on Fourth of July. Start writing in votes for the NY governor race.
Jon Tayler [2:23 p.m.]: FINAL in D.C.: Nationals 11, Mets 4. Washington is now 9-3 against New York on the season, and the Mets are now 11 1/2 games back in the NL East. Start tossing some dirt on that coffin.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:14 p.m.]: Buxton will be great once he fixes that gigantic hole in his bat.
Jon Tayler [2:13 p.m.]: Underway in Minnesota between the Twins and Angels, where Byron Buxton starts the game by robbing Cameron Maybin of extra bases with a leaping grab at the wall in centerfield. That boy good.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:12 p.m.]: Professional hitter, that Daniel Murphy.
Jon Tayler [2:12 p.m.]: Daniel Murphy just drove in his 5,458th career run against the Mets.
Jon Tayler [2:09 p.m.]: Terry Collins just made a pitching change in the eighth inning of a 10-2 game. Sometimes, I get why Rob Manfred wants to burn it all down.
Jon Tayler [2:05 p.m.]: Meanwhile, here’s Jae-gyun Hwang robbing Ian Kinsler of a base hit with a nifty play at third base. He may end up being one of the few bright spots on this horrid Giants team.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:03 p.m]: Matt Stairs' homer off of Jonathan Broxton in the 2008 NLCS is the reason I stopped believing in Santa Claus or anything that resembles hope or happiness. That's why they're joking.
Mitch Goldich [2:02 p.m.]: Yeah but he's literally a professional hitting coach, so that makes sense.
Jon Tayler [2:02 p.m.]: I know he’s a big fan of Professional Hitter Matt Stairs.
Mitch Goldich [2:02 p.m.]: Old man Gabriel said professional hitter. [drink]
Jon Tayler [2:02 p.m.]: I’m going to be so indescribably Mad Online when the Yankees pick up a starter for nothing at the trade deadline who goes on to post a sub-2.00 ERA over the rest of the season.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [2:01 p.m.]: Kendrys Morales, who just gave the Jays a 4–0 lead on the Yankees, is the kind of professional hitter who will unfairly be forgotten by the cruel passage of time after he retires.
Mitch Goldich [2:01 p.m.]: I'm still watching this Yankees game. Sabathia retired the first eight batters, then gave up 6 straight base runners and left the game. First game back too, brutal.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [1:57 p.m.]: All hail the League Pass Twins!
Jon Tayler [1:57 p.m.]: I know the Twins are Gabe’s MLB.TV Team, but their non-Jose Berrios starting pitching makes any real postseason chance impossible. It’s really great to see Berrios start to put it together, though.
Gabriel Baumgaertner [1:56 p.m.]: One of the most intriguing teams in the league that stands virtually no chance at making the playoffs. Once they find relievers and fill holes in the lineup provided by players like Jorge Polanco, then you're looking at a great AL Central spoiler.
Jon Tayler [1:52 p.m.]: The War of 1812 Rivalry Series, right there
Mitch Goldich [1:52 p.m]: Canadians with an early lead over the Yankees. Happy Fourth.
Jon Tayler [1:51 p.m.]: Meanwhile, it’s 9–2 Nationals against the Mets, but Washington’s bullpen is now in the game, so this one ends 10–9 one way or the other.
Jon Tayler [1:46 p.m]: Watching Matt Cain degrade is the latest reminder that you should never love anything in this dumb sport.
Mitch Goldich [1:46 p.m]: Poor Matt Cain. He was so good. (Although, actually, very rich Matt Cain.)
Jon Tayler [1:44 p.m.]: DID YOU KNOW: Victor Martinez, who just homered off Matt Cain, was present for the signing of the Declaration of Independence
Mitch Goldich [1:43 p.m.]: If we had started this at 11 a.m. I would have predicted Daniel Murphy gets 3 hits and 4 RBIs against the Mets. And, oh, well look, here we are.
Jon Tayler [1:36 p.m.]: After the game, Murph is going to go up to each Mets fan leaving Nationals Park and kick them in the shins, too.
Daniel Murphy has 33 RBI in 31 career games against the Mets.— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 4, 2017
Mitch Goldich [1:34 p.m.]: Who has the most patriotic name of anyone playing today? Looking at Mets-Nats first, Michael Taylor is the only one who shares a surname with a president, but Tyson and Betsy Ross is a good sleeper pick.