The Upper Deck
Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
BETTER THAN #HUGWATCH
By now we're all sick of #HugWatch—the annual peek into big league dugouts during games to try and sleuth out which players are being traded when they're exchanging hugs with teammates. And July 31 is still three days away! That said, the Mets' Curtis Granderson took hashtag hug watch to a new level when beloved teammate Lucas Duda was dispatched to the Rays on Thursday. The Grandy Man took hold and wouldn't let go!
BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOMThe Nats might trade for a starter before Monday, but they don't need a bat, that is for sure. Washington hit four consecutive homers in the third inning against Milwaukee's Michael Blazek, then added a fifth homer in six at-bats, and ended up hitting eight homers in a 15-2 win. The five homers in an inning is an MLB record.
WALK-OFF DEJA VUThe Blue Jays swept four games from the Athletics, culminating in a walk-off win Thursday on Steve Pearce's game-ending grand slam. That gave the Blue Jays their first back-to-back, walk-off home runs in franchise history. Kendrys Morales hit the game-winning home run in the ninth Wednesday and added a game-tying solo shot in the ninth Thursday.
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDSThe Yankees got a big win against division rival Tampa Bay Thursday on Brett Gardner's game-winning homer in the 10th inning, but it wouldn't have happened without a little help from the Rays. With two outs in the ninth and Gardner on third, Gary Sanchez hit a ground ball to short that should have ended the game in favor of the Rays. One problem . . . no one fielded it. The ball trickled into center field, Gardner scored and the rest is history.
KIDS PLAYING BALL
HOOOOOOOOOOOOME RUN !!!!!!!! Chinese Taipei 1-0 Brazil #U12WorldCup @CTBA pic.twitter.com/bFJkZSXgC5— ⚾ WBSC (@WBSC) July 28, 2017
Is there anything that's more neat to watch than kids play baseball? Watch this little guy from Taiwan go deep in the World Baseball Softball Confederation U12 World Cup. What a sweet swing! The event is going on in Taiwan and you can follow along here.
PING PONG WITH A PURPOSE
A little #PingPong4Purpose action with @redturn2 and Luke Walton. pic.twitter.com/cVy1I1Zrgn— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) July 28, 2017
Thursday night marked the fifth annual Kershaw's Ping Pong 4 Purpose charity event put on by Clayton Kershaw and his Kershaw's Challenge foundation, which helps children in need around the globe. Kershaw, on the disabled list with a back injury, nevertheless was on hand, along with master of ceremonies Jimmy Kimmel, Magic Johnson, Jason Bateman, Jack Black, Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Sylvester Stallone and Dodgers players including Justin Turner.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL
Three more deals have gone down in past 24 hours. Keep up right here:https://t.co/iNx6T6SlDE— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 27, 2017
The Shape Of Baseball Is Changing In 2021
The game is getting younger—and in some cases shorter and lighter.
With July 31 looming, deals are happening fast and furious. Keep up with our Trade Central Index, which you can find here and which we update with each deal.