All good things must come to an end and nowhere is that fact pushed into your face more often than baseball, where failing seven out of 10 times makes you a Hall of Famer. Harrison had been on a nice little tear, with nine hits in his last 17 plate appearances leading into last night’s game against the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately, the hot streak was cooled down down by the winds of Southern California, as the Pirates second baseman went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He did score a run in the 3-2 loss for Pittsburgh, coming around to cross home plate after reaching on yet another hit by pitch.
As has been written about extensively, Harrison is on some kind of run with the HBP, as he has a MLB-leading 21 this season. Prior to 2017, he had been hit by a total of 26 pitches in 6 years, with a season-high of seven in 2012 and 2015. Getting plunked so often has certainly helped keep his on-base percentage on a career-best pace (.358), but there have got to be easier and less painful ways to accomplish that.
Happ, who has really been struggling of late was held out of the Cubs 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. With a slash line of .211/.302/.263 since the All-Star Break, which includes zero home runs, Happ may not have been the bat off the bench that could have salvaged a one-run victory for Chicago. Then again, perhaps a few days off will allow the former Bearcat to get over this funk he’s been experiencing at the plate. Although based on the extremely small sample he has had against the Brewers, maybe they are not the team to jump-start a hot streak, as Happ is batting just .231/.231/.385 in 13 plate appearances against the Brew Crew.
Walsh may not have pitched since our last update but his recent dominance on the mound pushed the White Sox to promote him to the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. Walsh had thrown 16 1⁄3 innings of 0.55 ERA ball with 21 strikeouts in his last 10 appearances for the Birmingham Barons, which was enough of a resume boost to get him the call. This will mark his first stint at this level, as he is just one more promotion from cracking into The Show.
Walsh wasn’t the only Bearcat to get a promotion this week, as Atkinson and his glut of strikeouts were brought up to Double-A to pitch for the Jackson Generals. It’s well deserved, as despite a 5-8 record this season, Atkinson has pitched to a 3.33 ERA with 134 strikeouts and only 36 walks in 105 1⁄3 innings.