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Astros Could Lose Their Best Hitter To The Injured List



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The Houston Astros lost 3-2 against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday and have dropped three games in a row.

They still have a good 36-27 record, but have fallen five games behind the Texas Rangers for the AL West lead.


They were without Jose Altuve for a large chunk of their season.

Now, their best hitter, Yordan Alvarez, got hurt and is likely looking at a stint on the injured list.

“Yordan Alvarez said he felt something in his oblique on a swing in the batting cages before the game. It felt bad on the two swings and misses in his first at-bat, which prompted him to leave the game,” Astros insider Chandler Rome tweeted.

Oblique injuries are very, very tricky.


They have a rather high re-aggravation rate and when you think they are behind you, they re-appear.

Astros manager Dusty Baker indicated to reporters late Thursday that Alvarez is likely to miss time due to the injury to his right oblique.

There is nothing official yet, as the Astros are going to perform testing and imaging on the area to try to come up with an exact diagnosis.

Still, the most likely scenario has them placing the slugger on the IL sometime within the next couple of days.

Alvarez had been excellent to open the year, with a .272 batting average, 41 runs scored, 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and a .963 OPS.


He is not only the Astros’ best hitter, but one of the best in the American League.

He actually leads the league in RBI.

The Astros will miss him for as long as he is gone.

The post Astros Could Lose Their Best Hitter To The Injured List appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Luis Arraez Continued His Dominance In Miami



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In 2022, infielder Luis Arraez, then with the Minnesota Twins, was the only reason why Aaron Judge didn’t win the AL hitting Triple Crown: he took the batting title.

In the offseason, he was sent to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Pablo Lopez.


It was one of those rare trades that ends up working out for both teams.

Lopez blossomed into an ace with the Twins and Arraez had an even better season in South Florida.

He raised that .316 batting average from last year and turned it into a .354-average performance this year to win the batting title again, this time in the National League.

According to a tweet by the team, that’s a first.

Arraez just became the first player in the history of baseball to win batting titles in the American and National Leagues in consecutive years.

Talk about a unique campaign!

He actually flirted with a .400 batting average in the first few months of the season.

Even if he “settled in” with the .354 batting average, it’s still more than any other hitter this year.

Both the Twins and Marlins missed the playoffs last year, but their respective trade acquisitions helped them take the next step.


In the specific case of Arraez, he totaled 203 hits, 30 of which were doubles, with three triples, and 10 home runs.

Miami needed all the offense it could get, and Arraez, without being a top slugger or OPS artist, was a blessing for their lineup.

He is currently dealing with a sprained ankle, but the team hopes to have him ready as the playoffs begin on Tuesday.

The post Luis Arraez Continued His Dominance In Miami appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Joey Votto Comments On Shocking Ejection



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The Cincinnati Reds gave their fans a playoffs push this season after their ugly showing in 2022.

They came up short in the end, but they reached the final weekend with tangible chances.


Still, this is a young team with several impressive prospects.

They will probably be back to fight for a place next year.

Whether or not they will have Joey Votto back on the roster remains a complete mystery, though.

In what could have been his last game as an active player, Votto was actually ejected because he was arguing balls and strikes from the dugout.

The player himself went to Twitter to address the issue and actually apologized for his behavior.


“I cannot holler at the umpire from our teams bench. He was completely justified in ejecting me. For those that wanted to see me play today, I am sorry,” he tweeted.

He actually took one at-bat, but fans really wanted to see him play because he is a free agent after the season and his future is a big question mark.

Votto, one of the most influential and high-profile Reds players of the millennium, has an expensive $20 million club option for 2024, with a $7 million buyout.


The Reds won’t pick up the option but might be able to bring him back on a cheaper deal… if he is up for returning another year.

That much is still unclear.

“As far as my future, my individual future, I’m still not there yet (…) I just don’t have an answer yet. We’ll see,” he said about his future.

This year, Votto had 14 home runs and a .747 OPS.

For his career, he has a .920 OPS with 356 long balls and 2,135 hits.


The post Joey Votto Comments On Shocking Ejection appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Rugby World Cup: Final pool games may offer a few twists after predictable start



Outside of Fiji’s rise and Australia’s demise, the first 3 1/2 weeks of the Rugby World Cup have been, in a large sense, predictable.

Yet none out of the big four of top-ranked Ireland, new No. 2 France and the southern hemisphere powers of South Africa and New Zealand are guaranteed a place in the quarterfinals heading into the final set of pool matches starting on Thursday and running through to Sunday.

Wales and England — which no one gave much thought to — are the only teams to have both feet in the last eight and the luxury of looking ahead.


So there might still be a twist or two when the remaining six quarterfinalists are decided in a furious four days of last-minute jostling.

Look out for Scotland, which holds the fate of both Ireland and defending champion South Africa in its hands. Italy could upset the campaign of host France and become the most unpopular team at the World Cup.

Scotland and Italy are very long shots for the quarters, but given almost everything has gone to script so far, maybe the pool stage can spring a last-round surprise.


Pool B rests on Scotland’s game against Ireland at Stade de France on Saturday, when there’s a head-spinning series of possibilities involving winning bonus points, losing bonus points, points difference, and so on. All three teams, Ireland, South Africa and Scotland, could end up on 15 pool points, resulting in points difference in games between them becoming the decisive factor.


Calculators are at the ready.

The bottom line is Scotland has to win to have a chance at the quarterfinals and before any of the other calculations come into play. Title favourite Ireland’s knockout stage effectively starts a week earlier than it was hoping.

Ireland reinforced its status as rugby’s No. 1 with an epic backs-to-the-wall win over South Africa earlier in the pool stage and has won the last eight against Scotland since 2018, so any surprise would be enormous.

Scotland has nothing to lose. Ireland, after more than a year at No. 1, has everything on the line.

“I’d rather sit here than be Ireland,” said South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus.


The Springboks have played all their pool games and can only watch on TV and, no matter what Erasmus says, the Boks won’t be sitting too comfortably given they could also be sent packing.


Like Ireland, France has won three from three in its pool and has so far met all pre-tournament expectations of mounting a serious challenge for its first world title. Like Ireland, it could all be for zilch if France’s final Pool A game against Italy in Lyon on Friday goes the wrong way.

Italy is even more of an underdog than Scotland, having not beaten France since 2013, and having just come off a 96-17 grilling by New Zealand, a team France beat.

But pressure does funny things. Home pressure, especially.


France also has the added distraction of the injury saga of captain Antoine Dupont, its most important player, but who likely won’t be available against Italy on Friday night and whose future participation at the World Cup is still unclear because of a facial fracture.

“We won’t be complacent against Italy,” France assistant coach Karim Ghezal said. “We’ll be focused and concentrated. We know it’s going to be a different game. Rugby is a fighting sport.”


The smartest money for the quarterfinals might be on three-time champion New Zealand, which looks fully recovered from its opening-game defeat to France and needs a win with four tries or more against rank outsider Uruguay to be sure of progressing. Given that the All Blacks ran 14 tries past No. 11 Italy last week, a similar rampage against No. 17 Uruguay in Lyon on Thursday is widely expected.

Argentina and Japan face a winner-takes-all contest in Pool D in Nantes on Sunday to progress behind England. The most relevant thing about Argentina and Japan might be that they hardly ever play each other. Their two meetings since the turn of the century both went Argentina’s way.


Fiji will follow Wales into the quarterfinals from Pool C and make its first Rugby World Cup knockouts since 2007 by beating minnow Portugal in Toulouse on Sunday, or even losing narrowly. That will confirm the earliest elimination ever for two-time champion Australia, which may well be the one big turn-up of the pool stage.

The only thing that can save Australia is Portugal winning its first World Cup game ever and, more than that, denying Fiji any losing bonus points.

“We’re still alive,” said ever-optimistic Australia coach Eddie Jones, whose team has played its four pool games but is hanging around in France in case something akin to a rugby miracle happens.

Amid all the possible surprises, Australia playing again at this World Cup would easily be one of the biggest.

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