This Week in US Sports: Astros injuries piling up, drama continues in Oakland and Dallas

By Sports Desk August 22, 2019

It is the dog days of summer in the United States which means two things — MLB teams are just trying to get to the playoffs healthy and unnecessary drama is being drummed up in the NFL.

This is the kind of week where there is serious news coming out but said news is hard to take seriously.

Do not know what we mean? Read what is going on this week in US Sports.


1. Astros injuries piling up

The Houston Astros have the best team in baseball on paper. They also are competing for the best team in MLB on the injured list. As of right now the New York Yankees undoubtedly hold that title with Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino and Dellin Betances all on the shelf, but Houston are doing their best to catch up.

Houston lost Carlos Correa (back), Aaron Sanchez (pectoral) and Ryan Pressly (knee) to the injured list this week. That is while they were also without Gerrit Cole for a start after he sustained a hamstring injury before his scheduled appearance against the Chicago White Sox last week.

Fortunately for the Astros, Cole starts against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday. Unfortunately, Houston are once again dealing with injury woes for 2012 number one pick Correa. The 24-year-old has now spent significant time on the injured list with thumb, back and rib issues over each of the last three years and his back injury completely derailed his 2018 season and is now threatening to do the same in 2019.

This is a concern for Houston not just this year, but in regard to the shortstop's long-term future.


2. Elliott, Jones getting in their feelings

Should Ezekiel Elliott be holding out right now? The answer is almost certainly yes. After leading the league in rushing two of his first three years in the NFL while accumulating more attempts than any other back in that span, the Dallas Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option in a means of avoiding paying him in the short term while racking up wear and tear for the long term.

With a running back's average NFL career being about two and a half years, yeah Elliott should want to get paid and he deserves it. But should he be getting offended when Jerry Jones jokes about him? Probably not. But he and his camp were apparently very ticked off when hearing Jones joke about Elliott after Saturday's game, referring to the back as "Zeke who?"

Now, Jones has always had Elliott's back. He fought tooth and nail to help Elliott avoid a suspension for an alleged domestic violence incident two years ago. He loves Elliott. However, he probably could have proved that better than how he reacted to hearing Elliott was annoyed at the joke he made.

"I've earned the right to joke with Zeke," Jones said in a news conference on Tuesday. "Let me be real clear about that. I've earned the right to joke with Zeke."

Has he earned the right? Probably. Should he have shown his outrage in news conference to a reporter asking a legitimate question? Probably not.


3. Brown loves the limelight

For anyone watching Hard Knocks with the Oakland Raiders this year, it is easy to see what is going on. Antonio Brown loves attention and he is getting it. From a hot air balloon flight, to frostbitten feet, an obsession with Gatorade and multiple helmet issues, the cameras are constantly trained on Brown and will be until the show ends.

And while all of this is happening, we are getting a great glimpse into the constant drama around Brown. The wide receiver's helmet saga which featured him reportedly threatening to quit if he were not allowed to use his old helmet to general manager Mike Mayock telling reporters Brown is either in or out has been complete stupidity.

Brown is not going to quit over a helmet, but everyone is going to report on it for a couple of reason — one it is Brown, so it is news. And two, people love to watch car accidents, it is why traffic backs up every time a motorist is stuck on the side of the road after a collision.

This is sports in the US during August. Nothing is going on so more is made out of things than should be and Brown has been the absolute beneficiary.


4. Corey Kluber suffers a setback

The Cleveland Indians' trade of Trevor Bauer to the Cincinnati Reds at the deadline was made a lot more comfortable with the assumption that the former would be getting ace Corey Kluber back from a broken arm by the end of the season.

Well, that plan has hit a snag as Kluber suffered an oblique injury and has been shut down for two more weeks. While that does not sound so bad, let us tell you this, it is not just a two-week injury.

While he may be shut down for two weeks that just means he cannot throw in that time. So, when he does return, he has to ramp up his throwing again, face live hitters again and get his rhythm back on a mound hopefully in time for the postseason in October.

Kluber may be ready by then but there is a solid chance he could not be.

Related items

  • Mets shut out Dodgers to keep pace with Cubs, Brewers in wildcard race Mets shut out Dodgers to keep pace with Cubs, Brewers in wildcard race

    The New York Mets kept pace in the National League (NL) wildcard race thanks to a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB on Saturday.

    The Mets and Dodgers only totalled six hits total at Citi Field, but the Mets got a big hit at an opportune time.

    Rajai Davis hit a three-run double in the eighth inning to give his team the lead, helping keep the Mets' postseason hopes alive with a 3-0 victory.

    Jacob deGrom's stellar pitching held the Dodgers off through seven innings of work. He notched eight strikeouts and pitched like the Cy Young winner he is.

    The Mets are three games back from the NL's second wildcard spot with a 77-71 record. The Chicago Cubs hold the spot and the Milwaukee Brewers are also ahead of the Mets.

    Meanwhile, the Dodgers are 96-54 and have the best record in the NL. But with a win from the Astros, Los Angeles are now down one game to Houston and two games to the New York Yankees for the best record in MLB.

    Marvellous Markakis

    Nick Markakis went four for five with two RBIs in the Atlanta Braves' 10-1 win against the Washington Nationals.

    Brett Gardner tallied two home runs and five RBIs in the Yankees' 13-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Kris Bryant went a perfect three for three and hit a home run as the Cubs took down the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-1.


    Cruz goes hitless

    Nelson Cruz was hitless in four at-bats and struck out three times in the Minnesota Twins' 2-0 victory against the Cleveland Indians.


    Awesome Eaton

    Adam Eaton somehow made a circus catch.

    Saturday's results

    Minnesota Twins 2-0 Cleveland Indians
    Minnesota Twins 9-5 Cleveland Indians
    Chicago Cubs 14-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
    New York Yankees 13-3 Toronto Blue Jays
    Atlanta Braves 10-1 Washington Nationals
    Detroit Tigers 8-4 Baltimore Orioles
    Boston Red Sox 2-1 Philadelphia Phillies
    New York Mets 3-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
    Houston Astros 6-1 Kansas City Royals
    Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 St Louis Cardinals
    Oakland Athletics 8-6 Texas Rangers
    Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 Cincinnati Reds
    Colorado Rockies 11-10 San Diego Padres
    Miami Marlins 4-2 San Francisco Giants
    Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
    Seattle Mariners 2-1 Chicago White Sox


    Brewers at Cardinals

    Milwaukee are one game back from the Cubs for the NL's second wildcard spot and have split the first two games of a three-game series with the St Louis so far. If the Brewers can win the rubber game on Sunday, they have a chance to move into a tie for a playoff spot with a Cubs loss.

  • Ortiz makes first public comments after shooting: I would wake up ... feeling like I'm going to die Ortiz makes first public comments after shooting: I would wake up ... feeling like I'm going to die

    Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz recalled the chilling details of his time spent in the hospital after being shot in June.

    Ortiz, who threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on Monday, sat down with the Boston Globe for his first public comments since the shooting.

    In the interview, he talked about the incident and the investigation.

    "I felt a burning sensation," Ortiz said. "I felt weird, like not myself, as I went down."

    Ortiz, 43, was at a Santo Domingo bar in his native Dominican Republic on June 9 when a suspect shot him at close range. 

    He had to have three surgeries and suffered a potentially deadly infection while recovering.

    "I had nightmares all the time about being in the desert, looking for water," Ortiz said. "I would wake up with my mouth dry and feeling like I'm going to die."

    He added: "People need to understand, this isn't a movie where you get shot in the street and you're back two minutes later. No, I got shot and almost died. I only have one life to live. I can't just go to the pharmacy and buy another one."

    When Ortiz returned to Boston, he hired former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis' firm, The Edward Davis Company, to look into the shooting.

    "I want to find out who did this," Ortiz said. "I'm not going to sit around and chill if there's somebody out there who wants to kill me."

    A 10-time All-Star, Ortiz is an icon in Boston, where he helped lead the Red Sox to three World Series titles.

    He was released from the hospital at the end of July.

    "I like to embrace people, make them feel comfortable around me," Ortiz said. "I was always very accessible, but I think I'm going to cut down on that a little now.

    "One lesson I've learned is that you can't be naive. There are a lot of things going on now that you have to be aware of. I need to pay attention and be more careful."

  • Cubs take advantage of Pirates' historically bad pitching Cubs take advantage of Pirates' historically bad pitching

    The Chicago Cubs crushed the Pittsburgh Pirates 17-8 at Wrigley Field on Friday and the visiting team's poor pitching was a big reason why.

    Cubs catcher Willson Contreras went yard twice while Nicholas Castellanos, Anthony Rizzo and Nico Hoerner each notched one home run apiece.

    Chicago totalled five home runs in all and it was not a good night for Pirates starter Steven Brault.

    Brault became the first pitcher in MLB's Live Ball Era to allow 10 earned runs and five home runs in three innings or less.

    He forked up eight hits in just 2.2 innings before being relieved.

    Pittsburgh's offense was not bad though, as they tallied 13 hits from eight different batters.

    The Pirates remain far from playoff contention with a 65-83 record while the Cubs are second in the National League (NL) Central with a 79-68 mark.

    Chicago are just holding onto the NL's second wildcard spot.

    The New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers both lost their Friday matchups, giving the Cubs a little more breathing room as they look to remain in the hunt.

    Chicago are up a half game on Milwaukee and three on the Mets for the second wildcard spot. The Philadelphia Phillies, who are also in pursuit of that spot, were idle on Friday.

    Lux lifts Dodgers

    Rookie Gavin Lux homered and drove in three runs as the Los Angeles Dodgers topped the New York Mets 9-2.

    Bo Bichette went three for five and scored two runs for the Toronto Blue Jays in their 6-5 win against the New York Yankees.


    Flowers fails

    The Atlanta Braves' Tyler Flowers was hitless in five at-bats in his team's 5-0 victory against the Washington Nationals.

    Detroit's Miguel Cabrera went 0 for four in the Tigers' 6-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.


    Miraculous LeMahieu

    The Yankees' DJ LeMahieu managed to create an incredible double play.

    Friday's results

    Chicago Cubs 17-8 Pittsburgh Pirates
    Atlanta Braves 5-0 Washington Nationals
    Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 New York Yankees
    Baltimore Orioles 6-2 Detroit Tigers
    Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2 New York Mets
    Oakland Athletics 14-9 Texas Rangers
    Houston Astros 4-1 Kansas City Royals
    St Louis Cardinals 10-0 Milwaukee Brewers
    Colorado Rockies 10-8 San Diego Padres
    Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Tampa Bay Rays 11-4 Los Angeles Angels
    San Francisco Giants 1-0 Miami Marlins
    Chicago White Sox 9-7 Seattle Mariners


    Twins at Indians

    Cleveland are right outside the playoff picture and just 3.5 games back from American League (AL) Central-leading Minnesota. The Indians are on the brink of a postseason appearance so beating their toughest divisional rivals could be huge for them as they look to build momentum.

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