The Nub

Leaders, at the Plate and on the Stump

Stat City: We know that, best in theory, the DH-abetted AL fields a more formidable lineup of hitters. Yet, the MLB’s six of top seven BA’s for the season belong to NL players, in this order: D.J. Lemahieu, Rockies, .348; Daniel Murphy, Nationals, .347; Joey Votto, Reds, .326; Charlie Blackman, Rockies, .324; Jose Segura, D-backs, .319. The AL’s one interloper – and leading hitter for average – Jose Altuve, Astros, .338. The MLB’s home run leader: the Orioles’ Mark Trumbo, with 47 HRs. NL HR leaders: Nolan Arenado, Rockies, Chris Carter. Brewers , both 41.

Pol City Just as the Blue Jays gained an edge in the wild card playoff with Baltimore by winning home field in tonight’s game, so did Hillary Clinton solidify her polling edge over Donald Trump in their first debate. That outcome suggests her likely success on Election Day, which, in turn, means just a four-member gain by the Dem team will give it control of the 2017 Senate. Most expert observers believe – at least for the moment – that it is do-able. (Over the weekend, Clinton added to her polling margins in Pennsylvania Florida, North Carolina and Colorado, but continued to trail – by five points – in Ohio.)

Clinton still has a formidable handicap to get over before the path to home plate is clear. It involves attracting young fans. Vox’s Ezra Klein describes the challenge this way:

“Clinton…is resigned to the system we have, and she invites young voters to share that resignation. They want a political revolution, and she sympathizes, but then she says: ‘I think we should all be really understanding of that and should try to do the best we can not to be, you know, a wet blanket on idealism. We want people to be idealistic. We want them to set big goals. But to take what we can achieve now and try to present them as bigger goals’.

”At a time when what we can achieve now is far from what voters wish was achievable, this is a realistic vision of American politics — it’s a vision that might even get some good things done — but it is not an inspiring one.”

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Only one playoff team made the season’s top 10 RISP list: the Red Sox, who finished second to Colorado.  Next were the Indians, who finished 12th.

MLB playoff team that finished last in in RISP: the Mets

Outfield assist leaders: AL – Adam Eaton, White Sox; NL – Starling Marte, Pirates

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(The Nub is a team effort skippered by Dick Starkey. Comments about blog issues are welcome. Previous Nubs may be found by scrolling below.)

About Richard Starkey

Dick Starkey handled media for former NY Governor Mario Cuomo, former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi and many other office-holders and candidates. He was sports editor of the Paris-based Herald Tribune. Perfect Pitch partner Robert Sullivan was the first to adapt focus groups to politics and has been called by Cuomo and others one of the "best" pollsters in the country.