Bucks’ DiVincenzo thriving with regular minutes
Donte DiVincenzo, Bucks guard (↑ UP)
DiVincenzo, who lost most of his rookie season to a foot injury, is establishing himself as a valuable member of the rotation after playing just two minutes in the Bucks’ first four games. He scored a career-high 17 points in 20 minutes on 54.5% shooting Monday during a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, adding seven rebounds. He made back-to-back 3s in the final minute of the third quarter with the Wolves on a five-point run, restoring the Bucks’ 20-point lead and has now played 20-plus minutes in three straight, averaging 13 points per game over that stretch.
All those Packers fans in Los Angeles last week (↓ DOWN)
Taking over Dignity Health Sports Park, the temporary home of the Los Angeles Chargers, is not particularly difficult. Away fans have managed to drown out Chargers fans regularly this season, and Packers enthusiasts did their part Sunday, despite the distance (just over 2,000 miles). If only their team had made the trip. Green Bay fans were treated to the Packers’ first real dud of the season, a 26-11 loss in which they managed just 184 yards of total offense and were held to a single field goal until the game was well out of reach in the fourth quarter. Chargers kicker Michael Badgley provided the only scoring of any kind until the 3:59 mark of the third quarter, when Wisconsin alum Melvin Gordon punched in a Chargers touchdown.
Jace Sternberger, Packers tight end (↑ UP)
If there’s anyone who came away from this relatively unscathed, it’s Sternberger. The rookie made his NFL debut after opening the season on injured reserve, playing a single snap on offense. A third-round pick, Sternberger hurt his ankle in the preseason. He projects as a future contributor, but could be called upon in the short term with 32-year-old Jimmy Graham and 35-year-old Marcedes Lewis in the later stages of their careers and fellow tight end Robert Tonyan nursing a hip injury. Sternberger broke out during his single season at Texas A&M, racking up 48 receptions for 832 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games.
Eric Bledsoe, Bucks point guard (↑ UP)
Bledsoe put together a solid stat line during that win over the Wolves, scoring a season-high 22 points in 24 minutes on 57.1% shooting with nine rebounds, six assists and a steal. It’s a welcome sight for Bucks fans after Bledsoe suffered a rib injury in the preseason, with initial reports indicating that he could miss significant time during the regular season.
Eric Thames, former Brewers first baseman (↓ DOWN)
The Brewers parted ways with Thames on Monday, three years after signing him out of the South Korean KBO League. Thames hit .241 with 72 home runs in 383 games with the Brewers, endearing himself to Milwaukee fans with his winning personality and booming homers. A star back in South Korea, Thames turned into Barry Bonds during his first month with the Brewers, hitting .345 with 11 home runs and a 1.276 OPS in 23 games during March and April of 2017. And while he never quite reached those heights again, slashing .247/.346/.505 with 25 home runs in 2019, he should provide a solid bat for somebody — maybe even Milwaukee, at a lower price — next season. For now, here’s his delightful KBO cheer song. For old time’s sake.
Lorenzo Cain, Brewers outfielder (↑ UP)
Long a bridesmaid in the Gold Glove selection process, Cain finally has one. Among the best defenders in baseball per SABR’s defensive index rankings, Cain was one of three outfielders in either league to earn an SDI of 10-plus this season. A career .288 hitter, Cain took a step back at the plate in Year 10, slashing .260/.325/.372 with 30 doubles and 11 home runs, but his defense remained as spectacular as ever.
Markus Howard, Marquette guard (↑ UP)
Howard did his thing in the Golden Eagles’ season opener, piling up 38 points with seven 3s to power Marquette past Loyola. He broke Jerel McNeal’s program scoring record in the second half, and is up to 1,993 career points.