We’ve got thirteen games left standing on Wednesday’s MLB slate — including plenty of day baseball — so let’s jump right in …
- Pirates 10, Rockies 2
- Tigers 6, Orioles 5
- Rays 4, Rangers 2
- Brewers 2, Reds 0
- Athletics 12, White Sox 11 in 14
- Blue Jays 15, Royals 5
- Twins 2, Indians 1 in 16
- Mets 11, Nationals 5
- Braves 7, Phillies
- Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3 in 10
- Red Sox 9, Angels 0
- Dodgers 13, Padres 4
- Astros 7, Mariners 1
- Cardinals at Cubs
Mets avoid sweep with furious comeback
Entering Wednesday’s series finale, the Mets had dropped two straight to the Nationals. Then it looked like a sweep was in order; the Nats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a Ryan Zimmerman home run. In fact, the Nationals had a 4-2 lead entering the bottom of the eighth.
That’s when the Mets struck, turning the game into a boat race in the span of a half-inning.
With Ryan Madson pitching, the Mets reeled off three consecutive singles to begin the inning. Todd Frazier delivered a two-run single that tied the game. But the Mets weren’t done yet. Following an intentional walk and strikeout, Madson allowed a two-run double to Juan Lagares. Sammy Solis would then check in and issue back-to-back walks that plated another run.
The Nationals turned to their bullpen yet again, giving the ball to A.J. Cole. A few pitches later, Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam, capping a nine-run inning:
The Nats did get a run back in the ninth — Zimmerman delivered his third extra-base hit, another homer to go with along with his earlier three-run shot, as well as a triple he’d hit a few innings prior — but that was that.
The Mets are now 13-4, giving them six fewer losses than the Nationals have.
Happy birthday, Miggy; you get to move up the all-time RBI list
Wednesday occasions the 35th birthday of Tigers cloutsman/future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Fortunately for our purposes, the birthday-haver and his mates took on the Orioles in sunny Detroit. Here’s how he treated himself.
That’s Cabrera’s second home run of the season and the 464th of his career. Speaking of his career, there’s this relevant note …
Good company, that. On the general matter of cracking the top 30 of various categories, Cabrera — assuming health — figures also to wind up in the top 30 all time in home runs, extra-base hits, total bases, and doubles by the time the 2018 season is done. He’s off to a bit of a slow start this season, but last season his underlying batted-ball data showed he’s still a producer (even if the surface-level numbers didn’t). Don’t be surprised if Cabrera still has some thump in his bat.
And if that weren’t gift enough for Cabrera on his special day, teammate Dixon Machado sent him home in style …
Two-game win streak for Detroit? Two-game win streak for Detroit, people.
A’s top White Sox in marathon slugfest
The A’s and White Sox played a wild one on Wednesday afternoon. The contest lasted 14 innings over six hours, and saw the teams combine for ….
- 23 runs
- 33 hits
- 18 pitchers used
- 18 walks issued
You get the point.
Both sides yanked their starters before they could complete two innings, as Carson Fulmer recorded three outs and Andrew Triggs notched four. Each also asked three relievers (Hector Santiago, Chris Volstad, Bruce Rondon for the White Sox; Santiago Casilla, Blake Treinen, and Lou Trivino for the A’s) to go two-plus innings.
At the end of the day, the White Sox tabbed James Shields — Friday’s probable starter — to tag in early. He recorded two outs, but that was that, as the A’s touched him for a pair of hits and walks en route to a victory.
Roberts: Jansen will remain closer
Earlier today, our Matt Snyderwith Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.
Before the Dodgers-Padres game, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts addressed Jansen’s struggles, noting that he’ll remain the closer for the foreseeable future.
Jansen entered the night having already blown two saves. He blew only one all of last season
Here comes Moncada?
White Sox phenom Yoan Moncada has shown flashes of the skills that once made him the consensus top prospect in baseball. However, we’re still waiting for the 22-year-old to find sustained excellence. On Wednesday, though, he homered for the second successive game against the A’s, and this one happened to be the first grand slam of Moncada’s young career …
Moncada’s now hitting a productive .241/.343/.466 for 2018. There’s always going to be some swing and miss in his game, but he has drawn a walk in 13.2 percent of his plate appearances and hit for power. There’s also some reason to believe he has been unlucky this season.
At this point, we’ll turn to an advanced metric called expected weighted on-base average (xwOBA). xwOBA grows out of wOBA, which assigns proper value to every possible offensive event that happens while a batter is at the plate. Those proper valuations of singles, doubles, homers, walks, etc., distinguish wOBA from more traditional measures like AVG, OBP, and SLG. Also, for simplicity wOBA is scaled to look like OBP, which means that, say, .400 is elite and .290 is pretty poor. For instance, Babe Ruth is the all-time leader with a wOBA of .513.
All of that brings us back to xwOBA, which is an estimation of what a hitter’s wOBA should be based on things like exit velocity off the bat and launch angle. xwOBA attempts to strip away luck — bad or good — and defensive play from wOBA and identify a hitter’s baseline skill. It’s useful for getting an idea of how a hitter figures to perform in the near-term future. Basically, if a hitter’s xwOBA is significantly lower than his wOBA, he’s probably going to come back to earth at some point. On the other side of things, if a hitter’s xwOBA is quite a bit higher than his wOBA, then better days may be ahead.
In Moncada’s case, he came into Wednesday’s action with a wOBA of .314 and an xwOBA of .394. In other words, the ball has left Moncada’s bat in All-Star fashion, but the hits haven’t been falling for him. Maybe that’s starting to change? Whatever the case, Moncada is developing nicely and still looks like a future star.
Thames still owns April, Reds
Against Cincy on Wednesday, Brewers slugger Eric Thames did this to a pitched baseball …
All right. So Thames now has seven home runs, and he’s slashing .235/.328/.686 on the young season. Last year, Thames mashed 11 April dingers and put up an OPS of 1.286 for the month. So he’s accustomed to abusing this particular month on the calendar. As well, Thames went yard for the second successive day against the Reds. Oh, and he has now hit 12 home runs against the Reds in 19 career games.
Last season saw a gradual cooling off for Thames after the calendar flipped to May, but this year he’ll hope to avoid that. The good news? Still 17 more games against the Reds in 2018!
1,000 and counting for Altuve
Jose Altuve is the reigning AL MVP with good cause: He hits for average and power, he adds value on the bases, and he mans a key defensive position. That makes him one of the best players in all of baseball.
On Tuesday night, Altuve played the 1,000th game of his MLB career, which provided Brian McTaggart of MLB.com with reason enough to make some comparisons …
Actually, this undersells Altuve a bit, as he’s actually a career .316 hitter. Anyhow, he’s 27 years and 347 days old, and possibly before his 29th birthday he’ll be halfway to 3,000 hits. You never want to make any assumptions about far-off milestones, but Altuve’s speed, contact skills, ability to pin down a premium defensive position, durability, and general excellence at the plate all bode well for his aging process. In related matters, he’s also on his way to his fifth consecutive season of at least 200 hits. There’s a strong change Altuve will wind up very high on the all-time hits list by the time he’s done.
Also of note: He’s a career .313 hitter against Mike Leake of the Mariners, whom he’ll oppose on Wednesday night in Seattle.
- Yankees MGR Aaron Boone of moving the struggling Giancarlo Stanton down in the lineup.
- Our Matt Snyder of Dodgers CL Kenley Jansen.
- The Braves have signed Jose Bautista to a minor-league contract and .
- The Braves saw 1B Freddie Freeman depart after being struck in the same wrist that sidelined him last year.
- Diamondbacks RHP Taijuan Walker has a UCL injury, and .
- The Twins have placed CF Byron Buxton on the 10-day DL with migraines.
- The Dodgers placed LHP Rich Hill on the DL .
- MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reports that the Cardinals are expected to call up OF prospect Tyler O’Neill.
- The Braves have placed RHP Jose Ramirez on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation.
- Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez was carted off the field on Wednesday after apparently injuring his leg during warmups.
News by CBS Sports