– Boston’s Josh Beckett will make his second straight start against the
Braves after hurling his first shutout as a member of the Red Sox on
Sunday. He’s gone four of his last six starts without allowing an
earned run, lowering his ERA from 5.85 to 3.74 in the process. The
Braves will turn to Jair Jurrjens, who is 0-3 despite a solid 3.80 ERA
this month. Jurrjens ranks sixth in the NL in ERA, but he has just a
5-5 record to show for it.
– Matt Cain will attempt to become the NL’s first 10-game winner in
the lone intraleague contest of the night when he takes on the Brewers.
Starting for Milwaukee will be Yovani Gallardo, who has given up more
than three earned runs just twice this season. The Giants have won each
of Cain’s last nine starts, and if they prevail again tonight, they’ll
be just the third NL team to reach 40 wins. They’re 39-32, while the
Brewers are 38-34.
– Will a series against the Rockies pull Matt Holliday out of his
latest slump? Holliday, who has no homers and just one RBI in his last
17 games, will be facing his former team for the first time tonight.
Unfortunately, the series will take place in Oakland, rather than at
Coors Field. Holliday has hit .248/.355/.421 with four homers in 34
games at the Coliseum this year.
Game of the Night
N.Y. Yankees vs. N.Y. Mets – Sure, it’s Yankees-Mets, but the best
reason to watch tonight’s game is to see how CC Sabathia performs after
leaving his start Sunday in the second inning with biceps tightness.
Sabathia didn’t pitch during the first series between the two teams,
when the Yankees took two out of three. Neither did Mike Pelfrey, who
will start for the Mets tonight. Pelfrey has struggled some after a
strong May, though his 7.08 ERA during June is largely the result of
one awful outing against the Pirates. He’s 5-2 with a 4.74 ERA for the
season. Sabathia is 6-4 with a 3.71 ERA.
It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:
In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.
Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.
Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.
The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.
The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.
Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.