* This isn’t really Quote of the Day material, but when asked yesterday
why the Rangers are moving Derek Holland back to the bullpen manager
Ron Washington said:
“We know he can pitch out of the bullpen very, very effectively.” Maybe
it’s just me, but the combination of “we know” and “very, very” is
amusing about a guy who’s made a grand total of 12 relief appearances
in his entire professional career and has a 5.40 ERA as a big-league
* Jamie McOwen of the Mariners’ high Single-A team extended his hitting streak to 44 games last night with a broken-bat single in the eighth inning. McOwen, who was involved in that crazy 33-18 game
last month, now has the longest minor-league hitting streak since Roman
Mejias hit safely in 55 straight games in 1954. McOwen is batting .353
after hitting just .263 for the same team last year.
* The latest plan for Raul Ibanez involves coming off the disabled list Friday and starting the All-Star game Tuesday.
* Justin Morneau announced yesterday
that he will not defend his Home Run Derby crown, although ESPN and
most fans probably “remember” Josh Hamilton winning the contest last
* Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star is not a big fan of proposing to your girlfriend at a baseball game, likening it to “wearing acid-washed jeans.”
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.