* Manny Ramirez hit career homer No. 537 last night
to pass Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the all-time list. Ramirez is
now 15-for-47 (.319) with four homers in 14 games since returning from
suspension and the Dodgers are 28-12 when he’s in the starting lineup.
* Lou Piniella and Milton Bradley had their private coaching session
yesterday, and when asked afterward “how it went” Bradley replied: “It
went. That’s all I care to elaborate.” Piniella was slightly more
forthcoming, saying: “It went well. He was receptive to it and we
didn’t make many radical changes at all. We talked about some things
that felt comfortable.”
* Eddie Guardado is five outings away
from becoming just the 21st pitcher in baseball history to appear in
900 games. Trevor Hoffman (958) and David Weathers (932) are the only
active pitchers ahead of him, although it’s worth noting that 112
different active pitchers have faced more batters than Guardado’s total
* With the Nationals falling 40 games below .500 last night, Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times puts their feat in the context of baseball’s long history of horrendous teams.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.