When you screw up with a seven game lead in the division, you’re colorful. When you do it during an extended swoon that has people wondering whether you can hold on to the lead, you get the raspberries:
There was no translation needed to comprehend the most unusual of sounds showered upon Manny Ramirez in the sixth inning Sunday afternoon:
Dodgers fans loudly voiced their displeasure after the wildly popular left fielder allowed Aramis Ramirez’s hit to roll past him to the wall for a triple that sparked a tiebreaking two-run outburst and gave the Chicago Cubs a 3-1 victory at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers’ poor play has been a team effort lately, but with Ramirez sitting at .254/.345/.431 since the break, you can bet that he’s going to get the lion’s share of the blame if L.A. somehow woofs the division away to the Rockies or Giants.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.