Just in case you thought Ozzie Guillen was the only member of the White Sox’s coaching staff who likes giving expletive-filled quotes, here’s pitching coach Don Cooper on Jake Peavy and the rest of his staff struggling:
You can talk about a whole lot of stuff–mechanics, this and that, and the other things–but it’s time to get people out and try to figure a way to help us win games by fighting and clawing.
I can say I love to have low pitch counts, be in the seventh inning with 75 pitches. I don’t give a [bleep] what our pitch count is right now. I want you to go out and give us a chance to win the [bleep]ing game. If that’s five innings like John Danks did Saturday, it’s five innings. If it’s like the time before where Danks gave us eight, we won both games. We need to fight and claw. That’s what’s going on.
Cooper obviously knows far more about pitching than I ever will and has generally done a very good job with the White Sox, but I’m amused by the notion that, for example, Peavy’s struggles aren’t due to “a whole lot of stuff” like “mechanics” and are instead because he’s not “fighting and clawing” enough.
Also, just generally speaking my experience is that it’s never a good sign when someone says “this and that, and the other things.” On the other hand, Cooper is definitely right to single out John Danks as a positive, because he’s 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA and the rest of the White Sox’s pitching staff is 7-15 with a 5.46 ERA.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.