Rob Neyer has kicked off what will be a 30-part series in which he attempts to divide the histories of every major league franchise into distinct
eras, with each era connected to a single player. He starts today with the most obvious ones: the Yankees and the Red Sox.
But how obvious are they really? For example, can any of you, without looking, define the Snuffy Stirnweiss era for the Yankees? And when was the Carl Yastrzemski era? Trick question! There wasn’t one. It went straight from Dick Radatz to Reggie Smith to Carlton Fisk to Wade Boggs. But before you get flustered about that, go read, because, at least in my opinion, this kind of historically assessment is what Neyer does best.
My only quibble: that Joe Pepitone didn’t get the 1965-69 era for the Yankees. Because I can’t think of the post-dynasty Yankees without thinking of Joe Pepitone.
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.