Bronson Arroyo allowed two runs in a complete-game win over the Cardinals yesterday, holding Albert Pujols to 0-for-3 with a walk, and afterward said the reigning MVP looks “uncomfortable” at the plate.
Right now, Albert looks a little bit more uncomfortable at the plate than you’re used to seeing. Even that being said, you still have to make great pitches to get him out. I don’t think anything is wrong with him physically.
Watching him this series I thought he was a little quick. I think a lot of offspeed stuff was getting him out. Maybe he doesn’t have as good a pitch recognition right now that you expect. But we’ve seen that in the past. Guys have struck him out twice in a game on balls off the plate. Then you see him a month later and he’s killing everything. He goes through funks like everybody else.
Arroyo may be right, as Pujols is just 14-for-55 (.255) with one homer in 15 games this month. On the other hand, even while slumping he has an OPS above .800 and, more importantly, YOU DON’T TUG ON SUPERMAN’S CAPE.
Arroyo really didn’t say anything bad, but the Reds play the Cardinals another nine times this season and giving Pujols any extra motivation sounds like a horrendous idea. As is he’s hit .308 with a .410 on-base percentage and .577 slugging percentage 61 plate appearances versus Arroyo, striking out just three times.
Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.
Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.
The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.
If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.
If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.
Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.
Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.
It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.