Angel Pagan hit an inside-the-park homer in the fourth inning of last night’s Mets-Nats game, which you can see here. Then, in the fifth, he started off a triple play, which you can see here.
Before I say anything else, let me say this: great job by Pagan for (a) running like a mofo out of the box on the inside-the-parker; and (b) making a great catch on the triple play. What I’m about to say isn’t meant to take anything away from him.
But I’ll say it anyway: boo to Nyjer Morgan for misjudging the fly that turned into the home run. If he hadn’t and, if instead, he had played the carom, then Pagan would have had a double. I’ve written before that I don’t, like many people, find inside-the-park home runs to be the most exciting play in baseball because they are so often the product of mistakes by the outfielders and many times aren’t even close plays (give me a clean triple any day). This one was still exciting — there was a play at the plate at least — but if Nyjer doesn’t misplay that ball, there’s no homer.
Also, boo to second base umpire Bob Davidson for not making anything close to a definitive call on Pagan’s catch that kicked off the triple play, thereby confusing the base runners. Yes, it’s the runners’ responsibility to make double damn sure that the ball drops before advancing, but on plays that close the ump has to make a better call than that.
And Mets fans: please, hold your “stop hating on the Mets” rebop. I’m not hating on them. Like I said, great plays by Pagan. But that doesn’t mean that Morgan and Davidson didn’t screw up.
The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.
Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.
Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.