Randy Wolf served up five homers to the Cubs yesterday, joining Justin Lehr as the only NL pitchers to allow five homers in a game during the past five seasons.
Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto both took him deep twice and Derrek Lee blasted his 300th career homer off Wolf, who has now allowed 15 long balls through 13 starts in the first season of a three-year, $30 million contract.
Afterward the 33-year-old southpaw was pretty tough on himself:
This is awful. It’s one of those times when you feel like you’ll wake up and it’s a bad dream. But it’s not. It’s reality. I have to deal with it and try to get better. I’m making a lot of mistakes out there and I’m not getting away with any of them. I’m better than that. I’ve just got to find a way to get better than that. I haven’t pitched well yet in my mind. It’s frustrating because I don’t feel any different than I did last year. The results definitely aren’t there. I’ve got to do something to get better results than I’m getting right now.
Wolf is now 4-6 with a 5.31 ERA and 49/39 K/BB ratio in 78 innings overall this season, which can’t make the Brewers feel good about owing him another $9.5 million in both 2011 and 2012 with a $10 million option or $1.5 million buyout for his age 36 season in 2013. Not quite Jeff Suppan territory yet, but he’s going in that direction and the Brewers may want to take a little break from signing non-elite, over-30 free agent starters.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
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 RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.