UPDATE: Nava came up with the bases loaded again in the third inning, however he struck out. Too good to be true.
5:00 PM: If you aren’t watching this afternoon’s Phillies-Red Sox game, you just missed something pretty special. Daniel Nava, who was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday, connected for a grand slam off Joe Blanton in his first major league at-bat in the bottom of the second inning. In fact, it was on the very first pitch he saw.
Nava is the fourth player in major league history to hit a grand slam in his first at-bat in the big leagues. He’s the first to do it since Kevin Kouzmanoff on Sept. 2, 2006.
Nava became the 10th player in Red Sox history to hit a home run in his first major league
at-bat. The last (and only other) player to hit a grand slam in his first Red Sox at-bat was Rip Repulski on May 10, 1960.
Nava, 27, has a .342/.434/.545 batting line over four seasons in the minor leagues. If you’d like to learn more about the rookie outfielder’s incredible story, check out this piece by Tony Lee of NESN.com. He’s a real story to root for.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.