In what is evidence of baseball being a funny game or the National League being way worse than the American League–or maybe both–Pat Burrell homered last night and is now 19-for-58 (.328) with four homers and three doubles for the Giants.
Burrell spent the first nine seasons of his career in the NL playing for the Phillies, posting an .852 OPS with an average of 30 homers and 95 RBIs per 150 games. He signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Rays last offseason, proceeded to hit .218 with 16 homers and a .672 OPS in 146 games, and was released last month.
Signed to a minor-league contract by San Francisco, he made a brief pit stop at Triple-A and quickly returned to the National League, where he’s currently sporting the highest OPS of his career while forcing his way into the Giants’ plans. In fact, if you simply pretend Burrell never set foot in the American League (something Rays fans would surely sign off on) here are his yearly OPS totals:
Burrell is earning the league minimum with the Giants, which is perhaps also evidence of life not being fair. Whatever the case, my advice for Hank Blalock is to sign with whichever NL team will have him.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.