Fun little post-All-Star Game anecdote from FanHouse’s Josh Alper involving Jon Lester:
Jon Lester and Hanley Ramirez were once teammates in the Red Sox
minor league system but were on opposite sides of the All-Star Game on
Tuesday night. Lester retired Ramirez on a bouncer back to the mound and
after the game he was asked if he and Ramirez had ever gone out for
pizza and fantasized about being in the Midsummer Classic while they
were on their way up the baseball ladder.
It’s a silly question, but Lester didn’t have a particularly jokey
“I’d have a better chance of being struck by lightning than me and
him getting a pizza together,” Lester said. “You can take that for what
it’s worth. But there was no chance on God’s green earth that I was
getting a pizza with him.”
Lester hasn’t played with Ramirez for five years. If his response is that sharp now, imagine how he felt about old Hanley back in the day. Wowza.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.