Joe Cowley of the Sun Times reports that the Chicago White Sox have “spent the last few days
trying desperately to pry Adam Dunn from the grasps of the Washington
Nationals.” Cowley’s source says Kenny Williams has offered “anyone and anything he has in the minor leagues
in a package,” but that Nat’s GM Mike Rizzo “is
acting like Dunn is Ryan Howard.”
The quasi-outraged Ryan Howard comparison makes me smile because, depending on how you measure such things, a really good argument can be made that Dunn has been more valuable a hitter than Howard over the past three or four years. No, I don’t think I’d rather have Dunn than Howard going forward, but it amazes me how often Dunn is undersold as a hitter. He’s really good.
That said, I hope Rizzo’s reluctance to trade Dunn is a function of the specific players coming back and not some overall hesitance to part with the guy. I’m one of the bigger Adam Dunn fans around, but given his
reported contract demands, it makes all the sense in the world to
trade him right now. Yes, losing his bat would hurt, but the Nats aren’t
scoring enough runs with him, so why not fail to score enough runs
without him while having a couple of prospects to comfort you?
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.