Seven RBI enough for Joe Mauer as Twins win 19-1

3 Comments

Joe Mauer turned in his fourth career five-hit game and drove in a personal-best seven runs as the Twins steamrolled the Royals 19-1 on Monday night.
The reigning AL MVP was 5-for-5 with a three-run homer and a double before being removed for a pinch-hitter with a runner on in the eighth. Manager Ron Gardenhire offered him the chance to hit and go for a 6-for-6 night, but Mauer opted out. Drew Butera replaced him and promptly lined into a double play.
Mauer topped his previous high of six RBI, which he established in a 20-1 win over the White Sox on May 21, 2009.
Also notable from the game was that Danny Valencia, who didn’t have a homer in the majors or minors this season, went 4-for-4 with a grand slam and a walk. He entered the game with four extra-base hits — all doubles — and five RBI in 81 at-bats for the Twins.
He’s the first Twin ever to hit a grand slam for his first homer.
The Royals got their lone run on a Wilson Betemit double in the ninth to narrowly avoid their worst shutout loss ever. It wouldn’t have been the biggest margin of victory this season either way, though. The Brewers beat the Pirates 20-0 back on April 22.
The 18-run deficit was the Royals’ biggest since they lost to the A’s 21-3 on June 18, 2000.

Curtis Granderson is close to making history

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Curtis Granderson #3 of the New York Mets connects on a three-run home run in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
1 Comment

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 homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.

MLB teams pay tribute to José Fernández’s memory

2 Comments

Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.

Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:

Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:

The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:

Rest in peace, Fernández.