Ivan Rodriguez becomes fifth player in baseball history with 300 home runs as a catcher

1 Comment

Last night Ivan Rodriguez hit his 307th career homer, 300 of which have come while catching. Rodriguez joins Hall of Famers Mike Piazza, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Bench, and Yogi Berra as the only players in baseball history to amass 300 homers while catching.
And for all the people freaking out about Alex Rodriguez being “stuck” on 599 homers, Ivan Rodriguez went three months, 51 games, and 192 plate appearances between homers.
Rodriguez has been terrible after a strong start to the season, hitting .178 with a .441 OPS in 33 games since mid-June to bring his overall season line down to a career-worst .268/.294/.358. However, because the Nationals signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract this offseason he’ll be back in 2011, although perhaps in more of a backup/mentor role to newly acquired 22-year-old catching prospect Wilson Ramos.
Rodriguez is 218 hits away from 3,000 and seems likely to get a chance to stick around long enough to reach that mark even if his pace has slowed considerably at this point and he’s no longer really a starting-caliber backstop at age 38. And then he’ll be in Cooperstown five years after whenever he decides to retire.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
1 Comment

Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.