Brian McCann big again with bases loaded

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Brian McCann didn’t start Wednesday’s game against the Astros, but he did finish it, delivering a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning to expand Atlanta’s lead from two runs to six runs in the Braves’ 8-2 win.
It was the seventh career slam for McCann, who is one of the best in baseball with the sacks jacked. He’s one of eight active major leaguers to slug at least .700 with the bases loaded (minimum 50 plate appearances):
Jason Kubel – .403/.387/.839, 7 HR, 77 RBI in 62 AB
Albert Pujols – .395/.382/.798, 11 HR, 152 RBI in 114 AB
Travis Hafner – .289/.354/.776, 10 HR, 90 RBI in 76 AB
Alex Rodriguez – .353/.402/.720, 21 HR, 242 RBI in 207 AB
Brian McCann – .360/.389/.709, 7 HR, 97 RBI in 86 AB
Matt Holliday – .386/.418/.705, 4 HR, 93 RBI in 88 AB
Matt Stairs – .345/.401/.703, 12 HR, 162 RBI in 145 AB
Manny Ramirez – .332/.379/.702, 21 HR, 252 RBI in 235 AB
David Ortiz – .359/.374/.697, 9 HR, 163 RBI in 145 AB
Ryan Braun – .354/.365/.688, 3 HR, 49 RBI in 48 AB
Carlos Pena – .326/.426/.686, 7 HR, 107 RBI in 86 AB
OK, so he’s no Jason Kubel. Kubel’s slugging percentage ranks third over the 37 years of data provided by Tops on that list are John Milner (.875 in 48 AB) and Chris Hoiles (.842 in 57 AB).

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.