Yesterday a reader sent me an email noting that the Padres’ ten-game losing streak coincided perfectly with announcer Dick Enberg’s absence to cover the U.S. Open. I was tempted to dismiss this theory until I realized that I have never been in the same room as Dick Enberg and I had never won a major league baseball game either. Coincidence? Doubtful.
Thankfully, however, Padres fans can abandon their plans to kidnap Enberg and bring him back to California, because the Padres finally won a game without him. They beat the Dodgers 4-2, thanks in part to Nick Hundley, who was 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBI. Hundley, by the way, can’t be blamed for the streak. He’s 12 for 38 with two homers and seven RBI over his last 12 games.
Now it gets fun, though: two more against the Dodgers and than four (4)(IV) games against the Giants. All of which they’ll have to face without Dick Enberg. Oh, my!
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.