In light of the Carlos Gonzalez/Coors Field hate, Dave Krieger of the Denver Post says the following:
one thing for baseball experts to penalize Carlos Gonzalez in the
National League MVP race because he plays half his games at Coors Field.
It’s quite another not to reward Ubaldo Jimenez in the Cy Young race
for exactly the same reason . . . As the days of summer
dwindle down and the eastern experts handicap baseball’s awards, you can
count on two things: Coors Field will be prominently mentioned in the
MVP race, devaluing
CarGo’s numbers, though he’s contending for the Triple Crown. And it
will get no mention whatsoever in the Cy Young race. Instead, Jimenez’s
candidacy will be devalued by his failure to maintain the pace that had
him at 15-1 at the all-star break.
It’s a pretty fair point. Jimenez’s home/road splits should be acknowledged. Let’s acknowledge them:
On the road Jimenez has a 2.30 ERA and a WHIP of 1.052 (at home he’s a
at 3.35 and 1.263). His strikeout rates are pretty similar at home and
on the road. He actually walks fewer in Coors. He’s given up the same
number of home runs at home and on the road, but he has allowed 17 more
hits in two fewer home starts. It’s a big outfield there in Denver.
I haven’t analyzed the NL Cy Young race all that much yet, but my gut has me thinking Roy Halladay would be my choice. Let’s check his splits out:
Halladay has an identical road WHIP as Jimenez and a
higher ERA (2.72). He has thrived in Citizens Bank Park, however,
posting a 2.12 ERA and a 1.048 WHIP. He strikes out more guys and walks
fewer guys on the road. Halladay has five fewer road starts than home
starts but has allowed only one less home run on the road.
Halladay and Jimenez aren’t the only two names to consider, of
course. Adam Wainwright has been a beast. Mat Latos has been excellent,
though in far fewer innings than the others. Josh Johnson was at least
in the conversation until he was shut down the other day. Tim Hudson
should be acknowledged. It’s not a two man race.
If you put a gun to my head right now I’d probably still choose Roy Halladay, but Krieger is right: if you’re going to penalize Carlos Gonzalez for Coors Field in the MVP race, you have to at least acknowledge that Ubaldo has to pitch in the joint when you’re thinking Cy Young.
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.
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.