A guy on my Facebook feed who happens to be a Phillies fan wrote this as his status this morning:
37 days until Aces and catchers report!
Clever. But I gotta ask: is anyone sick of this rebop yet?
I know I sure am. I mean, I appreciate how excited Phillies fans are about 2011, but you’d think that they’d wait for something good to actually happen on a baseball field before they start crowing. Last I checked their hitters were made to look silly by the Giants and now they’re down one of the best of that bunch and plan on replacing him with a guy who got cut from his Winter Ball team. They watched the World Series at home just like 27 other teams did.
I think the Phillies will win the NL East and should probably win it easily. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that no one wins jack in January.
And yeah, I’m biased and a little bit envious of their pitching riches and I know that it doesn’t wear particularly well on a person. But neither does hubris.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
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 RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.