Brendan Donnelly has announced his retirement, ending what was a remarkable career for someone who didn’t reach the majors for the first time until age 30 and was never allowed to join the MLB players’ association.
Donnelly spent a decade in the minors pitching for six different organizations–and was a spring training replacement player during the 1994/1995 strike–before the Angels finally gave him a shot in 2002.
He thrived immediately, posting a 2.17 ERA in 50 innings to emerge as a key late-inning reliever on a World Series-winning team and then followed it up with a 1.58 ERA in 74 innings the next season while making the All-Star team with a ridiculous 0.38 first-half ERA.
Donnelly and his trademark goggles remained effective into his mid-30s and even showed flashes of his old dominant self for a brief stint with the Marlins as a 37-year-old in 2007, but injuries set him back numerous times and combined with the extremely late start to equal just 385 career innings (or 259 fewer than he threw in the minors).
Pirates first baseman John Jaso hit for the cycle on Wednesday night against the Cubs, becoming the first Pirate to do so since Daryl Ward against the Cardinals on May 26, 2004. It’s the third cycle of the 2016 season, as Jaso joins Freddie Freeman and Rajai Davis.
Jaso singled in the second inning for his first hit. He smashed a three-run homer in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. He hit an RBI double in the fifth to push the Cubs’ lead to 5-1. Then, in the seventh, Jaso hit an RBI triple to make it an 8-4 game.
Coming into Wednesday night, Jaso was hitting an adequate .259/.342/.384 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 416 plate appearances. He’s been limited mostly to right-handed pitching as the Pirates have used David Freese and Josh Bell at the position as well.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman extended his hitting streak to 30 games with a single to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s win against the Phillies. Prior to that at-bat, he had grounded out, been hit by a pitch, and walked.
Freeman entered Wednesday night batting .382/.477/.673 with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 27 RBI, and 24 runs scored over his past 29 games. Though his numbers are lacking compared to National League MVP Award favorite Kris Bryant, Freeman will get some top-five votes. On the season, he entered Wednesday hitting .307/.404/.576 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, and 99 runs scored in 673 plate appearances.
Freeman’s 30-game hitting streak is the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He has also reached base safely in 46 consecutive games.