I didn’t mention this in ATH because I was more interested in the origin of Dan Uggla’s last name, but it’s worth noting that Dodgers prospect Jerry Sands made his major league debut last night and it was good.
Sands had a double in the first inning that may have scored a faster man than James Loney, who was on first at the time. He drove in his first run with a sac fly in the third. The next inning he lost a ball in the lights momentarily but recovered nicely and made the catch. By then the Dodger Stadium crowd was chanting “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” There hasn’t been a ton to cheer about in that ballpark this season. You could tell they were happy to have a palate cleanser like this.
Sands struck out in his other two at-bats, but that’s OK. It was a good debut. And as he represents an upgrade in talent over Tony Gwynn Jr., the left field job is likely his if his production comes close to meeting that talent.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.