After a day of dealing with Luke Scott and John Rocker it’s something of a palate-cleanser to talk about this stuff:
- Alabama native and resident Josh Willingham has been pitching in big-time to help the victims of last week’s tornadoes. His wife is back home on the ground helping out. Meanwhile, he has been collecting donations from teammates to help with recovery. The Athletics have added an additional $10,000 and the MLBPA is going to match up to $15,000 of whatever is raised;
- Meanwhile, Curtis Granderson has plopped down $50K to help supply bats to New York City public school baseball and softball teams. There is a serious need there, due to the fact that last year City Council banned metal and composite bats for safety purposes. Wood bats break and there isn’t enough money to go around to keep the teams supplied, so Granderson has stepped up.
While we’re singling out Willingham and Granderson here, it should be remembered that there are tons and tons of major leaguers doing this kind of stuff every day. Not all of this kind of work gets publicized like this, but there it is. It’s helpful to remember that whenever we hear about whatever numbskullery rules the day.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.