I’m not a weather geek, buy my old man worked for the National Weather Service for 40 years, so I can speak their language. And I’ve only been to San Diego a couple of times, but my brother lives there, so I can speak that language a little bit too. So, of course, when there is a story that combines baseball, weather and San Diego, I’m gonna link it. It’s all about that “marine layer” those people out there go on about and how it impacts offense at Petco Park.
The afternoon/evening differences are something I’ve seen first hand. The last time I went to Petco there was a minor league game there — Lake Elsinore vs. I have no idea — and the ball was flying out of that place. A couple hours later the darkness fell, the marine layer rolled in and the Padres and Blue Jays couldn’t get anything to carry at all. And it wasn’t for a lack of square contact. Stuff just got knocked the hell down.
It’s a neat place to watch a baseball game for a lot of reasons, but the weather dynamics, such as they are, are one of the cooler reasons. At least if you’re a faux-weather/baseball/San Diego geek.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.