St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

Matt Kemp is halfway to the 40-40 club after just 75 games


Matt Kemp stole his 20th base of the season last night, which along with 20 homers puts him halfway to joining the 40-homer, 40-steal club after just 75 games.

Jose Canseco was the first 40-40 player in 1988 and since then Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Alfonso Soriano have joined him in the club.

Kemp obviously has a long way to go, as getting another 20 homers and 20 steals in the remaining 87 games would be a major accomplishment for anyone, but he’s off to a historic start.

Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. did some digging and found that Kemp is just the ninth player to reach 20-20 by the midway point (81st game) of a season. Actually, he’s the eighth player, as Canseco did it twice and Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Alfonso Soriano, Eric Davis, and Ken Williams each did it once.

And Kemp still has another six games to add to his before-the-midway-point totals.

Joe Girardi is not a fan of Game 162 scheduling

Joe Girardi
Getty Images

The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.

Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:

It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.

Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”

He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”

Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”

One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.

Video: Ichiro Suzuki pitches an inning for the Marlins

Ichiro Suzuki
AP Photo

Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.

Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.

Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.