The final score was a modest 7-3, but Monday’s Rockies-Cubs game at Wrigley, won by Chicago, was the first in five years to include three multi-homer performances.
The Cubs’ Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez and the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez all went deep twice in the contest. Gonzalez led off the top of the first with his homer and later ended winning pitcher Matt Garza’s afternoon with another solo shot in the eighth.
Ramirez and Pena, despite batting back-to-back in the orders, never did go back-to-back in the game. Ramirez homered in the first and seventh, while Pena hit his in the fourth and fifth innings.
Today’s outcome was fueled by a modest breeze out to left at Wrigley Field. Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin, who had allowed a total of three runs in four starts this month, gave up three homers for the first time in his career.
The last such game with three multihomer guys took place on July 14, 2006, at Petco Park of all places. The Braves beat the Padres 15-12 in that one, with Adam LaRoche, Chipper Jones and Adrian Gonzalez all going deep twice.
The last game to have four different players hit multiple homers took place at a much more likely location, Coors Field, on Aug. 14, 1999. Dante Bichette, Todd Helton and Edgard Clemente all homered twice for the Rockies, while the Expos got two homers from Geoff Blum. The Rockies won that one 11-8.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.