“I’m on pace for 100 RBIs, 20 home runs and 40 doubles. I think I’ll take that. If the critics don’t like that, I don’t really care … I’ve always said if you play six months, you’re going to have one bad month …”
— Jeff Francoeur, announcing that he intends to break established patterns and limit his bad months to one this season.
Yes, that was cheap. It’s just how I roll. But my Francoeur fixation aside, I like that he doesn’t give a rat’s patootie what people like me say about him. As I said back in spring training, it’s pretty impossible to have ire for the guy on a personal level. It’s really the people who try to pump him up as something he isn’t that get on my nerves.
And as crazy as it sounds coming from me, I want him to have a good second half. The “Jeff Francoeur: superstar!” stuff is annoying, but I’d like to see the “Jeff Francoeur: competent enough right fielder to hang around the league for many years on Reggie Sanders-style short-term, low money deals” dynamic take root.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.