$126 million man Jayson Werth went 0-for-5 while his Nationals lost 9-8 to the Braves on Sunday, dropping his average to .213. He’s followed up a .154 month of June by hitting .157 in his first 51 at-bats during July.
It was Werth’s seventh 0-for-5 this season. That’s tied for the most in the majors with Juan Pierre and Drew Stubbs.
Werth has played in 91 games for the Nationals, and he’s had multiple hits in just 15 of them.
For the season, only four players have had more games in which they’ve finished with one or no hits:
Dan Uggla (Atl) – 83
Cliff Pennington (Oak) – 77
Casey McGehee (Mil) – 77
Carlos Pena (ChC) – 77
Werth – 76
Mark Reynolds (Bal) – 76
Werth also has just 31 RBI despite batting third in more than half of his games. He’s on pace to finish the season with 53 RBI and 153 strikeouts, which would put him in some interesting territory. Here’s a list of the lowest RBI totals in 150-strikeout seasons:
1. Austin Jackson (Det, 2010) – 41 RBI, 170 K
2. Delino DeShields (Mon, 1991) – 51 RBI, 151 K
2. Mickey Tettleton (Bal, 1990) – 51 RBI, 160 K
4. Bo Jackson (KC, 1987) – 53 RBI, 158 K
5. Pete Incaviglia (Tex, 1988) – 54 RBI, 153 K
Werth almost surely will go on a little tear at some point and end the year with 60-70 RBI, but if not, he could end up with one of the more unique seasons in big-league history.
Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera, playing in his second game since being benched for a lack of hustle, hit a three-run home run to extend his team’s lead to 5-1 in the fourth inning on Wednesday afternoon. After putting a sweet swing on an Anibal Sanchez 2-1 slider, Herrera flipped his bat in grand fashion. It wasn’t quite as emphatic as Jose Bautista‘s from last year’s ALDS, but it was glorious nonetheless.
To the Tigers’ credit, Herrera’s bat flip didn’t result in any shouting or fighting or throwing intentionally at hitters. So that’s nice.
Herrera is now batting .327/.440/.461 with five home runs and 17 RBI on the year. The Phillies selected him in the Rule 5 draft from the Rangers ahead of the 2015 season and he’s proven to be the lifeblood of the offense thus far.
Someone on Reddit’s /r/baseball page linked to this New York Times article from June 1986.
Dave Kingman, then with the Athletics, was 37 years old and playing in what would be his final season. He was fined $3,500, which is a little over $7,600 in 2016 dollars, for sending a live rat in a pink box to a female reporter, Susan Fornoff of The Sacramento Bee. The rat wore a tag that said “my name is Sue.”
Kingman refused to apologize, saying, “I’ve pulled practical jokes on other people and I didn’t apologize to them.”
According to Fornoff, Kingman had said to her that women don’t belong in the clubhouse, and Kingman had been harassing her since she began covering the team in ’85. The Athletics didn’t keep Kingman around after the season, and he ended up hanging up the spikes.
Pete Dexter wrote in more detail about the incident at Deadspin a few years ago. It’s a good read.
I wasn’t familiar with this story as I was still more than two years from being born when it happened. Sports media has made strides towards being more inclusive of non-white cisgender straight men, especially compared to 30 years ago. But, of course, we’re still a long ways away from an ideal world in which everyone is treated equally and everyone has equal access. Some of the best baseball reporting and analysis these days is being done by women and it’s nice to see sites, especially FanGraphs recently, make a concerted effort towards diversification.
Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller continued to struggle on Tuesday, serving up six runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Pirates. His ERA, in 10 starts this season, stands at an unsightly 7.09 with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks in 45 2/3 innings.
The D-Backs acquired him from the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta along with pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade they’d most likely take back if they had the luxury.
Instead, GM Dave Stewart is considering optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Reno to figure things out, Jack Magruder reports for Today’s Knuckleball. Stewart said, “We want to get him on track the best way we can. We will figure it out and do what’s needed.”
Miller is currently slated to start against the Padres on Sunday, so the club has a few more days to consider what to do. Josh Collmenter will likely be activated over the weekend, which would create a convenient way to put him back on the roster and deal with Miller.
Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both extended their hitting streaks on Wednesday night against the Rockies, and both did it in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center off of Chad Bettis. After David Ortiz walked and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Bradley laced a single to left field. Bogaerts’ streak now stands at 18 games and Bradley’s is at 29. Bradley is tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. He trails Tris Speaker and Nomar Garciaparra at 30 and Dom DiMaggio at 34.
The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s action averaging 5.87 runs per game, the best mark in baseball. The major league average is 4.28. Bogaerts and Bradley, unsurprisingly, have been a big part of the offense’s success thus far.