Ramon Ramirez expected to receive a harsher punishment for his part in Friday night’s Giants-Phillies scuffle, calling his undisclosed fine “a surprise” because “I was waiting for a suspension.”
Instead the only player suspended by MLB was Shane Victorino, who’s appealing his three-game punishment that the commissioner’s office termed “aggressive actions [that] prolonged the bench-clearing incident between the clubs.”
Ramirez joined catcher Eli Whiteside and Phillies second baseman Placido Polanco is receiving fines. Whiteside told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he was also surprised to avoid a suspension, but added that “I didn’t feel I did anything wrong” and “I just went out there to protect my pitcher.”
He did admit that his attempt to tackle the charging Polanco “may have looked a little crazy jumping around out there … but my intention was to protect Ramon.” And the reason Ramon needed protecting was that he started the whole ruckus by throwing at Victorino, which is why Ramirez’s lack of a suspension is the most surprising aspect of the discipline handed down.
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.