Baiting Philly fans is, like, 40% of my job description, but I could jaw at ’em for a month and not do it quite as elegantly as Davey Johnson did after yesterday’s Nats-Phillies game:
“You gotta sit back down,” chuckling Nats Manager Davey Johnson said of all those invading fans who had to flop back in their seats en masse when Ian Desmond hit the most difficult kind of comeback homer that’s possible in baseball — down to your last strike, nobody on base.
That comes from Tom Boswell’s latest column about the weekend series in Washington in which all of the Phillies fans that come down and fill the park left sad after two of the three games. Oh, and Johnson added this, which probably makes Boston fans a bit sad too:
“Kind of reminded me a little of ’86 [in the World Series] when the Red Sox were up on the front step [to celebrate] and then they started creeping back.”
Davey Johnson: master troll. As if I didn’t love him already.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.