Another day, another pair of new heroes for the Diamondbacks.
Utilityman Geoff Blum knocked in three runs and rookie Wade Miley notched the win as the Diamondbacks beat the Rockies 10-7 on Monday.
One of GM Kevin Towers’ most baffling decisions last winter was to sign Blum to a two-year, $2.7 million contract and set up a third-base platoon of he and Melvin Mora. Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, both veterans got hurt early and Ryan Roberts shined as the replacement at third base, sending both Blum and Mora into obsolescence. But while Mora was released long ago, Blum was allowed to spend most of the year chilling on the disabled list. Activated on Sept. 1, he made his first start since returning today and drove in his third, fourth and fifth runs of the season.
Miley overcame a leadoff homer from Dexter Fowler and another solo shot from Mark Ellis to hold the Rockies to two runs in seven innings. This year’s Barry Enright, he’s now 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA, even though he’s sporting an ugly 1.61 WHIP after four starts.
The Rockies made this one interesting late, as both Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki homered off Micah Owings in the ninth. Tulo’s was a three-run shot that gave him his first career 100-RBI season. However, Bryan Shaw took over after that and got the final out to end the game.
The brightside for the Rockies was undoubtedly Fowler, who also had a double to go along with his two homers. Since returning from the minors on July 15, he’s hitting a remarkable .316/.406/.565 with three homers, 10 triples and 16 doubles in 193 at-bats.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.