Because of the long weekend and a lot of personal hubbub on my end in the past 24 hours, the stars just didn’t properly align for a full-blown Power Rankings this week. But, considering that all you people like to do is moan and/or cheer the rankings themselves rather than comment about the little blurbs, I figure this will get us through the week.
As always, last week’s rankings are in parenthesis.
THE BATMAN TEAMS (Awesome, and don’t you dare suggest otherwise)
1. Phillies (1)
2. Yankees (3)
3. Red Sox (2)
4. Brewers (4)
5. Braves (5)
THE CAPTAIN AMERICA TEAMS (Cool, dangerous, yet not without their vulnerabilities)
6. Tigers (7)
7. Rangers (6)
8. Diamondbacks (10)
9. Angels (9)
9. Rays (8)
THE SUPERMAN TEAMS (Big, popular and treated like they’re something special, but they really kind of suck and are boring)
11. Cardinals (12)
12. Giants (11)
THE GREEN LANTERN TEAMS (At various times impressive but ultimately quite forgettable and, frankly, interchangeable)
13. Indians (16)
14. White Sox (15)
15. Blue Jays (14)
16. Reds (13)
THE JOKER TEAMS (So much in wasted resources and talents. And for what? Evil ends.)
17. Dodgers (17)
18. Mets (19)
THE FLASH TEAMS (interesting at times, but really, what’s the point?)
19. Rockies (18)
20. Nationals (20)
21. Athletics (23)
22. Pirates (21)
THE CYPHER TEAMS (basically powerless, poorly conceived)
23. Marlins (24)
24. Cubs (27)
25. Padres (22)
THE AQUAMAN TEAMS (utterly useless)
26. Royals (26)
27. Mariners (25)
28. Twins (28)
29. Orioles (29)
30. Astros (30)
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.
Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos struck out in a big spot for the Tigers during Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Phillies. Trailing 7-5 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Castellanos had a full count with runners on first and second base facing reliever Hector Neris.
Castellanos had just gotten set in the batter’s box when he watched Neris sneak in an 87 MPH splitter for strike three to end the inning. Castellanos wanted home plate umpire Brian Gorman to intervene because of the quick-pitch, but he didn’t.
Here’s what Castellanos said after the game, via Catherine Slonksnis of Bless You Boys:
“He did. That’s the first time I’ve been quick-pitched, probably since A ball,” Castellanos said, visibly frustrated after the game. “It is what it is. I was frustrated that it happened. Usually, it’s been attempted, but it’s always been stopped. Usually (the umpires) give the hitter that courtesy, but just, learn, and move on.”
And here’s the MLB.com video.
The Tigers also took issue with Gorman for what they feel was unequal treatment in giving batters time out. The Phillies were granted time — some late, as Slonksnis notes — but the Tigers weren’t afforded the same luxury. Mike Aviles also believes he was quick-pitched in the fifth inning.
The Tigers lost the game 8-5 but won the series, taking two out of three from the Phillies. Manager Brad Ausmus missed the game due to his mother’s death, so bench coach Gene Lamont took the role on Wednesday afternoon. Ausmus is also expected to miss Friday’s game for his daughter’s graduation.
The Rockies are moving lefty Jorge De La Rosa to the bullpen for the time being, manager Walt Weiss announced on Wednesday, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Chris Rusin will take De La Rosa’s spot in the starting rotation.
De La Rosa was recently activated from the disabled list after recovering from a strained left groin. He was hit hard in Tuesday’s start, yielding seven runs on nine hits and three walks with one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings against the Red Sox. De La Rosa now stands with an 11.41 ERA in six starts this season.
Rusin, 29, has a 3.93 ERA with a 30/11 K/BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings across four starts and five relief appearances this year.
Rangers rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara crushed the longest home run of the season to date, according to Statcast, with a 491-foot shot to the upper deck in right field against the Angels on Wednesday afternoon. With the bases empty and no outs in the second inning, Angels lefty Hector Santiago threw a 1-1 off-speed pitch, which did not fool Mazara in the slightest.
Statcast measured it at 491 feet. Giancarlo Stanton previously had the longest home run at 475 feet off of Hector Neris on May 6. Franklin Gutierrez hit a 491-foot shot on Saturday against Reds pitcher John Lamb.
Mazara entered the afternoon hitting a terrific .317/.364/.483 with seven home runs and 18 RBI in 162 plate appearances.