I’ve offered several kudos to Jeff Francoeur for having a better-than-expected season this year. But given that I’ve still offered approximately 598 more slams than kudos in his career, I still have some work to do. So it’s definitely appropriate for me to note that Francoeur shot a dude down cold from right field yesterday afternoon.
It was Michael Taylor at the plate. Here’s the play. Bang, bang, he’s dead.
I don’t mean this as a slight at Francoeur, but really, the reason 99% of right fielders don’t make that play has just as much to do with the fact that they’d think twice about it as it has to do with their arm. Francoeur has a fabulous arm, of course, but what really made that play is that it just never occurred to him that he’s not supposed to be able to throw a young guy out on that play. A guy not without at least a little speed (Taylor has stolen bases in the double digits several times in the minors).
My credit-where-it-is-due tour of the Jeff Francoeur Experience will continue unless and until he starts doing dumb stuff again. But there really hasn’t been any of that to speak of this year.
Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.
As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.
Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.
After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.