Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged to Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday that Chase Utley’s patellar tendinitis could remain with him for the remainder of his MLB career:
“I don’t know if it’s behind him,” the GM said. “Is he going to be a 30-homer, 110-RBI guy and hit .300? I don’t know that. I hope he is. That will help us. Whatever we get out of Chase is going to help. I know he’ll strive to get to the point where he can maximize his numbers and production.”
Utley missed the first 40 or so games of the 2011 season due to the knee issues and batted just .259 with a .769 OPS when he did finally return. The five-time All-Star showed up in the postseason, going 7-for-16 in the Phillies’ NLDS loss to the Cardinals, but it’s safe to wonder — at the age of 32 — whether his best years are already behind him. A nine-year veteran, he is owed $15 million in 2012 and another $15 million in 2013.
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.