After 20 years of nearly every single development in the circumstances in which baseball is played benefiting the hitters, they build, what, the second or third park that skews pitcher-friendly and someone complains:
Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman predicted to reporters Wednesday that hitting a home run at Marlins Park is so difficult that one day soon they will have to shorten the distance to the fences.
“If they don’t move the fences in after this year, I’d be surprised,” Berkman said after the Cardinals spoiled the Marlins’ ballpark unveiling by handing them a 4-1 loss. “And I’m going two years as the over-under on that.”
The poor dear.
Look, I think Marlins Park is going to play like Yellowstone Park too, but man, why don’t we give it more than one game before we jump to any conclusions? And why don’t you go ask your teammate Kyle Lohse how he felt about it? Because I have this feeling he was perfectly fine with the dimensions when Giancarlo Stanton was up to bat.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.