Ervin Santana is making homerific history

7 Comments

Ervin Santana got knocked around by the Rays last night, coughing up four homers in five innings while falling to 0-4 with a 7.23 ERA on the season.

Santana has now allowed at least two home runs in each of his first four starts and a total of 10 long balls in those four outings.

According to Baseball-Reference.com’s awesome Play Index he’s just the ninth pitcher in baseball history to allow multiple homers in four straight starts to begin a season and Santana has tied Ed Whitson in 1987 as the only pitchers to begin the year by allowing 10 homers through four starts.

Even more remarkable is that Santana allowed a total of just 26 homers in 229 innings last season, including no more than two homers in any start, and has never allowed even 30 homers in a season.

Oh, and here’s a depressing stat for Angels fans: Santana has allowed 10 homers in 23.2 innings and the Angels’ lineup has combined for 11 homers in 149 innings.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.

The Rays gave Seth Smith a little league homer last night

MLB.com
3 Comments

I mentioned this in the recaps this morning, but I think it deserves it’s own special place. Get what went down in the second inning of last night’s Rays-O’s game:

Ryan Flaherty was on first with Seth Smith up to bat. Smith hit a single to center. Flaherty, who was running with the pitch, was making for third base. All-world defender Kevin Kiermaier tried to gun him down but threw wildly to third, causing Flaherty to break for home.

Pitcher Alex Cobb had the play backed up, however! He got the ball near the dugout. Flaherty scampered back to third and Cobb tried to throw him out. The ball hit Flaherty’s helmet, richocheting into left field, allowing both Flaherty and Smith — who had stopped at first and then stopped at second, like a kid at tee ball or something — to come around and score.

Watch:

 

I still think the Rays walking home the winning run on four pitches in the 11th inning was worse, but this looked worse.

Oh well: the Rays get the day off today and tomorrow, of course, is another day.