The latest development in a wild day for the Nationals, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times reports that Brad Lidge will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with an abdominal wall strain.
No word yet on the severity of the injury, but Comak compares it to a sports hernia, which certainly doesn’t sound good. Ryan Perry, who was acquired from the Tigers in December, will be called up to take his place on the active roster. The 24-year-old right-hander has a 2.00 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio over nine innings this season with Triple-A Syracuse.
Nationals manager Davey Johnson has utilized a duel-closer approach with Drew Storen sidelined following elbow surgery, but now young fireballer Henry Rodriguez will have the job all to himself. The 25-year-old is 5-for-5 in save opportunities this season while posting a 10/6 K/BB ratio over over 8 1/3 scoreless innings. Lidge is 2-for-4 in save chances with 5.14 ERA and 7/7 K/BB ratio over seven innings, so Rodriguez was plenty deserving of the gig, anyway.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.