It was bombs away off Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, as the Rockies hit three homers off the Cy Young Award winner on their way to an 8-5 win.
The red-hot Carlos Gonzalez hit the first and last of those homers, with Wilin Rosario supplying a shot in the middle.
Kershaw had allowed just the two solo homers through seven innings when the Dodgers scored twice in the top of the eighth to take a 3-2 lead. That lengthy inning featured two pitching changes, but the Dodgers sent Kershaw back to the mound anyway. Unfortunately, the half-hour break might have done him in. A single, a sacrifice and another single tied the game at 3 before Gonzalez lined one over the fence in right field to make it 5-3 Colorado.
The Dodgers came back from there, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to let Kershaw off the hook. However, Jason Giambi, needing only a sac fly to end the game, hit a three-run homer off Scott Elbert in the bottom of the ninth.
Kershaw had never allowed three homers in a game before. He gave up two homers just twice on his way to winning Cy Young honors last season. One of those outings was likewise a loss to the Rockies.
Gonzalez has seven homers in nine games after going his first 12 games of the season without one. He joined Adam Dunn as the only players to hit two homers off Kershaw in one game.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.