The unforeseen consqeunce of the rise of no-hitters and perfect games throughout baseball; the simultaneous rise of celebration-related injuries.
Two weeks after Mets reliever Ramon Ramirez was hurt following Johan Santana’s no-hitter, Aubrey Huff has joined him on the disabled list with a knee injury sustained celebrating Matt Cain’s perfect game Wednesday night.
An MRI on Huff’s knee Thursday revealed a sprained right knee that was expected to keep him out at least several days. As poorly as he’s hitting, there wasn’t much reason for the Giants to play a man short while waiting on his return. Huff is hitting just .155 with one homer and five RBI in 58 at-bats this season.
Called up in his place was veteran outfielder Justin Christian, who was hitting .364/.432/.540 in 250 at-bats for Triple-A Fresno. The Giants bypassed the recently demoted Brett Pill, suggesting that they’ll commit to Brandon Belt at first base for at least the next couple of weeks. After going nearly 2 1/2 months without one, Belt has homered in three straight games.
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.