Jimmy Rollins was pulled from Thursday’s game against the Mets for not hustling on an infield pop-up in the sixth inning. The veteran shortstop was involved in a similar incident two weeks ago when he failed to run out a ground ball, so Manuel decided to send a message by benching him. However, it appears that Rollins has served his penance, as he was back in the starting lineup tonight against the Braves.
According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Rollins and Manuel had a 10-minute meeting this afternoon to clear the air on the situation.
“It was a good talk,” Rollins said. “You break the rules, you get punished. Plain and simple.”
For his part, Manuel said that he intended to have Rollins in the lineup before the meeting. Still, he appreciated Rollins taking the initiative.
“He apologized,” Manuel said. “He walked in and manned-up.”
“I thought about sitting him,” Manuel said. “But I can always sit him. I can do what I want because I’m the manager. I think we need him in our lineup because he’s a big part of our team. If it comes up again, I’ll do something about it.”
Rollins and Manuel still have a difference of philosophy on the subject, which you can read in full in Salisbury’s story, but I can’t help but think that this hustling thing wouldn’t be getting as much attention if the Phillies were in playoff contention and Rollins wasn’t hitting in the .240’s.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.