David Ross could have been retired twice in his second-inning at-bat against Kyle Lohse on Friday. Fortunately for him, he got a couple of breaks before turning a changeup into a two-run homer, giving the Braves an early 2-0 lead over the Cardinals.
Lohse’s 1-1 pitch to Ross was a fastball popped up down the first-base line. Allen Craig made his way towards the stands, only to pull up a little short and alligator arm the ball in the end. Had he been more aggressive, he may well have caught it.
That made it 1-2. Lohse then threw a changeup than Ross swung through, but the umpire had called time, apparently at Ross’s request. Ross, not knowing if it would be granted, stayed in the box and swung at the pitch. He got the good news afterwards.
Lohse then went right back to the changeup for some reason. It proved to be a huge mistake, as Ross deposited it over the wall in left-center.
This is more significant for basketball fans than baseball fans, but Magic Johnson is taking over basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers. Dan Feldman over at PBT has the full story on that.
For our purposes, you probably know that Johnson is part of the Dodgers ownership group. Anthony McCullough of the L.A. Times got comment from the Dodgers, saying that despite his new full-time job, his status with the Dodgers will be unchanged:
Maybe I’m alone in this, but I’m not entirely certain what Magic does with the Lakers, so the first clause in Kasten’s comment may be doing most of the heavy lifting here.
Jon Heyman reports that the Nationals are closing in on a deal with catcher Matt Wieters. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that it’s a two-year deal. UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is for two years, at $21 million. There is an opt-out for him after year one. He will get $10 million in 2017 and, if he returns in 2018, he’ll get $11 million.
Wieters was not expected to go this long without signing, but his market, which many thought would be robust, never materialized. The Nats had been rumored to be interested for months, but they were apparently waiting to swoop in late and get what one presumes will be a bargain.
Wieters, 30, finished last season hitting .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 464 plate appearances. The Nationals currently have Derek Norris and Jose Lobaton, so who falls where in the catcher fight in Washington is unclear, but one presumes that Wieters getting a two-year deal puts him at the top of the depth chart.