Fresh off his new one-year deal and retirement announcement, the Nationals’ Davey Johnson claimed 23 of the 32 first-place votes to win his first National League Manager of the Year award on Tuesday.
Johnson also won the American League award with the Orioles in 1997. He’s the first Expos/Nationals manager to win the award since Felipe Alou in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Johnson’s Nationals won 98 games in his first year of the helm, 18 more than in 2011. The team lost the NLDS in five games to the Cardinals.
The Reds’ Dusty Baker finished second to Johnson, claiming five first-place votes. The Giants’ Bruce Bochy got four first-place votes and finished in third place.
According to the BBWAA, Johnson joins Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland and Lou Piniella as the only managers to win the award in both leagues.
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.