In the last post I said that Sabathia looked good. Which, sure, in the first inning he did. In the second inning, though, it got ugly. Sabathia gave up four runs. What’s worse: he did so while sitting between 88-90 miles per hour for the most part, which is not good. Towards the end of the inning he cranked a couple of 93s, but yowza.
Best plate appearance of the inning came in Jackie Bradley Jr.’s major league debut, in which he worked an eight pitch walk after going down 0-2 to Sabathia. Very nice discipline to lay off a couple of close pitches. Only bad part is that he hits a homer the next time he’s up, people will always say that he hit a homer in his first major league at bat. Which, while technically true, will obscure the truth of the matter because people still don’t think of walks as counting as much as other things. Bradley’s walk was probably the key to that inning, though.
Anyway: it’s now 4-0 in the second and I’m thinking hard about switching to the Nats game.
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.