And the dude still went 4 for 5. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com:
He received an IV before the game. He had to excuse himself during the second inning to go vomit. He felt his head spinning every time he tried to swing a bat. He had to hunch over several times after running the bases.
And he gave a bunch of “doing what I can to help the ballclub” quotes afterward. So he’s a pro on the field and in the clubhouse despite his bodily fluids not wanting to stay where they’re supposed to.
I know there’s a hidden data problem at work here — we notice when things happen but don’t notice when they don’t happen –but I’m always amazed by these stories about athletes having great games with the flu. I read something once, can’t for the life of me remember where, where an athlete tried to explain a good night he had with the flu. His answer was some version of “the only thing that kept me from wanting to barf and die was focusing on what I was doing at the moment.” I don’t know if there’s anything to that. But it sort of sounds like how focusing on a TV show or something helps you forget when you’re laid up in bed with some bug.
Except, unlike us, athletes actually can do things besides watch “The Price is Right.”
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.