Phillies’ leadoff hitters are batting just .233 with a .283 on-base percentage this season, so manager Charlie Manuel is trying something different tonight against the Brewers.
Per CSNPhilly.com, Michael Young will bat leadoff tonight for the first time since 2004. The 36-year-old has made 242 starts out of the leadoff spot during his career, but all of them were during his first four full seasons in the big leagues.
Young only has 11 extra-base hits through 53 games this season, but he has been more patient than usual, walking at a rate of 11.6 percent while swinging just 41 percent of the time. He has a 6.7 percent walk rate for his career and has never topped 7.9 percent (2009) in a season. Who knows if he’ll keep it up, but the increased patience is welcome development given that he’s no longer driving the ball like he used to.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.