After losing right fielder Jason Heyward to a hamstring injury yesterday, the Braves had to remove another outfielder tonight against the Reds. Center fielder B.J. Upton had trouble reading a Todd Frazier line drive to center in the first inning. He dove forward to make the grab, but as the ball ricocheted off of his glove, his right knee dug into the Turner Field grass, creating a large divot. After a few minutes, Upton gingerly walked off the field with manager Fredi Gonzalez and a trainer due to a strained right abductor muscle, per David O’Brien. (For those, like me, not brushed up on anatomy terminology: the abductor muscle is located on the hip.)
Joey Terdoslavich came into the game playing left field, Justin Upton moved from left field to right field, and Reed Johnson moved from right field to center field.
Upton was not having a great season, bringing a .177/.266/.300 slash line into tonight’s game, but losing him is still a significant blow to the Braves, who are now dealing with a slew of injuries. They entered the night with a six-game lead over the second-place Nationals and a 7.5-game lead over the Phillies, but the Braves feel anything but comfortable going into the All-Star break.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.