We get it. Not everybody is into the Home Run Derby. But some of you are and that’s totally fine. We’re here if you want to talk (or complain) about it.
Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss the festivities at Citi Field this evening. Below you’ll find the eight participants for this year’s derby.
David Wright (NL Captain) – 13 home runs this season
Michael Cuddyer – 16 home runs this season
Bryce Harper – 13 home runs this season
Pedro Alvarez – 24 home runs this season
Robinson Cano (AL Captain) – 21 home runs this season
Prince Fielder (defending champion) – 16 home runs this season
Chris Davis – 37 home runs this season
Yoenis Cespedes – 15 home runs this season
In Matthew’s preview earlier today, he pegged Prince Fielder as the favorite. And as a two-time winner, he probably should be. O’s slugger Chris Davis obviously has a ton of hype coming into tonight’s event, but I’m hoping to see Bryce Harper put on a show.
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.