In the grand scheme of things, we know lineup order means little. It’s certainly more important that a manager have the right guys playing than have them in the proper order. Lineup decisions aren’t worth a tenth of all the ire they produce on the Internet and radio.
And, yet, once in a great while, those poor lineup decisions get exactly the results they deserve. For example, here is how the Royals have fared in all six of Chris Getz’s starts in the leadoff spot this season:
May 22 – Lost 3-1 to Houston
May 23 – Lost 5-4 to L.A. Angels
May 24 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
May 25 – Lost 7-0 to L.A. Angels
May 26 – Lost 5-2 to L.A. Angels
Aug. 13 – Lost 1-0 to Miami
That’s six games, all losses, with a total of nine runs scored. Getz went 4-for-21 with four walks between the six games, giving him a .320 OBP that slightly exceeds his career mark of .310.
Obviously, if Getz has to play, he should be batting ninth. And that’s usually where he bats in manager Ned Yost’s lineup. But not tonight, for some reason. Jarrod Dyson, who has better numbers against right-handers and is faster than Getz, hit ninth tonight. David Lough, the usual leadoff hitter against righties, hit fifth, apparently because he was needed there more than he was at the top.
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.