After a hot streak to begin the month of August, Braves outfielder B.J. Upton had fallen into another slump again, hitting just .100 in his last 44 plate appearances entering tonight’s game against the Marlins. Upton was on fire all night against Marlins starter Jacob Turner and the bullpen, though, knocking four hits including a game-tying two-run home run in the sixth inning and a walk-off RBI single off of reliever Ryan Webb in the 11th.
Because of the clutch hitting, FanGraphs credited him with .758 Win Percent Added, a Sabermetric statistic that tells you how much a player’s contributed to a team’s chance of winning. In this case, Upton was responsible for about 76 percent. Per Baseball Reference, Upton’s performance is the 11th-most valuable of the season.
Upton also boosted his batting average to .195, the highest it has been since August 9. He hasn’t been over the Mendoza line at any point during the season.
Chris Johnson also went 4-for-6 on the night, increasing his batting average from .326 to .331, retaking the batting title lead from Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.