After his latest monster game last night Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is now hitting .301 with 32 homers and 114 RBIs on the season. He also brings an added dimension offensively that few first basemen can match, stealing a team-high 14 bases.
I was curious about how rare it is for a first baseman to hit .300 with 30-plus homers, 100-plus RBIs, and double-digit steals. Here’s the full list during the past 40 years (since 1974):
Jeff Bagwell 4 times
Albert Pujols 3
Andres Galarraga 2
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT 1
Joey Votto 1
Derrek Lee 1
Mo Vaughn 1
First things first: Yes, that’s the same Mo Vaughn. He stole 11 bases in his MVP-winning 1995 season … and never stole more than four bases in any other season.
Overall during the past 40 seasons six different first basemen have hit .300-30-100 with double-digit steals and they’ve done it a total of 12 times, led by Jeff Bagwell’s four seasons of .300-30-100-10. If he can keep his batting average above .300 for the next two weeks Goldschmidt would become the seventh first baseman in the club since 1974.
Blue Jays reliever Brett Cecil has had a rough start to the 2016 season. The lefty leads the majors in losses with five. With that, he carries an ugly 5.59 ERA in 9 2/3 innings. Cecil entered the season with a rather lengthy consecutive scoreless innings streak, but Jays fans seem to have short memories as the home crowd has directed boos at Cecil.
TSN’s Scott MacArthur caught up with Cecil about the booing.
Struggling early isn’t anything new to Cecil. He rode a 5.96 ERA through June 21 last year, the final time in 2015 he would yield earned runs. From his next appearance on June 24 through the end of the regular season, he posted a 44/4 K/BB ratio over 31 2/3 innings. It would behoove Jays fans to show some more patience with the lefty as Cecil could easily turn things around as he did last season.
Diamondbacks right fielder Brandon Drury made a fantastic catch in foul territory to retire Martin Prado in the bottom of the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game in Miami. The ball was hit to shallow right field and Drury reached over the low wall before toppling over.
A fan standing nearby figured it’s the perfect time for a selfie. He stood in front of Drury while the ballplayer picked himself up off the concrete. The fan swung his phone around waggled a peace sign in front of the camera and snapped a photo.
“Selfie culture” is too often assailed by people who long ago fell out of touch. This fan, however, showed no concern for Drury’s well-being and was focused only on getting the selfie. Drury, for all this fan knew, could’ve broken a bone or suffered a concussion. Not cool.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton really likes May 4. May the fourth is “Star Wars Day” for the obvious, punny reason.
While he was doing his normal workouts, Stanton donned a Chewbacca mask, then dodged imaginary lasers and fired back at his imaginary enemies. Who knew Chewy was so buff?
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had trouble coming up with an Anthony Rizzo line drive in the top of the third inning. The ball seemed to curve at the last minute, clanking off of McCutchen’s glove, setting up first and third with two outs for the Cubs. McCutchen was sacked with an error. Ben Zobrist then cranked out a three-run home run off of starter Juan Nicasio to put the Cubs up 3-0.
Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McCutchen said after the game, “Whoever scored that an error should be fired. That’s unbelievable. I did everything I could to catch it.”
Here’s the video. Rule 9.12(a) in baseball’s official rules states:
(a) The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:
(1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases
Pretty cut and dried stuff here. It was an error.