We had some drama in the bottom of the fourth inning of this NLCS Game 4 at Dodger Stadium.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn served up a leadoff double to Adrian Gonzalez, a walk to Andre Ethier and then sent what appeared to be a brushback pitch in the direction of Yasiel Puig’s head. Puig, who pimped a triple in the Dodgers’ Game 3 victory, pivoted as if he was considering charging the mound. But he thought better of it and laced a run-scoring single past Cardinals shortstop Daniel Descalso instead, cutting into the early 3-0 St. Louis lead.
A.J. Ellis then singled home Ethier, pushing the score to 3-2. Lynn worked out of the frame thanks to a Skip Schumaker doubleplay ball, but it was another shaky inning from the 26-year-old right-hander. Then again, Dodgers starter Ricky Nolasco has already been pulled from the game. We could be in for a long night.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.