If they can’t keep Carlos Ruiz, the Phillies may go after A.J. Pierzynski

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Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that the Phillies are making A.J. Pierzynski their top target if they can’t reach a deal with Carlos Ruiz.

Which isn’t going to make a ton of Phillies fans happy given how popular Ruiz is and how polarizing a figure Pierzynski is. Still, he’s not horrible as fallback options go. Pierzynski hit .272/.297/.425 with 17 home runs and 70 RBI in 134 games this past season and at age 37 would not likely be looking at a long term deal. He’d be the catching Marlon Byrd, right?

This would also be a good signing for Fox. They like to use Pierzynski for their postseason coverage and, if he signs in Philly, they can be guaranteed that he’ll be free come the first of October. Total win-win.

Anthony Rendon racks up six hits, including three homers, and knocks in 10 runs vs. Mets

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Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon became the first player in nearly a decade to knock in 10 runs in one game, doing so on Sunday afternoon at home against the Mets. Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs along with the 10 RBI. It’s Rendon’s first time achieving any of the three feats — six hits, three homers, 10 RBI — individually in a game.

The Nationals trounced the Mets 23-5. In total, they hit seven homers. Along with Rendon’s three, Matt Wieters hit two while Bryce Harper and Adam Lind hit one each. Wieters had four RBI; Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Taylor, and Lind knocked in two each. The Nationals have now scored double-digit runs in four out of their last six games.

Angels outfielder Garret Anderson was the last player to drive in 10 runs in one game, achieving the feat on August 21, 2007 against the Yankees. Rendon is the 13th player since 1913 to drive in 10 runs in a single game and only the third to do it this millennium.

There were four six-hit games from individual players last season, eclipsing the aggregate total of three from 2010-15. The last player to have six hits, including three home runs, in one game was the Dodgers’ Shawn Green on May 23, 2002 against the Brewers. The only player to have six hits, including three homers, and 10 RBI in a game was Walker Cooper of the 1949 Reds.

The last team to score at least 23 runs in a game was the Rangers on August 22, 2007 against the Orioles when they won 30-3. Sunday’s contest was the seventh time this millennium a team has scored at least 23 runs and the 47th dating back to 1913. The only other time Mets pitching had allowed 23 runs in a game was on June 11, 1985 against the Phillies.

Things keep going wrong for the Mets. Noah Syndergaard started Sunday’s game after refusing an MRI for his sore biceps. He lasted only 1 1/3 innings, giving up five runs, before being pulled with a lat strain. The last-place Mets are now 10-14.

Freddie Freeman: “I think [Miller Park is] a bad-lit Little League field.”

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Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is happy his Braves will be leaving Miller Park on Sunday. Despite batting .250/.338/.531 with five home runs in 74 career plate appearances at Miller Park, Freeman is not a fan of the ballpark, calling it a “bad-lit Little League field,” ESPN reports. “I can’t see anything here,” Freeman added.

Freeman continued:

I’m just glad it’s three games and out. I don’t see the ball well, at all. I don’t understand that [lighting problem]. Arizona’s [lighting in a retractable dome] is great. I feel like Little League fields are lit better than this. Obviously they have no problem because their guys are hitting. I guess you get used to it. Our lights at SunTrust [Park] are awesome. Turner Field was a little dark. …

It just seems like I can never barrel balls up here [at Miller Park] consistently. It’s like seeing dark balls coming in.

As ESPN points out, Freeman has enjoyed success particularly recently at Miller Park, entering Sunday with a .391 batting average there over the past two seasons.