Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was a double short of the cycle when he stepped to the plate against Rockies reliever Boone Logan in the seventh inning of Sunday’s series finale in Colorado. To that point, he had singled in the first, hit a two-run home run in the third, and tripled in the sixth.
The Phillies had just tied the game up at 6-6 and Jimmy Rollins was on third base with one out. Logan threw an 0-2 breaking ball and Howard pulled it to right field. Brandon Barnes charged in on it and tried to play it on a hop, but the ball skipped under his glove. Rollins scored and Howard pulled into second with what could have been a double, giving him the cycle. But the scorer ruled it a single and a fielding error on Barnes.
(MLB.com again is being stingy with embedding video, so here’s the direct link if the above video doesn’t show up for you.)
Howard finished the day 4-for-5 — tying a career-high in hits in a single game — with three runs scored and three runs batted in as the Phillies won 10-9.
The Nationals have acquired left-handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski and cash considerations from the A’s in exchange for minor league infielder Max Schrock.
Schrock is a 21-year-old second baseman who has been pretty darn impressive in A-ball this year, but the Nats can be excused for giving up promise in 2018 or whatever for some bullpen help come playoff time. Rzepczynski walks a few too many guys for my taste but he strikes ’em out at a pretty decent rate for a LOOGY and the Nats could use another southpaw reliever apart from Oliver Perez. This is especially true given how many tough lefty hitters they may face in the playoffs.
On the basic merits, sure, Rzepczynski for Schrock may look pretty dang good for the A’s in a few years. But this October the A’s will be watching on TV from home while the Nats will be trying to win it all, making the trade pretty darn understandable from their point of view.
Meanwhile, in Tulsa, Zach Welz of the visiting Arkansas Travelers made a spectacular catch. It was the catch Torii Hunter tried to make on that famous David Ortiz homer in the playoffs a few years back except Welz made it.
Watch as he topples over the wall to come up with the would-be dinger off the bat of Tulsa Drillers first baseman Cody Bellinger: