The Rockies stun the Giants with a ninth-inning, two-run inside-the-park home run

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The Giants were up on the Rockies 4-3 in the top of ninth. Sergio Romo was on the hill and he retired the first two batters he faced. Then he gave up a single to Charlie Blackmon. OK, you can weather that sort of thing. Then Brandon Barnes came to the plate. And all he did was hit an inside-the-park two-run homer to put the Rockies up 5-4, which ended up as the final score.

You can watch his inside-the-parker here. It’s like a lot of these beasts: more a function of an outfielder’s mistake — in this case Angel Pagan’s less-than-optimal route to cut off Barnes’ gapper — than some amazing feat by the hitter. But maybe Barnes does have some sort of skill in this regard. It’s the second time in ten days he’s hit an inside-the-parker.

Sergio Romo blew the save for the second game in a row. It was the first time he had ever blown saves in back-to-back games.

 

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.