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.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.