Khris Davis is not the most disciplined hitter in baseball history. He hits a lot of homers but he also strikes out a ton so it’s not like you can’t fool him with moderately nasty stuff.
But what if your stuff is more than moderately nasty? What if it’s like Andrew Miller‘s filthy, obscene and altogether inappropriate for children stuff? If that’s the case, you can make Khris Davis look supremely bad. Like, “break your ankles” bad:
Over the weekend I saw a Yankees writer compare Yankees rookies Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez to the “Core Four” Yankees, Jeter/Rivera/Posada/Pettitte. That’s totally reasonable for a couple of guys who have played fewer than 30 games combined. Nope, no one in New York overhypes anything.
Still, hard not to notice that they’re off to nice starts. Particularly Sanchez. The Yankees new catcher is hotter than all get-out to start his major league career, batting .385/.429/.831 with eight homers and 15 RBI in his first 17 games. Last night against the Mariners he hit two bombs. Earlier in the day he was named the American League Player of the Week. That’s pretty darn spiffy. Judge is not slouching either, going eight for his first 33 with a couple of homers.
Despite their early career heroics, the Yankees still have to be confounding their fans a bit. Last night’s game was a study in frustration to be sure. Sanchez’s second homer made it 4-3 Yankees in the sixth inning and Starlin Castro‘s second dinger two batters later made it 5-3. Michael Pineda ran into trouble in the bottom half of the inning, putting two runners on. Still, the Yankees had the lead and, still, it was a winnable game for a team that is at least nominally in the Wild Card race and which Joe Girardi said is “trying to win games.”
So what does Girardi do? After having Tommy Layne pitch to one guy, he calls on Anthony Swarzak to get out of the jam. The same Anthony Swarzak who has the worst ERA in the Yankees bullpen. The same Swarzak who played a big part in blowing a 6-0 lead to Toronto last week. A mop-up guy who can’t even mop up. Why is Joe Girardi using him in that critical spot if the Yankees are trying to win games? Beats the heck out of me. As it was, Swarzak promptly gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced, Michael Zunino. The M’s won the game 7-5.
It’s fun to watch young rookies come up to the show and succeed. It’s a real drag to see your bullpen blow leads that your young rookies help give you. What a weird season in New York.
Diamondbacks 9, Braves 8: The Dbacks front office is under fire, brought into focus by the fact that the Braves, who have repeatedly fleeced said front office in the past year, are in town. On the field, however, it was all good last night as Paul Goldschmidt hit a long walkoff homer to give the Snakes the win. It would’ve been fitting if, right after, Dave Stewart traded Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke to Atlanta for Jeff Francoeur and cash considerations, but he somehow resisted the urge.
Indians 1, Athletics 0: Carlos Carrasco shut the A’s out for eight innings, Andrew Miller handled the ninth and thus Carlos Santana‘s eighth inning solo homer was all the Tribe needed. In other news, as an homage to Billy Butler, Danny Valencia and the A’s, I punched Bill Baer in the side of the head last night after he told my bosses at NBC that I watched Olympic team handball on the BBC stream instead of on a company network. Beyond admitting that, what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.
Dodgers 18, Reds 9: Adrian Gonzalez went deep one, two, three times, ah, ha, ha, and drove in eight runs. Made Joey Votto‘s 3-for-6, 4 RBI look like nothin’. Corey Seager and Andrew Toles combined to go 6-for-10 with 7 RBI themselves. The game took four hours. It was a nice day in Ohio yesterday, though. Low humidity, mild temperatures and clear, haze-free skies. Maybe everyone just wanted to stay outside and run around.
Brewers 4, Rockies 2: Jimmy Nelson was solid while his counterpart, Chad Bettis, issued seven walks, which ain’t ever gonna do a pitcher any good. He also gave up Chris Carter‘s 30th homer on the year. Carter also leads the NL in strikeouts with 156 and has a .224 average, making him the most 2016 player there is.
Orioles 4, Nationals 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Mark Trumbo hit a homer. A two-run shot that broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth and proved to provide the winning margin. Trumbo has 12 hits in the month of August. Eight of them have been homers, including his last seven straight. I dedicate this to you, Mark:
Astros 3, Pirates 1: Doug Fister pitched seven scoreless innings and rookie Teoscar Hernandez hit a two-run homer. Alex Bregman, also a rookie, hit a homer. The Astros are eight games out in the West and 3.5 back, but with five teams ahead of them, for the Wild Card. They’re not dead yet but the outlook is somewhat dire. Perhaps it’s not too early to start being happy when future regulars start producing for the very sake of the future.
Mariners 7, Yankees 5: Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager each hit a three-run homer and Nelson Cruzadded a solo shot. For the Yankees, Starlin Castro and rookie catcher Gary Sanchez each hit two homers. The M’s homers prevailed here, but I fully expect the New York papers are already talking up Sanchez like the second coming of Bill Dickey this morning.
Cubs 5, Padres 1: Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Jason Heyward homered while Jon Lester allowed only one run in six innings while striking out eight. Anthony Rizzo didn’t homer but he got four hits to raise his batting line to .301/.399/.566. Bryant’s is .299/.390/.568. It’d be amazing if those two finished with identical lines. It’s certainly possible that they could.