After a historic May, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has been a little quiet so far this month. No longer. Check out this solo blast off Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel this afternoon.
Harper now leads the majors with 19 home runs. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton are both sitting on 18 coming into Saturday’s action.
Hammel was pulled after Harper’s homer, but the Cubs hung on to beat the Nationals 4-2.
The Cardinals had some uninvited guests in their dugout last night at Dodger Stadium. Let’s just go to the video tape, which looks like the start of a comedy skit. I promise you it isn’t…
The skunks didn’t bother the Cardinals at all. Carlos Martinez struck out 11 batters over seven innings of one-run ball as part of a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers. You just know that “Rally Skunks” will somehow become a thing.
The Mets moved to a six-man rotation this week after Dillon Gee’s return from the disabled list, but they are apparently bailing on it before even getting through the first turn.
According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, Mets manager Terry Collins said after last night’s loss to the Diamondbacks that the team will likely move back to a standard five-man rotation in the near future.
“I’m just tired of answering the questions, so we may go back to being traditional,” Collins said.
Questions from whom?
“Everybody,” he continued. “My wife. I’m tired of her wanting to know who’s pitching.”
Collins was trying to be funny there, but Diamond writes that the pitchers involved didn’t feel comfortable with the change in their routines and were worried that it would impact their performance. In fact, none of them publicly supported the idea.
Of course, part of the motivation behind the six-man rotation was to help limit the workloads of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. Assuming they are going back to a standard five-man, they’ll have to get creative to give them some rest, especially with another young arm, Steven Matz, likely to be promoted to the majors soon.
As for who will get the boot from the rotation, Diamond writes that Gee is most likely to be moved to the bullpen. And that makes sense considering that he was expected to begin the year in a relief role before Zack Wheeler required season-ending Tommy John surgery. Jon Niese has been shaky recently, but he strengthened his case by allowing three runs over six innings with eight strikeouts and one walk last night against the Diamondbacks. He’s also the lone left-hander in the rotation. At least for now.
On a related note, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Mets are “really ramping up” their efforts to trade Gee and Niese.