Today is the final All-Star game voting update for the National League before the starters are announced Sunday and it looks like only two spots are still realistically up for grabs.
Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals has a narrow lead over Todd Frazier of the Reds at third base and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals has a narrow lead over Norichika Aoki of the Giants for the third outfielder spot. Of course, Aoki has a fractured fibula, Holliday may still be on the disabled list for the All-Star game, and the second-ranked outfielder, Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, is out for two months with a wrist injury. So … who knows.
Here are the position-by-position numbers:
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado had another big game on Sunday despite losing to the Giants, as he went 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and a solo homer. It’s his third multi-homer effort in his last six games, and he’s now on a 15-game hitting streak. During that streak, Arenado is batting .379/.410/.966 with nine home runs and 21 RBI.
If Todd Frazier weren’t in the National League, Arenado would be a lock to start at third base in the All-Star Game. Here’s a comparison of the two players:
Arenado, 24, will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after this season. As a result, the Rockies will be under some pressure to sign him to a contract extension which would cover some or all four years of his arbitration eligibility and potentially a year or two beyond that.
Mets pitching prospect Steven Matz, making his major league debut against the Reds on Sunday, allowed a solo home run to Brandon Phillips to lead off the ballgame. It was all uphill from there.
Matz wound up going 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts on 110 pitches. As impressive as that was, it was what he did at the plate that truly won hearts and minds. The rookie went 3-for-3 with a two-run double in the second inning and added a two-run single in the sixth. He is the first pitcher in major league history to drive in four runs in his debut, per ESPN Stats & Info.
The Mets scored seven runs overall, the first time they’d scored more than four in a game since June 14. In fact, they had been held to two or fewer runs in each of their last seven games coming into play Sunday (including the conclusion of Saturday’s game which was postponed and resumed prior to Matz’s debut). Only four Mets hitters have accrued four-plus RBI in a game this season: Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Daniel Murphy, and Curtis Granderson. Duda was the last to do it, on May 21. The Mets have seen only 24 three-hit games this season and just one between June 15 and Sunday: Curtis Granderson on June 25 against the Brewers.
Matz, 24, entered the season rated as baseball’s 33rd-best prospect overall by MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. In 14 starts and one relief appearance with Triple-A Las Vegas — a notoriously pitcher-unfriendly environment — Matz posted a 2.19 ERA with a 94/31 K/BB ratio in 90 1/3 innings.