Tag: Jeff Mathis

Mike Napoli

Mike Napoli continues to kill the Angels


Yesterday Mike Napoli hit a two-run home run in the second inning and a two-run double in the eighth to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 6-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Over the weekend he hit four homer and drove in eight as the Red Sox took two of three. Napoli raised his OPS .140 points over the weekend.

Napoli destroying the Angels is nothing new, of course. Since he was traded away from the Angels after the 2010 season, he has played 47 games against them. In those 47 games he is 55-for-165 with 33 walks, 18 homers and 36 RBI. His batting line: .333/.453/.739. That 1.192 OPS is the highest mark he has against any opponent against whom he has played more than ten games.

I’m not the sort of person who believes that a player can easily turn it on or turn it off against a specific opponent or at a specific time, but in Mike Napoli’s case I’m willing to make an exception. At least when he plays the Angels.

You may recall that, during Napoli’s five seasons with the Angels, he had to fight for playing time. Mike Scioscia was not a fan of his and, as such, Napoli spent a lot of time riding the pine behind Jeff Mathis. It made some sense from a defensive perspective of course, but the total package of Napoli was always more valuable that the total package of Mathis, and there was a strong sense that Napoli was run off unfairly by Scioscia.

Only the two of them know for certain how much bad blood there was and how much, if any, remains. But it’s certainly as entertaining as all get-out to imagine Napoli going up to bat against the Angels with a major chip on his shoulder. And you can’t help but marvel at the results.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Miguel Cabrera

Tigers 8, Indians 5: Two homers for Miguel Cabrera and yet another sweep for the Tigers. When they go 162, fine, I’ll support him for the MVP.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth and Matt Carpenter put St. Louis up by two with a homer of his own in the 11th. This game note is really darn interesting: “Reds catcher Brayan Pena left the game in the seventh after injuring his left shoulder in a fall at first base while beating out a leadoff bunt.” Just a LOT to unpack there.

Rays 8, Marlins 5: Miami’s season sure ain’t starting well, what with them being 1-5. Actual postgame quote from Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “It could have been worse. We could have been 0-6.” He must of said that before he realized two Marlins players — Don Kelly and Jeff Mathis — each broke a finger during the game. For real.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 7: UPDATE: Though I probably get more “you don’t respect us!” rebop from O’s and Jays fans than any other two fan bases, please trust me when I tell you that I didn’t mean to leave this one blank earlier as some sort of passive-aggressive “this game was boring comment.” I just write these hella early and sometimes the brain hasn’t kicked in yet. Anyway: the Jays hit three homers because homers are their thing. The last one — from Jose Bautista — came after Darren O’Day threw one behind him. Those two have a history, of course. And Bautista is way better than O’Day, of course, so he’s gonna get the better of them over time. Maybe O’Day should cut it out?

Mets 4, Braves 3: I suppose it was folly to think Atlanta would go undefeated this year. And, if you have to lose a game, better to lose it in one which contained some outrageously awesome performances from athletes of bleeding-edge skill.

That was Colon’s first RBI in a decade. Colon started play yesterday as a .075/.080/.081 career hitter.

Nationals 4, Phillies 3: Bryce Harper homered and Wilson Ramos drove in two, including the go-ahead run in the 10th. Max Scherzer: one run, eight strikeouts in six innings. Yet, once again, does not pitch well enough to win. I am afraid of what the intimidating, influential and wise columnists of Washington will say today.

White Sox 6, Twins 2: I guess this means that Chris Sale’s foot feels OK (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K). Adam LaRoche hit a homer and had an RBI single.

Pirates 10, Brewers 2: And I guess this means Andrew McCutchen’s knee feels OK (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI). Chris Sadler got his first MLB win after allowing two runs in five innings.

Astros 6, Rangers 4: Hank Conger had a two-run homer in the 14th to win it. But he wouldn’t have had the chance to it if wasn’t for George Springer’s amazing, grand-slam-saving catch in the 10th. That gave the Rangers three of their 15 stranded runners in the game. They drew seven walks and four Rangers batters were hit by pitches on top of that. If you can’t win a game when the other team just gifts you 11 base runners like that, fate ain’t letting you win that game.

Royals 9, Angels 2: Put the Royals in the 162-0 camp with the Tigers. Alcides Escobar and Alex Rios hit two-run doubles  and Salvador Perez homered There was some chippiness here because, apparently, Yordano Ventura doesn’t like athletes on the other team to say incendiary things like “let’s go, you guys!” Um, OK.

Mariners 8, Athletics 7: A 10th inning Nelson Cruz homer put the M’s ahead for good. Earlier in the game Rickie Weeks hit a pinch-hit three-run job. This day was not perfect for Seattle, but a couple of offseason additions designed to help fix the M’s biggest problem — offense — paid off well.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Wil Nieves hit a grand slam off of Jake Peavy as the Padres take three of four from the defending champs. Nieves’ Made his big league debut in 2002 for the Padres, catching Jake Peavy. A few things have happened since then, I suppose.

Cubs 6, Rockies 5: La Troy Hawkins came in to save the game with a comfy lead in the ninth — And he needed to only get two of the three outs with a two-run lead. But then a walk-wild pitch-single combo brought Chicago to within one and a subsequent two-run homer by Dexter Fowler put the Cubs ahead. That’s three appearances for Hawkins this year, the last two of which were blown saves. He’s allowed five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings. Ick.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Alex Guerrero made some waves in spring training when he said that he deserved to be in the big leagues and wouldn’t allow the Dodgers to send him down. They’re happy they have him on the big club now, I reckon. He went 3-for-5, homered and had four RBI after being pressed into service due to injuries to Justin Turner and Juan Uribe. Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson homered too, so viva youth in Los Angeles.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 4: All Yankees started got a hit and all Yankees starters scored a run in this romp. A-Rod hit a three-run double and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew hit back-to-back bombs. Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t fantastic, but he pitched five generally competent innings to get the win, so maybe the columnists will wring their hands over something else this week.

Marlins exercise $1.5 million option on Jeff Mathis

Jarred Cosart, Jeff Mathis
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The Marlins announced on Saturday afternoon that the organization has exercised a $1.5 million club option on catcher Jeff Mathis for the 2015 season, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. As a result, the Marlins’ catching situation is already solidified with Jarrod Saltalamacchia under contract for two more years and Mathis returning for another season. Prospect J.T. Realmuto is not far behind.

Mathis mustered a meager .537 OPS during the 2014 season, but the 31-year-old is solid defensively and draws praise for the way he handles the pitching staff.

Marlins will pick up Jeff Mathis’ option for 2015

Jeff Mathis AP

Jeff Mathis had his usual terrible season at the plate, hitting .200 with two homers and a .537 OPS in 64 games, but his defense continued to receive praise and the Marlins want him back.

Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins will exercise their $1.5 million option on Mathis for 2015, keeping the 31-year-old catcher around for a third season in Miami.

Mathis a career .196 hitter and has never topped a .650 OPS in nine seasons as a big leaguer, but pitchers and managers always seem to love his work behind the plate and he doesn’t figure to play much backing up Jarrod Saltalamacchia.