“This game beats on you so bad that by August you’re doing tequila
shots, not sleeping and eating late-night cheeseburgers. With the schedule, you say, ‘How in the world did I get through one
year, let alone 31?”‘
— Giants third base coach Tim Flannery, explaining why it’s hard for the coaching staff to stay healthy during the season.
The quote comes in the course of a really interesting article about Bruce Bochy trying to quit smokeless tobacco. He’s dipped for close to 40 years, and he even mentions that his grandmother, a tobacco farmer, chewed the stuff.
Bochy is once again trying to kick the habit, which he says is triggered by baseball-related stress. I think Brian Sabean should help him out by trading for Prince Fielder or someone so that his life is less-stressful.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.