To see how pointless five-game suspensions are for starting pitchers and how silly the entire appeal process can be, look no further than Indians right-hander Jeanmar Gomez.
Yesterday he was given a five-game suspension for plunking Mike Moustakas over the weekend. Gomez has appealed, but plans to drop the appeal and serve the suspension as soon as he’s done making his next scheduled start Saturday.
In other words, he’s basically just delaying the suspension long enough to a) take his upcoming normal turn in the rotation interrupted and then b) make it so that having to sit out five games doesn’t inconvenience him beyond pushing back his next start by one extra day.
And the end result is essentially just allowing Gomez to dictate when he serves the suspension and how he can minimize the impact on his normal routine. Helluva system.
Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.
The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.
While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.
Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.
It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.