Sure, the Giants’ win over the Reds had an assist from a bad call by an ump, but it still counts as a ninth inning rally. As does the Heath Bell meltdown Aaron described earlier.
But those weren’t the only two. The Rays turned their caps inside out or whatever the hell passes for a rally cap these days and pulled victory from the jaws of defeat in the ninth themselves, beating the Angels 4-3.
The Angels led 3-2 as the bottom of the ninth began. But then B.J. Upton singled and Joe Maddon sent Brandon Allen up to pinch hit for Jose Molina. The result: Ball, ball, strike, strike, BOOM. A 443-foot homer to win the game. Jordan Walden never even recorded an out.
The Angels are now 6-13. They are nine games back of the Rangers, for the largest deficit of any team in baseball.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.