A pair of former major leaguers are topping the Japanese League leaderboards in the early going.
Former Mariners and Reds outfielder Wladimir Balentin is hitting .333/.449/.729 with 12 homers and 24 RBI in 96 at-bats for the Yakult Swallows of the Central League. No one else in the six-team circuit has more than four homers so far. Balentien also leads the league in average, RBI and runs scored.
Wily Mo Pena hasn’t been quite so dominant in the Pacific League, but he does have seven homers, two more than anyone else there. He’s hitting .309/.374/.591, despite having struck out 31 times in 110 at-bats.
On the pitching side of the equation, no one has been better than former Tigers right-hander Seth Greisinger. He’s 3-0 with a 0.31 ERA and 28 strikeouts in his four starts for the Lotte Marines.
If you’re curious to see more, all of the stats from Japan can be found here.
NEW YORK — A pitcher getting ejected for arguing balls and strikes – on his day off? And, from the stands?
Nationals star Stephen Strasburg earned one of baseball’s most unique ejections – probably ever – in the third inning of Washington’s game against the New York Mets on Thursday.
Strasburg was sitting in Section 121 at Citi Field in this socially distant season because he’s scheduled to start Friday against Baltimore Orioles. He was apparently unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Carlos Torres after Austin Voth‘s 2-2 pitch to Pete Alonso on the outside corner was ruled a ball.
Moments later, Torres ejected last year’s World Series MVP, though it took a few seconds to realize who had been tossed.
Someone was heard yelling: “You’re (expletive) brutal” shortly before television cameras captured Strasburg doffing his cap as he walked up the staircase on his way out of the park.
“Sorry, folks – sorry, FCC,” Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen said on SNY.
The usually stoic Strasburg appeared to be grinning underneath his blue mask as he made his exit.