San Francisco’s Angel Pagan became the second player to leave a game Monday after punching a dugout surface in frustration, joining Boston’s Ryan Sweeney.
Pagan was taken out after six innings with the Giants up 4-2 tonight, and he was missed afterwards, as the Mets went on to win a wild one 8-7 in 10 innings. Gregor Blanco went 0-for-3 after replacing Pagan in center field.
Unlike Sweeney, it appears Pagan avoided serious injury. The early word is that it’s just a bruise and that he’s day-to-day. Sweeney is expected to land on the disabled list with his injury.
Either players will start taking note and figuring out that there are better ways to take out frustration or teams are going to have to start investing in padded Gatorade coolers. Apart from touching Adrian Beltre’s head, there’s no better way to get hurt in the dugout than punching a wall.
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.