Back in July the Blue Jays and the Astros struck a deal involving ten players. It was one of the larger trades you’ll ever see while also containing among the least amount of talent tonnage you’ll ever see. Classic sound and fury kind of deal.
The best player in the deal at the time it was announced was The Player to Be Named Later. He’s been around the league a long time and knows how to play the game the right way. Every team out there has sought The Player to Be Named Later at one time or another. His reputation is that good.
But now he’s been swapped out for an actual player: Kevin Comer, a right-handed pitching prospect the Jays drafted in the second round in 2011. He’s only been in rookie ball so far, having pitched ten games. He’s a marginal prospect at best now, but he did manage to handle the hard-partying nightlife of Bluefield, West Virginia so far, so that’s something.
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.