David Laurila of FanGraphs had a great conversation starter last week when he asked some players and coaches who they thought was “better” — Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. He didn’t define “better.” He made his interviewees figure that out and then talk about it a bit. It was cool because it had other players assess baseball performance, which is something we don’t see too often.
David does it again this week, asking who was better: Randy Johnson or Greg Maddux?
Maddux is my favorite player of all time so I’m disqualifying myself due to clear, unshakeable bias. But what say y’all?
Mets starter Steven Matz helped his own cause again, belting a solo home run in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s game against the Phillies. Matz turned on a 1-1 breaking ball from Cy Young contender Aaron Nola, breaking a scoreless tie.
Matz also homered in his previous start against the Marlins last Thursday. According to MLB Stat of the Day, he is the third Mets pitcher to homer in back-to-back starts, joining Tom Seaver (1972) and Ron Darling (1989).
Matz is the fourth full-time pitcher to hit multiple home runs this season, joining the Reds’ Michael Lorenzen (four), and the Cardinals’ John Gant and Miles Mikolas (two each). The last Mets pitcher to hit multiple home runs in a season was Noah Syndergaard, who hit three in 2016.
Along with the bat, Matz has also been dealing on the mound. As of this writing, he has held the Phillies scoreless over five innings despite walking five batters and allowing two hits.