Braves first base coach (and former hitting instructor) Terry Pendelton spoke to the New York Post about former Braves catcher Brian McCann and his struggles thus far as a New York Yankee:
“New York is not Brian. That’s my opinion. I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about. He’ll never be comfortable with that . . . If I had to choose where he went, nothing against the Yankees, they’re one of the best organizations around, but I think he’d be more comfortable in Texas. But he wants to win and when he looks at that, you’ve got to go to the Yankees.”
Well, before this season started it wouldn’t have been crazy to pick the Rangers over the Yankees if you really wanted to win, but we’ll let that go. What we probably shouldn’t let go is Pendleton’s extended comments — provided later in that article — about McCann being a total pull hitter now but never having really been one before, and about how that’s killing him. Which, suffice it to say, is kind of in bad form for a player not on your team, I would think.
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.