Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has opened up September with a power surge. The 24-year-old entered Saturday’s game against the Giants with home runs in five consecutive games. He made it six with a two-run home run off of Jake Peavy in the sixth inning.
Arenado is the only Rockie to homer in six consecutive games. Dante Bichette (1995) and Larry Walker (1999) homered in five consecutive games.
Arenado has turned in a terrific season, batting .288/.324/.581 with 36 home runs and 105 RBI while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at the hot corner. His 36 homers ties him with Josh Donaldson and teammate Carlos Gonzalez for third-best in baseball. No National Leaguer has homered more than the Rockies’ duo.
The Orioles don’t yet have the worst record in baseball. They’re tied for the most losses with 16, but they have two more wins than the Marlins and one more than the Royals, so let’s say that they have overachieved to this point. Kudos to being a bit plucky in the early going!
But make no mistake: the Orioles are not a good team and I suspect they will soon be the worst in the league. When they are, they will likely get blown out quite often and when they are blown out they will put position players on the mound more than almost any other team. Heck, they’ve done it three times already this year and the season is only three weeks old.
The latest Orioles position player to pitch was catcher Jesús Sucre, who took the mound in last night’s 12-2 loss to the White Sox. And he wasn’t half bad! He retired the side in order and needed only nine pitches to do so:
There once was a time when it was a novelty to see a position player pitching. It happens all the time now, partially because of blowouts, partially because teams have decided it’s better to get embarrassed a bit than to burn a bullpen arm in a game they’ve given up trying to win.
I suspect the Orioles will take the practice to a whole new level in 2019, though. For better or for worse.