The Brewers are the surprise team of 2017 so far. They are 48-40, are guaranteed to be in first place in the NL Central at the All-Star Break and just beat the rival Cubs last night. Now, reports Jon Morosi, they’re prepared to be deadline buyers:
It’ll be interesting to see how Milwaukee proceeds. They have some decent prospects, but their thinking heading into the year had to have been that it was a building year, not a year in which they’d truly be competitive. GMs make the big bucks to pivot like that, however. If they can keep their foot on the throat of the Cubs via the addition of a starting pitcher, they should probably look to do it. It’s not going to be often, I suspect, for this Cubs team to struggle like this in the next several years, so perhaps the Brewers should take advantage of it.
As for Quintana and Gray: they’re not likely to be cheap given that they are under team control for multiple years (Quintana via options through 2020), but that also makes it less of a short term gamble for Milwaukee.
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.