Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor gave his team a quick lead when he slugged the second pitch he saw from Nick Pivetta to deep left-center field at Citizens Bank Park. Fortunately for him, the ball took a favorable bounce off of the chain link fence above the wall, going back towards the left field line. Neither center fielder Odubel Herrera nor left fielder Aaron Altherr had any chance of retrieving the ball by the time Taylor circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
According to Statcast, Taylor went around the bases in 15.4 seconds, good for the third-fastest time on a home run this season. Justin Turner followed up by hitting a traditional solo home run off of Pivetta to make it a 2-0 game.
After Taylor’s homer, the 27-year-old is batting .291/.357/.503 with 20 home runs, 68 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 526 plate appearances.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.