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Brandon McCarthy: Profiles in Honesty

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I’m guessing most ballplayers who play on the east coast stay up and watch west coast games when their work is done. I know for sure that Braves starter Brandon McCarthy does, because he often tweets about the games he’s watching into the wee hours.

Last night, for example, we know he was watching the Angels-Mariners game, because like everyone else, he was talking about Mike Trout:

 

That tweet — while in part a reaction to Trout’s big night — was more specifically made in service of McCarthy’s criticism of MLB Network for not doing enough to talk about and promote the game’s top players. He’d later say that, despite the fact that Trout is a fellow big leaguer, he knows very little about him. McCarthy’s got a point about that and I agree that MLB could and should do better with this sort of thing.

The tweet brought a response from one of McCarthy’s followers, suggesting ways in which McCarthy could remedy this in the meantime:

Not the worst idea, except for one thing . . .

McCarthy is 5-3 and that’s not too bad. He’s on pace to match his career-high in starts with 32, and every baseball man will tell you that there is considerable value in having a guy who will take that ball every fifth day. Winning teams — and the Braves are a winning team — are characterized by pitchers’ health more than just about anything.

That said: we appreciate the honesty and self-awareness, Brandon. We live in an age where such things are in short supply and we should rightly cherish them wherever they can be found.

Video: J.D. Martinez hits league-tying 23rd home run

Seattle Mariners v Boston Red Sox
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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.