Before Game 4 of the 2019 World Series, the last American League player to hit a grand slam in the Fall Classic was Paul Konerko in 2005. The last third baseman to do so was Ken Boyer in 1964. On Saturday, Alex Bregman knocked out both of those records with one swing, taking Fernando Rodney deep in the seventh with a bases-clearing knock:
Bregman’s slam was just the 20th in World Series history and the first of his postseason career to date. He lifted the Astros to a sizable seven-run lead over the Nationals, giving them the kind of run insurance they needed as they looked to pull even in the series.
Immediately after giving up the home run, Rodney issued back-to-back walks to Yuli Gurriel and Carlos Correa and was eventually replaced by Wander Suero, the Nationals’ third reliever of the night.
The Astros currently lead the Nationals 8-1 in the seventh.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.