THREE UP, THREE DOWN

▲▼ WHAT’S TREND­ING IN MLB

Los Angeles Times - - INSIDE BASEBALL - — Bill Shaikin

▲ Scooter Gen­nett: The util­ity in­fielder did not hit a home run in May, but tied a ma­jor league record by hit­ting four in one game Tues­day. Yay: He did it for his home­town Cincinnati Reds. Dou­ble yay: He nick­named him­self — at age 5 — af­ter a char­ac­ter from “The Mup­pets.” That still doesn’t make him the most prodi­gious slug­ger among play­ers with Mup­pet names. The four home runs gave him 42 for his ca­reer, break­ing a tie with Hall of Famer Phil “The Scooter” Riz­zuto. The Mup­pets also have a Rizzo (Chicago Cubs first base­man An­thony Rizzo has 147 home runs) and a Gonzo (re­tired out­fielder Luis Gon­za­lez, briefly a Dodger, has 354).

▲ Shutouts, not strike­outs: The an­a­lyt­ics world wor­ships at the al­tar of the strike­out, so it’s re­fresh­ing to see a re­minder that the ob­ject of the game is to get outs, pe­riod. Strike­outs are great, and they do min­i­mize the risk that a fielder will make an er­ror, but they also run up pitch counts, and in­creased ve­loc­ity is cor­re­lated with in­creased risk of in­jury. Ervin San­tana of the Min­nesota Twins threw his third shutout Fri­day. He ranks 74th among 88 qual­i­fy­ing pitch­ers in strike­outs per nine in­nings; he’s at 6.30. He also has a 2.20 ERA, the same as Clay­ton Ker­shaw. The Colorado Rock­ies rookie duo of Kyle Free­land (5.66 K/9, 3.34 ERA) and An­to­nio Sen­za­tela (5.89 K/9, 3.56 ERA) also have fared well with­out the whiffs.

▲ Jean Se­gura: In 2012, An­gels gen­eral man­ager Jerry Dipoto needed a pitcher. He didn’t need a mid­dle in­fielder, with Erick Ay­bar set at short­stop and Howie Ken­drick at sec­ond base, so he in­cluded a prospect named Jean Se­gura in a trade to get Zack Greinke from the Mil­wau­kee Brew­ers. In 2016, as the Seat­tle Mariners’ GM, Dipoto got Se­gura back, this time in a trade with the Arizona Di­a­mond­backs. On Wed­nes­day, Dipoto signed Se­gura to a five-year, $70-mil­lion ex­ten­sion, in­clud­ing a no-trade clause be­cause Se­gura had been traded so of­ten. Se­gura, on the dis­abled list be­cause of a sprained an­kle, leads the Amer­i­can League with a .341 bat­ting av­er­age. If he plays out the deal in Seat­tle, he could pass Alex Ro­driguez for most games played at short­stop for the Mariners.

▼ Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence: As the ac­cu­sa­tions against Bill Cosby have shown, women some­times can be hes­i­tant to im­me­di­ately re­port al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault or do­mes­tic vi­o­lence for fear au­thor­i­ties might not fully pur­sue their claims. But base­ball’s do­mes­tic vi­o­lence pol­icy re­quires play­ers ac­cused of abuse to sit for in­ter­views with league of­fi­cials and does not re­quire a le­gal con­vic­tion or guilty plea to sus­pend a player. The ex-fi­ance of Tampa Bay Rays catcher Derek Nor­ris and a pur­ported friend of the wife of Cubs short­stop Ad­di­son Russell last week lev­eled charges of abuse — not with a re­port to po­lice, but with a so­cial me­dia post. The league said it would in­ves­ti­gate the al­le­ga­tions; each player has de­nied them.

▼ Belt­way bab­ble: We’d love to see a Dodger­sAn­gels World Se­ries, but a Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als-Bal­ti­more Ori­oles se­ries would be lovely. The teams al­ready hate each other — they’ve been fight­ing in court for three years over lo­cal tele­vi­sion rev­enue — and the Ori­oles were an­noyed when the Na­tion­als last month cited dreary fore­casts in an­nounc­ing a rain­out on a night the rains never came. The Na­tion­als flew home from L.A. on Wed­nes­day, then beat the Ori­oles in the makeup game Thurs­day. “They drove 32 miles to get there. We flew 3,000 … miles, and we beat their … ,” Na­tion­als GM Mike Rizzo told the Wash­ing­ton Post. “So quit your whin­ing.”

▼ John McCain: The Rock­ies are dar­lings of the NL West, the Dodgers are the Go­liaths, the San Diego Padres are a planned dis­as­ter and the San Francisco Giants an un­planned dis­as­ter. No one paid much at­ten­tion to the Di­a­mond­backs un­til Thurs­day, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ad­dressed his ram­bling re­marks in the James Comey hear­ing in a state­ment that said: “Maybe go­ing for­ward I shouldn’t stay up late watch­ing the Di­a­mond­backs night games.” In 2013, McCain ripped the Dodgers as “a bunch of over­paid, im­ma­ture, ar­ro­gant, spoiled brats” for cel­e­brat­ing their NL West ti­tle by jump­ing into the Chase Field pool, into which the Di­a­mond­backs in­vite fans every day. On a pos­si­bly un­re­lated note, the Cal­i­for­nia League team called the Mav­er­icks folded last year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.