(Wait … you mean there’s pro baseball going on right now?)
Since I’ve been getting most of my baseball news from box scores lately, I didn’t realize that the brothers Jhonatan Solano (Nationals) and Donovan Solano (Marlins) had debuted 8 days apart in May. Donovan, the younger one, arrived first, on May 21, and started his first game on May 26. Big brother Jhonatan broke in with a pinch-double on May 29 and made his first start the next day, against his brother’s team. Little bro’ didn’t start, but walked as a pinch-hitter in the 8th; big bro would have batted in the next half-inning, but he was pulled for Rick Ankiel (who whiffed to end the game). Anyway, both brothers are hitting over .300 in limited play; their combined stats are 26 for 80 (.325) with 2 HRs (both by Jhonatan) and 8 doubles (.500 SLG). Each one has a stolen base. (BTW, they are not yet listed as relations on B-R.)
And since I can’t pore over every box score as closely as I’d like, some West Coast nuggets elude me. (Sorry, RJ, Luis and others.) So imagine my shock when I clicked on rookie Yasmani Grandal for the first time, and learned that he has 4 HRs in just 10 games, including 2 in his first start — one from each side of the plate! Grandal followed with a HR in his 4th game and another in his 6th, a pinch-hit go-ahead 2-run shot in the 8th on July 4. That made him the fastest to 4 HRs since Mike Jacobs did it in 4 games in 2005, the fastest Padre ever to that mark, and in just 20 PAs. He hasn’t homered in 4 games since then, but went 4 for 15 with a double, giving him 10 hits in 35 ABs (no walks yet). Grandal, born in Cuba, was the 12th pick of the 2010 draft, and came over from Cincy in the Mat Latos deal. Now 23, he hit just 6 HRs in 56 games at AAA this year, but he’s a hitter — .314/.415/.498 in 596 minor-league ABs, with 50 doubles and 20 HRs (and .335/.443/.521 at AAA, with more walks than whiffs). He’s also a catcher.
That’s a first: On Sunday, Washington’s Mike Gonzalez entered in the 8th with the tying run on 3rd and no outs. While pitching to his first batter, he unloosed a wild pitch, tying the score and moving the go-ahead run to 2nd. Then he struck out the side — CarGo, Tyler Colvin (both hitting over .300/.960) and Todd Helton. It’s the only searchable blown save of at least 1 inning while striking out all batters faced.
In the 1978 “Boston Massacre,” the Yankees went up to Boston and swept 4 games, scoring 42 runs — with just 2 HRs. They had 67 hits, but just 11 went for extra bases (16%). This past weekend, New York took 3 of 4 in Fenway, scoring 28 runs — with 8 HRs and 19 XBH among their 45 hits (42%). The Yanks have at least 4 XBH in all 6 games with Boston this year, their longest such streak ever against the BoSox (tying a mark set in ’61).
Exiled with just 2 innings on his card, Mark Melancon has yielded 1 run in 13.1 IP since returning — and his ERA is still 7.04.
His record is just 9-5, his ERA is only 9th in the majors, and he just got torched in the All-Star Game — but Justin Verlander leads both loops in IP, IP/G and SO, and is 3rd in WHIP and OPS+.
From May 2005 through May of this year, Baltimore was never shut out in back-to-back games. Then it happened twice in their last 20 games.
Washington ranks 7th in MLB in extra-base hits — but they’re they only team that’s had one in every game so far. Their 87-game streak (starting last year) is the longest of the past 3 seasons.
John Jaso had the 109th game by a DH of at least 6 ABs and no times on base (including errors), no Runs, no RBI. Five of the 15 such games since 2008 were by five different Mariners.