Seven Takeaways from MLB week 6
Each week on Monday (I figure I can handle a small commitment to my blog, right?) I’ve been giving you a quick wrap up of seven important things that happened over the past week in MLB, and even some MiLB, plays, events, matchups or whatever it was I would have loved to do an entire post on but didn’t have the time.
( If I did do a post on an event it’s likely you won’t usually see here because I already wrote about it – however in some cases such as a 20 K game – you might! LOL!)
Because let’s face it, there are 30 teams and no one person can cover them all or keep track of everything. I have a hard enough time covering the A’s at for FanRag Sports’ Today’s Knuckleball – which is where I work, just in case this is your first time reading my blog. You can learn more about me and my story here, if you’re curious about who’s talking to you right now.
Please leave a comment for any event in any level of baseball that you think I may have missed (and there should be plenty of those) or that you think should be on my list but isn’t.
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals:
Washington Nationals’ pitcher Stephen Strasburg shocked the baseball world this week when he signed a seven-year $175 million contract extension with the team. However, his agent is the infamous Scott Boras and the contract includes not one but two opt-out clauses, after the third and fourth year of the contract. Strasburg was going to be the highlight of the free agent market after the season so why sign for seven years?
Here’s my take: Strasburg has yet to reach his potential having been sidelined by Tommy John surgery and Boras thinks that they’ll have better luck on the free agent market in three, maybe four seasons. He may very well be correct and instead of losing part of their stacked rotation, the Nationals get Strasburg for at least three years which I assume makes them happier than losing him this year.
Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays:
The Rangers’ took their revenge on the Blue Jays’ who defeated them in the ALDS last year. Jose Bautista‘s infamous bat-flip still has the Rangers pissed. Seriously. Texas pitcher Matt Bush nailed Bautista in the side in the top of the eighth inning of the game on Sunday.
It should have been over and done with but a play or two later Bautista was going from first to second base. He made somewhat of a late slide but it wasn’t dirty. At the same time Ranger’s second baseman Rougned Odor appears to try and hit Bautista in the face with the ball as he threw it to first to try to get the double play. And things really should have stopped there, but not so. Odor waited for Bautista to get up, shoved him and literally punched him in the face, inevitably clearing the benches until it was an all out brawl. When all was said and done, four coaches and four players were ejected from the game. It was, needless to say, pretty insane!
Noah Syndergaard & Bartolo Colon, New York Mets:
Of course we have all heard about 42-year-old Bartolo Colon‘s first career home run, it was and will be considered one of the most exciting moments of the year, in fact, I wrote about it twice! His teammate 23-year-old Noah Syndergaard was so awed by Colon’s homer that he tweet this the next morning:
Took me a day to process one of the biggest moments in baseball history….a King Bart homer, and then his sprint around the bases. #myhero
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) May 8, 2016
Then he went on to homer twice this week – in the same game! It was incredible and I now believe he had definitely earned his nickname, Thor. Of course he credited Colon for being his inspiration tweeting this:
Tonight was a direct result of Bartolo inspiring me to be a better man. #histrotwasbetter
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) May 12, 2016
Danny Valencia: Oakland Athletics:
Danny Valencia has been clutch for the struggling Athletics since he was picked up off waivers from Toronto last September. Over the team’s weekend series he accomplished something that no Athletic had since Mark McGwire did it in 1995. He hit five home runs in a three-game series. He hit two Friday night leading the A’s to victory and THREE in Sunday game, helping the A’s to win the series. His third home run came with two outs and two strikes in the top of the 9th inning, the A’s were down to their last out. With Billy Burns on second and the A’s down 6-5 Valencia homered to left giving the A’s a 7-6 lead that the kept as Ryan Madson retired the side in the ninth. It was also Valencia’s 10th straight game with a hit.
Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners:
Felix Hernandez recently passed Seattle’s Jamie Moyer‘s to have the most strikeouts in Mariner’s history. This week he surpassed Moyer in wins as well when he got his 146th win, making him the winningest pitcher in Mariner’s history. Congrats to King Felix!
Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals:
I wrote about this event, which is normally something I don’t usually put in this post, however, I think Max Scherzer‘s 20 strikeout game in which he officially tied Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood as the only pitchers who have struck out 20 batters in a nine inning game. For more on the game as well as a history of 20 strikeout games click here.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox:
Chris Sale became the first pitcher in the big leagues to get his eighth win this week. Not only that, he has yet to get a loss or even a no-decision. There’s talk that he may become the first pitcher since Bob Welch to win 25 games in a season. Welch won 27 in 1990 and no one has done it since. Sale has a long way to go still but if he can just keep doing what he is doing he may have a chance.