Seven takeaways from MLB week 7
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 – 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.
On Sunday May 22 , A’s third baseman Danny Valencia took the Tampa Bay Rays pitchers three times in one game. His last one was in the top of the ninth inning with the A’s down by a run, down to their last out of the game and with Valencia already down two strikes. Billy Burns was on second base when Valencia hit his third home run of the game to put the A’s ahead by the score of 7-6. Ryan Madson shut down the Rays in the bottom of the ninth sending the A’s home from their East Coast road trip on a very happy note. Three days later on a Tuesday night in Oakland, the A’s had the lead in the top of the ninth inning when Madson allowed the go-ahead run to score on a single by Texas Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre. Now trailing with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the A’s had managed to load the bases against Rangers’ closer Shawn Tolleson.
Left fielder Khris Davis stepped up to the plate and was quickly down to his last strike. On the next pitch Davis, who already had hit two home runs in the game, launched a monster shot into the left field bleachers for a walk-off Grand Slam. Now, it’s not very often you see players with three homer games, it’s even more rare to see two players on the same team have them within three days of each other, especially when in both situations the A’s were down to their last out and final strike. Davis’ walk-off Grand Slam was only the second time a walk-off Grand Slam capped a three homer game in MLB history. The Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto also accomplished the feat in May 2012.
Kevin Kiermaier, Tampa Bay Rays:
The Rays took a huge loss last week when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier broke his hand diving for a ball against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. The Gold Glove winning outfielder is one of the best defensive outfielders in the entire league. It was announced Monday that Kiermaier’s injury will require surgery and he will be out of commission for the next 6-8 weeks. He was hitting just .236 with five home runs and 16 RBI at the time of his injury so the Rays may be able to replace him in the lineup but it will be virtually impossible to replace him in the field.
Chicago White Sox:
The Chicago White Sox turned their SECOND triple play of the young 2016 season on Wednesday. It was much more conventional than their first, that is if you like to call triple plays “conventional.” The first triple play turned by the White Sox this season was on April 22 against the Texas Rangers. It involved five players and looked a little bit like this 9-3-2-6-2-5.
Yeah, I guess that should be considered an unconventional triple play but I personally, wouldn’t call getting a triple play at all “conventional.” Their second triple play came against the other Texas baseball team the Houston Astros on May 18 at US Cellular Field (both triple plays took place at the Sox home field on the southside of Chicago). White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier fielded a ball hit by Houston’s George Springer with Tony Kemp on second base and Jose Altuve on on first. Frazier tossed the ball around the horn to second baseman Brett Lowrie who tossed the ball to first baseman Jose Abreu to beat out Springer at first. It was the first time a team had turned two double plays in the first two months of the season since the 1978 Astros.
Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox:
White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale improved to a major league leading 9-0 on Thursday against the Houston Astros. He pitched his third complete game of the season allowing just four hits and one run. The run came on a home run by Evan Gattis but that was the only bad pitch Sale threw all night. He is the first White Sox pitcher to go 9-0 in their first nine starts since Eddie Cicotte of the 1919 “Black Sox” – not only is that a long time ago, that’s an extremely famous name to be associated with. In my opinion being associated with Cicotte for this isn’t a bad thing. It happened months before the infamous World Series scandal and depending on who you believe and looking at the numbers Cicotte didn’t pitch poorly in the series. Regardless, Cicotte won his first 12 games in 1919 and it is looking as though Sale may just make it there too!
Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins:
One of baseball’s most prolific hitters, Giancarlo Stanton, is in the mires of one of the most epic slumps ever. The Marlin’s outfielder has always been seen as epic in every way from his epic $325 million contract to his epic gorgeous (yes, I am a chick sometimes) to the length of his epic home runs and now his slump of literally epic proportions. Over his past 15 games Stanton has gone 5 for 52 at the plate with 28 strikeouts and just one RBI. Experts everywhere are giving various reasons for the slump but even the Marlins’ hitting coaches Frank Menechino and Barry Bonds can’t seen to help the slumping slugger. Prior to being hurt last season, Stanton was on pace to hit 50-60 home runs. So far this season he has hit just 11 homers and has a league leading 60 strikeouts.
John Gibbons, manager, Toronto Blue Jays:
The manager of the the Toronto Blue Jays, John Gibbons, was ejected three times in eight days! It may go over my week one day but it’s a pretty interesting situation. Of course we all know that he was ejected on Sunday during the Blue Jays brawl with the Texas Rangers, a suspension that wasn’t handed down until Tuesday, leaving Gibbons susceptible to being ejected during Monday’s game. He was ejected Monday in the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. After serving his three-game suspension which was served Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – he was able to manager Friday and Saturday without incident but then the calendar turned to the new week on Sunday. Gibbons was ejected yet again Sunday in the Jays’ game in Minnesota against the Twins. So it’s safe to say that Gibbons did not do much managing at all last week. Interesting, isnt’ it? LOL!
Rougned Odor, Texas Rangers:
Rougned Odor was handed an eight game suspension for his role in the aforementioned brawl between the Rangers and the Blue Jays. He started the brawl that was seemingly over the Rangers’ loss to the Blue Jays in last years ALDS by punching Jays’ slugger Jose Bautista in the face. He plans to appeal the suspension and the appeal is set to be heard Tuesday by MLB vice president John McHale. On a personal note I hope that his suspension is NOT reduced. His actions on the field were unbelievable for a professional in ANY profession to engage in and it was just wrong. Apparently, he was suspended and fined more than once in the minor leagues for similar behaviors. His suspension should be upheld. Bautista’s controversial, yet epic, bat flip in the 2015 ALDS is nothing in comparison to Odors punch.
Check back next Monday for seven more of my weekly takeaways! I promise it will be published earlier but I’m still making it here – only 11:44 pm on the West Coast! LOL! 🙂
Love, the original Oakland A’s Socks Girl (or just call me Jen!)