June 1, 2016
What You Need to Know
The Catcher Who Threw 96 In A Blowout
The Tuesday Takeaway
After another three-run homer in the third, this one courtesy of Seth Smith, it was time for San Diego’s bullpen to take over with Seattle up 10-0. This did nothing to help matters for the Padres, as the Mariners’ dinger deluge only continued. Franklin Gutierrez, Seth Smith again, Adam Lind—home runs all, pushing the score to 16-0 after the fifth inning as Hisashi Iwakuma locked down San Diego’s offense.
It would have made sense for the Padres to wish for a mercy rule at this point, but if one existed, we’d all have been robbed of the bright spot of the later innings—not the home runs of their own that San Diego tacked on the board, but the font of joy and weirdness that is position players pitching. In the eighth, the Padres let Christian Bethancourt take the mound, and he was… not bad.
There was a fastball that sat mid-90s and touched 96…
and there was also an eephus, coming in at 54 mph.
Perhaps not quite good enough to make you forget he’s a position player—there were also two walks and a hit batter, meaning that Bethancourt left the bases loaded for fellow position player Alexi Amarista, who successfully got out of the jam—but good enough, at least, to make sticking around for the blowout worth your while.
Mookie Betts started his night with a solo shot to center. In the second, he added a three-run homer to left. And after lining out in the fourth—something had to happen to keep him humble, after all—he tacked on another homer, this one to right to prove that he’s an equal opportunity guy when it comes to where he puts his dingers. If being the first leadoff man to hit three home runs in franchise history wasn’t enough for him, he also came out of nowhere for an impressive diving catch later in the game, just for good measure. The Red Sox made sure his night was not for naught, beating the Orioles 6-2 in Eduardo Rodriguez’s return to the rotation.
The White Sox did not have a particularly fun Memorial Day weekend, collapsing late against the Royals three times in a row before playing the supporting role yesterday in Matt Harvey’s rediscovery of his old self. But with the long weekend over, the South Siders’ seven-game losing streak is, too. Down 4-0 after the third inning—courtesy of a pair of Todd Frazier errors, along with a Neil Walker home run—the White Sox managed to come from behind for the victory over the Mets. Chicago took advantage as Steven Matz began fading in the sixth, starting with Frazier redeeming his earlier errors via a two-run homer. The seventh featured an unusual challenge from the Mets bullpen in the form of Noah Syndergaard, working in relief after being ejected early in Saturday’s start and giving the White Sox an offering not quite typical for the seventh inning—nine pitches over 100 mph.
Defensive Play of the Day
What to Watch on Wednesday
After debuting this season with a few shaky performances, Michael Fulmer has found a way to make things work in late May. In each of his last two starts (including his 11-strikeout gem a week and a half ago), the Detroit rookie has gone seven innings or more and walked just one, holding the competition to one run or none. He takes the mound at 7:05 PM EST against the Angels as the Tigers try to stop a four-game skid.