Albert Pujols and Matt Kemp both hit home runs on Thursday, keeping Pujols only one home run ahead of Kemp for the National League lead. With his league-leading RBI total (five more than the runner-up) and third-best batting average (only .004 points behind league-leader Ryan Braun), Matt Kemp is closer to the Triple Crown with only six games left to play than I have ever seen. These last few days of the season promise to be quite exciting in the world of home runs and much more. I can't wait.
Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays – 26.02 seconds [video]
The Angels still have a lot to play for, having begun the day on Thursday only 2.5 games behind the Wild Card leader. The Blue Jays can only play the role of spoiler. Toronto third-baseman Edwin Encarnacion embraced that role on Thursday, crushing a ball over the leftfield fence to give the Blue Jays a twelfth-inning, walkoff 4-3 victory and to make it that much harder for Los Angeles to see October.
Slowest Trot: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays – 26.02 seconds [video]
Encarnacion isn't the quickest trotter on a normal day, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see him atop the Slowest Trotter list after his walkoff blast. What secured Encarnacion's spot, though, was his approach to his ring of teammates at the plate. As he reached the plate and the outer reaches of his teammates, Encarnacion nearly came to a dead stop as he decided how to come into the plate. He eventually decided on the slow, bent-down crawl. The moment of indecision – or playful anticipation – may have been enough to budge Encarnacion past the next slowest trotter.
Jemile Weeks, the small, speedy Oakland second-baseman, was the second-slowest trotter. It was his first career home run and, obviously, Weeks wanted to enjoy it. I would be lying if I said I expected anything even remotely slow from Weeks in his tater trot.
Quickest Trot: Eric Thames, Toronto Blue Jays – 18.02 seconds [video]
Thames just loves to run those bases. The next-quickest trot came from Kosuke Fukudome, who wanted to get back to the dugout as soon as possible after his leadoff home run.
All of Today's Trots Edwin Encarnacion..26.02 Andruw Jones.......22.17 Jemile Weeks.......24.63 Pablo Sandoval.....22.15 Juan Rivera........24.62 Johnny Damon.......21.99 Asdrubal Cabrera...23.99 Michael Morse......21.31 Delmon Young.......23.95 Albert Pujols......21.26 Adam Jones.........23.58 J.J. Hardy.........20.71 Matt Kemp..........23.47 Jason Kipnis.......19.95 Allen Craig........22.91 Ben Zobrist........19.83 Alberto Callaspo...22.8 B.J. Upton.........19.74 Carlos Beltran.....22.39 Kosuke Fukudome....18.31 Kevin Kouzmanoff...22.23 Eric Thames........18.02 Wilin Rosario......22.18