The Wednesday Takeaway

If you’re a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and baseballs being hit really far and over outfield fences, then the month of June has been lovely. The Orioles only hit one home run Wednesday during their 12-6 victory over the Padres, but it was one to remember for Mark Trumbo as they put the capper on what’s been a prolific month of power.

The O’s were already up by two in the top of the fourth inning when Trumbo came up to bat. He came into this game hitting .281/.331/.551 with a TAv of .294 and a league-leading 22 home runs. Once he got ahold of an 89 mph two-seamer from Christian Friedrich, he made it 23 on the year with a second-decker to left field.

Trumbo’s shot made it 4-0 at that point, and it also made a bit of MLB history. Back in 1996, the Oakland A’s hit a record 55 home runs during the month of June, with the awesomely-named Geronimo Berroa’s 19th homer of the season being no. 55. Trumbo’s homer Wednesday was Baltimore’s 55th of June, and they’ve officially equaled what that A’s team did 20 years ago.

It’s not a huge shock that the Orioles have reached a power-hitting record. This team was built with the idea that they could mash their way to the top of the AL East, and it’s been working well so far. They’re leading baseball in homers, they’ve got the individual leader in homers, and they’ve scored 11+ runs in three consecutive games.

As a result, they’re currently on a seven-game winning streak and hold a nice 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Living life for the long ball is going nicely for the O’s and there’s no reason to think that it won’t serve them well going forward.

Quick Hits

Elsewhere in the AL East, the Yankees went into the bottom of the ninth down 7-3 to Texas, and it was reasonable to believe the team with the best record in baseball would continue on their winning ways. After all, teams who led by four or more runs going into the ninth inning were 447-1 this season heading into this game, so getting three outs seemed like a mere formality. Instead, Texas would only get one out that inning.

The Yankees cut the lead to three after scraping together a run via two singles and an error, and then they made things really interesting when Brian McCann sent a three-run homer into the right field seats.

While Starlin Castro was unable to replicate his walk-off ways from last week, he did get on base via walk, and that set the stage for Didi Gregorius to make some magic happen and cap off an improbable come-from-behind victory for the Yankees.

Daniel Murphy’s been enjoying life with the Nationals, and his slash line of .349/.393/.571 with a TAv of .344 and a WARP of 3.0 is proof. Wednesday night the former Met decided to let his old team know just how much he was enjoying life in Washington, hitting a pair of home runs against them–including a two-run shot that put the game out of reach.

Meanwhile, the Astros will be entering a 10-game homestand on a positive note after they finished off a three-game sweep of the Angels in Anaheim. Houston won this game 10-4, and one of the biggest contributors was Jose Altuve. The prolific hitter was at it again yesterday as he went 4-for-5 with two singles, a double, and a triple.

Defensive Play of the Day

Javier Baez managing to get one out on this slow grounder from Joey Votto would have been fine. Instead, Baez pulled off a double play in spectacular fashion.

What to Watch on Thursday

Cleveland’s rattled off 12 consecutive victories, and now they’re one win away from tying the franchise record, which they set on two separate occasions back in 1942 and 1951, respectively. If the 2016 team wants to go down in history with the likes of Bob Feller, Larry Doby, Les Fleming, and Lou Boudreau, they’ll have to go through the Blue Jays.

While Toronto’s offense is definitely formidable, Cleveland will be sending Carlos Carrasco to the mound, and he’s currently sitting on a 3.64 DRA and a 92 cFIP. When you compare that to R.A. Dickey’s 5.16 DRA and 116 cFIP–plus the way Cleveland has been hitting the ball lately–you have to like the odds of the streak reaching a baker's dozen.

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Bannister joins the list of managers who brings in his closer in a non-save situation and sits back as the guy, Sam Dyson in this case, coughs up a 4 run lead, and the game. I understand that somebody has to stand on the mound in those situations but the closer is not the guy to start the 9th with a 4 run or greater lead. Without the rush they are not the same pitcher! It should be obvious to everyone. The percentage of times this has happened this year is mind boggling.
On the what to watch front supposedly Bruce Bochy is going to let Madison Bumgarner bat for himself in an AL park today. With a LHP for the A's and RHB Pence, Duffy, and Tomlinson on the DL, it's probably not the worst idea though realistically, Parker or Williamson are statistically better options.