The Wednesday Takeaway
The Rockies beat the Nationals 12-10 yesterday. If this had happened anywhere except at Coors Field, this would be recognized as a pier-six slugfest, but at Colorado they call it a Wednesday, and it barely seems to matter if somebody's ace is on the mound.
Stephen Strasburg came into this game needing a bit of a bounce-back performance following two rough outings against the Giants and Braves. It didn’t take long for it to become evident that this was going to be anything but. Colorado’s first six batters all reached base before Strasburg could record an out. The eighth and ninth batters—yes, this includes Colorado’s pitcher, Jon Gray—each hit doubles, and by the time the dust cleared from this carnage, the Nationals were down by seven runs and in a major hole.
The good news is that the second inning was better for Strasburg, in that he didn’t give up seven runs again. The bad news is that he only made it through two-thirds of the inning before giving up two more runs and making his exit. A triple from Gerardo Parra—who cleared the bases back in the first inning with a double—made it 8-2 in favor of the Rockies, and an RBI single from Ben Paulsen was the one that ended up knocking Strasburg out of the game.
That left Strasburg with a 7.20 career ERA in Coors, but he's certainly not alone:
- Andy Pettitte: 9.58
- Bartolo Colon: 9.45
- John Lackey: 9.18
- Mark Mulder: 9.00
- Tim Hudson: 7.41
- Javier Vazquez: 7.00
- CC Sabathia: 6.91
and so on.
If you’re brave enough to take a deep look at Strasburg’s plot charts from his game, go right ahead. If not, I don’t blame you for skipping right past this carnage.
Strasburg’s early exit didn’t necessarily mean that the rest of the game was smooth sailing for Colorado. In fact, the Nats eventually got to within three runs of the Rockies by the fifth inning, and they did so in emphatic fashion. The Nationals have this guy on their team named “Bryce Harper,” and sometimes he hits balls really hard and really far.
Once the ball came down from visiting one of Colorado’s famous snow-capped mountains, the game was 9-6, and it seemed like the Nationals were more than willing to go toe-to-toe with the Rockies in this slugfest. The Rockies responded in kind in the very next frame with three more runs, including this moonshot from Tony Wolters. This homer have not have flown 481 feet like Harper’s dinger did, but knocking one that deep into second deck at Coors Field is still impressive and picturesque, at that.
The Nationals did the rest of the scoring on the afternoon, as it took the Rockies seven pitchers on the day in order to hold the massive lead that they started out with. They did, winning 12-10. It was the fifth time the Rockies have beat a team by exactly that score. Seems like more.
One of the top prospects in all of baseball made his major-league debut on Wednesday night, as Dansby Swanson and his 80-grade hair made the start for the Braves against the Twins. The excitement for the first-overall pick from the 2015 draft was palpable as the sparse crowd at Turner Field gave him a standing ovation following a groundout. He did have a decent night at the plate, as he went 2-for-4 with a couple of singles. He’ll have to wait a while for his first win as a major-league player, since Minnesota walloped Atlanta 10-3.
Nearly 10 years ago, Anibal Sanchez threw his first career no-hitter as a rookie on the Florida Marlins. Fast forward to last night, and it seemed as if Sanchez had found a way to turn back the hands of time and was about to throw another. That dream lasted for seven innings, until Eric Hosmer put an end to all of this by hitting a double. As if that wasn’t enough, Hosmer ended up hitting the decisive homer that helped give Kansas City the victory. That escalated quickly, didn’t it?
The Mariners are still fighting hard to be in the serious conversation for a Wild Card spot as we enter the final quarter of the season, and one thing that they’ll have to do is beat up on some bad teams. That includes the Angels, who are having an extremely tough season right now. They managed to avoid a franchise-record 12th straight defeat on Tuesday night, but they put another entry into the “L” column on Wednesday night, and plays like this from Seattle’s Leonys Martin didn’t help the Angels at all.
Defensive Play of the Day
I can’t decide what’s more impressive about this play. Is it the fact that Carlos Correa was able to judge a sharp grounder that bounced off the mound and make a clean collection? Could it be that Correa proceeded to immediately flip the ball to Jose Altuve? Or is it the moment when Altuve barehanded the flip and fired it to first base to complete the double play with no problem? This was mind-boggling when I first saw it, and I feel bad for the late-arriving fans in Houston who happened to miss this live, since it happened in the very first inning.
What to Watch on Thursday
The Boston Red Sox are currently in the thick of a three-headed race for the AL East crown, and they’ll be riding into Detroit on a high note after taking a two-game sweep in Baltimore. Meanwhile, the Tigers are starting to fade a bit after coming out of the All-Star break in a blaze of glory. They’re six back of Cleveland now, and they’ll have a tough task ahead of them when it comes to making up ground. The pitching matchup doesn’t look too impressive, as Clay Buchholz is currently sitting on a 5.61 DRA and a 126 cFIP, while the Tigers will be sending Matt Boyd. The scoreboard operator at Comerica Park will probably have a busy afternoon ahead of him.
If day baseball isn’t your idea of a good time, then there’s a lovely nightcap waiting for you at the end of the day. The Mets are in San Francisco tonight, and the pitching matchup has Jacob deGrom going up against Madison Bumgarner. If you’re willing to stay up late (assuming you’re not one of the lucky ones living in the Pacific time zone), then you’re going to be in for a treat.
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