Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Clearing the bases: Oh, Romero
By David Schoenfield
First base: Romero rocked again. Considering all the injuries to the Blue Jays' rotation, another issue of concern is the struggles of ace Ricky Romero, who allowed eight runs in six-plus innings -- including a grand slam to Mike Moustakas -- in Monday's 11-3 loss to the Royals. Romero is 8-3 thanks to great run support, but his ERA is 5.35. He's allowed four runs or more in 11 of 17 starts, a figure topped only by Jake Arrieta's 12 such starts. But he's allowed four-plus runs in his last eight starts and 17 over his past two. The Jays are now 40-40 and without Romero at the top of his game, their playoff chances are dimming.
Second base: Maybin's monster mash. After a breakout season in 2011 for the Padres, Cameron Maybin has been a big disappointment, with a .206/.287/.307 line, but he did belt the season's longest home run on Monday, a 485-foot bash off Trevor Cahill. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that tops Nelson Cruz's 484-foot blast on June 3. Yasmani Grandal also homered for the Padres, making his first three career hits all home runs. That would seem like like a first-player-to-do-it type of feat, but he's the seventh player to do so since 1900, joining Keith McDonald (2000), Alfonso Soriano (1999-2000), Mike Greenwell (1985), Billy Conigliaro (1969), Ed Sanicki (1949) and Chick Fullis (1929). The amazing thing about McDonald: Those were the only three hits of his career.
Third base: Weaving zeroes. Jered Weaver improved to 9-1 with a 2.13 ERA with seven scoreless innings against the Indians and could be in line to start the All-Star Game for the second straight season. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Weaver threw a season-high 20 curveballs, 14 for strikes. Since 2009, Weaver now has 23 scoreless starts, second in the majors to Clayton Kershaw's 28. I still expect Justin Verlander to get the start, but Weaver could be the first to start consecutive All-Star Games since Randy Johnson started for the NL in 2000 and 2001.
Home plate: Tweet of the day. The A's beat the Red Sox 6-1 as they scored five runs in two innings off Daisuke Matsuzaka. Josh Reddick didn't make the All-Star team, but he hit his 19th home run, and former Red Sox prospect Brandon Moss hit his ninth to raise his slugging percentage to .658. Leading to this tweet from Peter Gammons: