Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Monday, May 1.
Well, so much for Noah Syndergaard being invincible. The man called Thor had refused an MRI and took the start yesterday. With one out in the second, already 38 pitches in and trailing 5-2 Mets’ broadcaster Howie Rose said “Now he’s flexing his shoulder.” A radio man can’t say anything more dire about a stud pitcher. Immediately the Mets’ spin doctors (rather than an MD or a surgeon) called it a “Lat strain,” something no layman will know about. They don’t want the smart baseball fans of New York to know the likelihood of severe structural damage to the Syndergaard shoulder. From there the rout was on. No pitcher did well. The Mets were reduced to letting catcher Kevin Plawecki pitch and give up the last 4 runs. Anthony Rendon put up 3 home runs and 10 RBIs, only two short of the MLB record that dates back to 1924 and was equalled 24 years ago. The 10 RBIS are a Nationals’ team record and a personal record for Rendon at any level. He collected 6 hits. Only one other man had 6 hits and 10 RBIs in a game-the Reds’ Walker Cooper-but Cooper went 6 for 7 unlike Rendon who was a picture perfect 6 of 6. Until yesterday Rendon had no homers and 5 rBIS in 95 atbats. Facing an obviously hurting Syndergaard he singled home two runs in the Nats’ 5-run first. In the third he hit a solo home run and followed that with a 3-run jack in the 4th, both off Sean Gilmartin who followed Syndergaard to the hill. Fernando Salas was the next Mets’ pitcher to face the wrath of Rendon who nailed him for a 3-run double that missed being a grand slam by a foot. He notched the third home run and 10th RBI in the 8th off Plawecki. Syndergaard and Gilmartin gave up 5 runs each, Fernando Salas gave up 3, Josh Smoker allowed 6 before Plawecki gave up the last 4.
In an ironic twist, on the same day as Rendon’s 3 bombs Nationals’ minor leaguer Carter Kieboom hit 3 home runs for low A Hagerstown as they demolished Lexington 22–4. He was the Nats’ first draft choice a year ago. He went 5 out of 7, 3 home runs, 5 RBIs and 4 runs scored. His beleaguered foes in Lexington are the Royals’ low A team. Kieboom is a shortstop from Marietta, Georgia and just 19 years old. His 5 hits were 1/6 of Hagerstown’s total 30 base knocks leading to 22 runs. The minor league Nationals are 15-9 after their thrashing of the homestanding Legends in Lexington. Almost 6,000 in the stands saw what Kieboom did. The visitors put up a run in the second, two in the third, 6 in the 4th, one more in the 7th before blowing things wide open with a pair of 6-run innings. The visitors’ 30 hits were the most in a game since the South Atlantic League began play in 1904. All told, 4 Suns’ players had 5 hits each. Neither the MLB Nationals’ starter Joe Ross nor his Hagerstown counterpart lasted the needed 5 innings to get what should have been an easy victory.
After taking 2 of 3 from the Orioles this weekend, the Yankees face the surprisingly sluggish Blue Jays in tonight’s earliest game. The Jays send Marco Estrada against the Yankees’ booming bats. In 5 starts, only once has he given more than two runs. He faces Luis Severino who shut out the Red Sox over 7 innings last time out. The Orioles move on to Boston, sending Dylan Bundy against the Sox’ Rick Porcello. The Mets don’t get a day to lick their wounds. They proceed to the new ball park near Atlanta to face the Braves. Robert Gsellman gets the call and will have little choice but to give them innings, no matter what sort of beating he might take. Last time it amounted to 6 runs in 4 innings against these same Braves. After a weekend in Los Angeles, the Phillies open a series at Wrigley tonight. Vince Velasquez faces Brett Anderson of the Cubs. In a pair of in-state series, the Rays face the Marlins in Miami and the Astros meet the Rangers in Arlington. The Giants and Dodgers meet in the late game tonight. Johnny Cueto of the Giants faces Clayton Kershaw, easily the best pitcher west of the Mississippi with the devastating injury to Madison Bumgarner.0