While you (along with most everyone in America) were watching the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft play out yesterday, some baseball was being played! Here’s a recap of some of the things you missed while making fun of the Jaguars and watching Jonny Football sit at a table for an extended period of time:
– It took until the 20th game, 84th plate appearance and 318th pitch of his major league career, but Houston’s much-heralded rookie George Springer finally hit his first home run as a big-leaguer, an opposite field shot off Tigers lefty Drew Smyly that got out to the right field bleachers in a hurry*. It would be the first of three runs scored by the Astros in the inning, and lift them to a 6-2 win over Detroit, snapping their seven-game winning streak in the process. He would also show off his athleticism in the field, laying out to rob Miguel Cabrera of a hit.
– Another home run milestone was also reached elsewhere in the AL, this time in Toronto. In a ‘rivalry’ game against the Phillies, Edwin Encarnacion launched the 200th, and then 201st home runs of his career, giving him four in the past three games, and capping off a four game sweep for the Jays in which they comprehensively outscored Philadelpia 31-11. Having endured a sluggish April at the Dish, the 31-year-old Encarnacion is now hitting .281 in May, and has only struck out 3 times in contrast to his five walks. Look out AL East, it looks like the guy who put up 36 jacks and a .904 OPS last year is back.
– Michael Brantley continued his sizzling start to the month too, nabbing three hits (including a double and a home run) in Cleveland’s 9-4 beatdown of AL Central mates Minnesota. Brantley is now hitting .400 this month, and leads the team in average, runs, RBI, and homers. In other Cleveland-related news, Jonny Manziel!!!
– Nolan Arenado extended his hit streak to 28 games with a third-inning single off of Texas starter Matt Harrison. It would be his only hit of the game (one of just five for the league-leading Colorado offense, who were shutout 5-0), but gave him the franchise record, beating the mark set by teammate Michael Cuddyer just last season. Halfway to Joe DiMaggio‘s all-time record, Arenado has now hit .360 (40-of-111) with four home runs, 10 doubles and 19 RBIs since his run began back on April 9th. Today though, he’ll face Johnny Cueto, who leads the Majors with a 1.31 ERA and a .132 opponent’s batting average, in the first of a three-game set at Cincinnati.
– Ranked by MLB.com as the No. 2 prospect in the Rangers’ farm system, left-handed second basemen Rougned Odor was called up after Donnie Murphy went on the disabled list with a strained neck and Josh Wilson was designated for assignment. After hitting .279 with six home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 games at Frisco, the moved immediately into the Texas starting lineup, becoming the youngest to play in the majors so far this season at just 20 years and 94 days old. He promptly went 0-4.
– In another middle infield prospect promotion, right-handed shortstop Wilmer Flores was brought up by the New York Mets in an attempt to patch up their woeful offense (they had failed to score in 23 straight innings before getting a run in the first frame of yesterday’s tilt against the Nationals). Of course, like Odor, Flores also went 0-4 in his debut, but he has far less competition for the starting slot than his peer in Texas – who will presumably be pushed aside when Jurickson Profar returns off the DL.
— Mark Simon (@msimonespn) May 9, 2014
– Surpise, surprise, Giancarlo Stanton did something few else could: hit a humpback liner out to center field for a home run in 3.63 seconds, on an 0-2 pitch from Dale Thayer, at Petco Park no less! The two-out, two-run jack gave Miami the Marlins their first lead of the game in the 11th, and would secure only their third road win of the season. Additionally, Stanton’s 40 RBIs for the season lead the NL, and through 35 team games are the most in Marlins franchise history.
– Having conquered elbow inflammation during March, rehabbed from a strained lat muscle in April, and seen the prospect he was traded for (Robbie Ray) called up and make an immediate impression on the Tigers, Doug Fister will today finally debut as a Washington National. Expected to throw no more than 100 pitches, the big righty will square off against Tommy Milone in Oakland, as the Nats start a three-game inter league series at O.co Coliseum.
That’s it! Enjoy the second and third rounds of the NFL Draft today!