By Bill Arnold and Rick Wacha
YOUNG MAN’S GAME
The selections of (LF) Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, (likely CF) Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers and (RF) Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers as the National League’s starting outfielders are on the verge of becoming the third-youngest starting outfield younger than 28 to start and play in an All-Star Game, if all remain healthy before the game on July 9. The 2019 trio posts a combined age of 71.780. The youngest starting outfield that played was the 1940 group, which featured left fielder Ted Williams, center fielder Joe DiMaggio and right fielder Charlie Keller, which had a combined age of 69.842. The second-youngest outfield may be considered one of the greatest starting outfields to ever be assembled in the history of “The Midsummer Classic.” That outfield started and played for the 1957 National League team and featured three future Hall-of-Famers – 21-year-old Frank Robinson in left, 26-year-old Willie Mays in center
and 23-year-old Hank Aaron in right – with a combined age of 70.530.
The 11 All-Star Game outfields who were younger than 28 years old and started and played in an All-Star Game were:
|Year Lg.||LF/CF/RF (age)||Combined Age|
|1940 AL||Ted Williams (21.313)/Joe DiMaggio (25.226)/Charlie Keller (23.300)||69.842|
|1957 NL||Frank Robinson (21.312)/Willie Mays (26.064)/Hank Aaron (23.154)||70.530|
|2019 NL||Ronald Acuna Jr. ( 21.203)/Cody Bellinger (23.361)/Christian Yelich (27.216)||71.780|
|2016 AL||Jackie Bradley Jr. (26.084)/Mike Trout (24.340)/Mookie Betts (23.278)||73.702|
|1936 NL||Joe Medwick (24.226)/Augie Galan (24.045)/Frank Demaree (26.027)||74.298|
|1941 AL||Ted Williams (22.312)/Joe DiMaggio (26.225)/Jeff Heath (26.098)||74.635|
|2017 AL||George Springer (27.295)/Mookie Betts (24.277)/Aaron Judge (25.076)||76.648|
|1958 NL||Bob Skinner (26.278)/Willie Mays (27.063)/Hank Aaron (24.153)||77.494|
|2018 AL||Aaron Judge (26.082)/Mike Trout (26.344)/Mookie Betts (25.283)||77.709|
|1976 NL||Greg Luzinski (25.234)/George Foster (27.225)/Dave Kingman (27.205)||79.664|
|1973 AL||Bobby Murcer (27.065)/Amos Otis (26.089)/Reggie Jackson (27.067)||80.221|
Cincinnati Reds’ rookie manager David Bell has already been ejected six times this season, which is the most ejections by a manager in his first full season since Rick Renteria was tossed by umpires six times during his one-year tenure with Chicago Cubs in 2014. Bell still has a ways to go before entering the record books. The all-time leader for ejections manager in their first full season is 10, which is shared by Roger Bresnahan of the 1909 St. Louis Cardinals and Bill Dahlen of the Brooklyn Superbas in 1910. Rounding out the top-six, most-ejected, rookie skippers are Burleigh Grimes of the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers with nine and Johnny Evers of the 1913 Chicago Cubs, Bill Rigney of the 1956 New York Giants and Cal Ripken Sr. of the 1987 Baltimore Orioles with eight each.
AROUND THE HORN
… 2019 is the final year the Yankees can attempt to continue their amazing record of appearing in at least one World Series every decade since the 1920s.
… Joey Gallo became the first clean-up hitter in Rangers’ franchise history (1961-present) to hit a home run and have a sacrifice hit in the same game when he homered and had a sac hit against the host Rays on June 30.
… Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg became the 91st different major-league pitcher to throw an immaculate inning (three batters striking out on nine strikes) when he accomplished the rarity against the Marlins’ middle of order – Garrett Cooper, Neil Walker, and Starlin Castro) in the top of the fourth inning on Wednesday; it was the 97th occurrence of the feat in MLB history.
… Scoring on a sacrifice fly to a second baseman is considered nearly impossible, but Fernando Tatis Jr. has accomplished the feat twice this season; the Padres’ rookie phenom pulled it off for the second time this season by scoring on Manny Machado‘s infield popup in the sixth inning against Joe Panik of the visiting Giants on Monday to follow up his successful dash to the plate on a popup by Hunter Renfroe in the first inning against the Pirates’ Kevin Newman on June 23 in Pittsburgh.
… According to Ken Rosenthal of the “The Athletic,” Edwin Encarnacion became the first player to play and score a run on three continents when he scored a run during the Yankees-Red Sox game in London, England on June 29; the Yankees’ designated hitter has played and scored in games this season in Asia (Japan) as a Mariner, North America (United States) and Europe (England).
… Strange to believe but Buster Posey of the Giants has yet to hit a home run at home this season; the catcher has three home runs this season with each occurring on the road.
… Yuli Gurriel joined Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio as the only Astros’ players to record consecutive extra-inning, walk-off hits when he drove home the winning runs in the 10th inning against the Mariners on June 28 and 29; Biggio recorded his extra-inning, back-to-back walk-offs in 1991 on August 4 against Dodgers and August 5 against the Padres.
… One big problem for the A’s is their low save percentage as compared to last season (71.0 percent) when they had the sixth highest in the majors; however, this year they are ranked 28th with a save percentage of just 52.8 – only the Red Sox, Mets and Mariners have lower save percentages.
… According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Dodgers joined the 2004 A’s and 1986 Astros as the only teams to record five straight walk-off wins when won their fifth straight on Wednesday when Cody Bellinger hit a walk-off, home runagainst the Diamondbacks; the 2000 Royals hold record with six straight walk-off wins.
… The first Yankees-Red Sox game in London on June 29 lasted four hours and 42 minutes, which made it the third-longest, nine-inning game in MLB history; unsurprising is that the Red Sox lead the majors in four-hour or longer games played this season with nine.
… Brandon Kintzler of the Cubs is the only reliever in the bigs who haven’t allowed an earned run in a home game (minimum of 15) this season.
… Base runners must love Mets catcher Wilson Ramos, because he has given up 57 stolen bases in 65 attempts in the 66 games he’s caught this season.
… Jose Altuve passed Jeff Bagwell for second place on the Astros’ all-time list for most three-hit or greater games when he recorded his 142nd such effort with four knocks against the host Rockies on Tuesday night; the second baseman needs just 84 such games to pass Craig Biggio for the franchise record of 225 three-hit or more games.
… According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, Monday (July 1) was the ninth annual payment of $1,119,248.20 by the Mets to former player Bobby Bonilla (1992-95 and 1999) to satisfy his contract with the Mets; the team has just 16 more payments until the debt is paid off in 2035, when he will be 72 years old.
… According to baseball historian Christopher Kamka, when Aaron Hicks of the Yankees popped a home run in London, England, he joined Ross Barnes (1876 – United States), Mack Jones (1969 – Canada), Steve Finley (1996 – Mexico), Shane Andrews (2000 – Japan), Scott Van Slyke (2014 – Australia) as the first major-league players to hit the first homer in one of the six countries that have hosted major-league games.
… On June 28 Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers joined Stan Musial (1954) as the only players in NL history to record 100 or more hits, 50 or more walks and 25 or more home runs through a team’s first 80 games.
… Through Thursday the Nationals (249.2 IP), the Indians (273.2), Dodgers (274.1) and the Twins (283.0) have used their relievers the fewest innings in the majors; the Rays (406.1) have used relievers the most.
… The Rockies’ German Marquez leads all pitchers with 10 RBIs.
… Brewer starter Adrian Houser became the 159th major-league pitcher (183rd occurrence) to retire the side on just three pitches when he accomplished the feat against the host Reds (7/8/9 batters – Jose Iglesias, Curt Casali and Tyler Mahle) in fifth inning on Monday; he’s the first Brewer to throw three and get three since Jeff Suppan on April 4, 2007, against the visiting Dodgers (2/3/4 batters – Russell Martin, Nomar Garciaparra and Jeff Kent) in the fifth inning.
… For the first time since replay began in 2015, four plays called by one umpire at the same base were all reviewed and overturned in the same game on June 28; first-base umpire Vic Carapazza endured the run of reviews by the host Padres, who challenged a play in each of the second and third innings, while the visiting Cardinals challenged a play in each of the fourth and seventh innings.
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