Wednesday affords the baseball enthusiast a full schedule of MLB action, including plenty of day games. So let’s jump right in … 

Final scores


  • Los Angeles Angels
    3,
    Washington Nationals
    2 (box score)

  • Miami Marlins
    8,
    San Francisco Giants
    1 (box score)

  • Milwaukee Brewers
    7,
    Pittsburgh Pirates
    6 (box score)

  • Kansas City Royals
    7,
    Oakland Athletics
    6 (box score)

  • Seattle Mariners
    7,
    Baltimore Orioles
    6 (box score)

  • San Diego Padres
    3,
    Philadelphia Phillies
    0 (box score)

  • Tampa Bay Rays
    at
    Toronto Blue Jays
    (GameTracker)

  • New York Yankees
    at
    New York Mets
    (GameTracker)

  • St. Louis Cardinals
    at
    Boston Red Sox
    (GameTracker)

  • Detroit Tigers
    at
    Texas Rangers
    (GameTracker)

  • Cincinnati Reds
    at
    Chicago Cubs
     (GameTracker)

  • Cleveland Indians
    at
    Minnesota Twins
     (GameTracker)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks
    at
    Houston Astros
     (GameTracker)

  • Braves
    at
    Colorado Rockies
    , 8:40 p.m. ET (GameTracker)

  • Chicago White Sox
    at
    Los Angeles Dodgers
    , 10:10 p.m. ET (GameTracker)  

Myers steals his way around the bases


Wil Myers
 had himself quite a trip around the bases on Wednesday afternoon. In the fourth inning he stroked an RBI single to left to open the scoring, then stole second, third, and home. Check it out:

Aside from hitting a home run, that’s pretty much the only way a hitter can create a run all by himself. Naturally, the steal of home was a botched play:

The last player to steal his way around the bases was 
Dee Gordon
 back in 2011, when he was still with the Dodgers.

The Angels keep getting clutch hits

The Angels nipped the Nationals on Wednesday and in doing so remained in possession of the second AL wild card spot. When you win a game by a score of 3-2 in the modern era, it’s about pitching and defense to a large extent. However,
Kole Calhoun
‘s clutch two-run homer with two outs in the sixth also moved the needle in a big way … 

So, yes, clutch blast, as mentioned. That’s in keeping with the general theme of things with the Angels this year. They’re above .500 and in playoff position in part because they’re now 22-15 in one-run games. That’s got something to do with their timely hitting. Now Angel better embodies that than
Albert Pujols
in 2017 … 

Albert Pujols


DH
/ L.A. Angels
(2017)

Overall OPS: .648
OPS with bases empty: .641
OPS with RISP: .771

No, clutch hitting isn’t really a sustainable skill — good hitters tend to be good hitters in all situations, and players who can’t handle pressure situations get weeded out long before they reach the majors. Clutch hitting, however, is a thing that happens, particularly within the confines of a single season. Pujols is certainly doing that, if you consider RISP a stand-in for clutch spots. And the Angels as a whole are doing it. 

For instance, they rank last in the AL in overall OPS this season. However, they rank sixth in the AL in “late and close” game situations. Also, in high-leverage spots — i.e., clutch situations — Angels hitters have an OPS of .749. In low-leverage situations — i.e., situations of relative unimportance — their team OPS falls to .703. That’s a big difference, even if it’s just random noise driving it.

Oh, and for those who are curious, yes,
Mike Trout
‘s indeed gotten in on the act … 

Mike Trout


CF
/ L.A. Angels
(2017)

Overall OPS: 1.154
OPS with RISP: 1.250
OPS in high-leverage situations: 1.410

The thing about clutch performance is that it can vaporize in an instant. The Angels, though, are hoping that it sticks around long enough to carry them to the playoffs. 

Brewers make big comeback against Pirates

Quite a roller coaster at Miller Park on Wednesday afternoon. The Pirates jumped out an early 4-0 lead, then the Brewers tied it. The Pirates took a 5-4 lead, then the Brewers tied it. The Pirates took a 6-5 lead, then the Brewers won it.


Manny Pina
‘s go-ahead two-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth gave Milwaukee their first (and only) lead of the game. Here’s video of Pina’s clutch dinger:

Pina, a 30-year-old journeyman, is now hitting .290/.333/.457 with nine home runs this season. What a nice little surprise he’s been for the Brew Crew. Also of note:
Keon Broxton
swatted two home runs in Wednesday’s comeback win.

The win put the Brewers within one game of the Cubs in the NL Central, pending the outcome of Chicago’s game Wednesday night.

Mets play a catcher at third

A few hours before Wednesday night’s game against the Yankees, the Mets got some pretty bad news. Infielders
Wilmer Flores
and
Jose Reyes
had to be scratched from the starting lineup, forcing the club to play catcher
Travis d’Arnaud
at third base.

d’Arnaud has never played a position other than catcher in the big leagues, and his only professional experience at a different position is two Triple-A games at first base back in 2012. The Mets had no other options, however.

So, to help limit the damage, the Mets had d’Arnaud and
Asdrubal Cabrera
essentially share second and third bases. Cabrera would play second against left-handed batters and third against right-handed batters, so if they pulled the ball with authority, they’d be hitting it at an experienced infielder. Pretty good idea, I’d say.

Quick hits


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