Real or not? Even the Dodgers’ rookies are out of this world

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Let’s admit it: When your identify is Will Smith and also you’re taking part in for the Los Angeles Dodgers within the shadow of the “Hollywood” signal that sits up within the Santa Monica Mountains, it should be troublesome to divert consideration away from that different man named Will Smith, who additionally works in Los Angeles.

Well, this can be a good strategy to do it. The Dodgers’ Smith pinch hit with two outs and two on within the backside of the ninth towards the Colorado Rockies with the rating tied on Sunday and delivered a three-run, walk-off house run to ship Dodger Stadium right into a fever of pleasure:

Smith, a rookie catcher drafted 32nd total in 2016 out of Louisville, had performed in six video games with the Dodgers earlier this season, hitting a walk-off house run for his first main league homer to beat the Phillies on June 1. He had simply been recalled earlier than the sport to exchange injured David Freese. With Matt Beaty on second base, Rockies supervisor Bud Black elected to deliberately stroll veteran Russell Martin to have Scott Oberg as a substitute face Smith.

Oops.

These walk-off house runs have develop into customary fare in L.A. It was the third sport in a row the Dodgers hit one to finish a sweep of the Rockies — and all three had been hit by rookies, Beaty taking the honors Friday and Alex Verdugo within the 11th inning Saturday.

The Dodgers grew to become solely the sixth group to hit walk-off house runs in three consecutive video games, becoming a member of the 2013 Rangers, 2004 Tigers, 2000 Royals, 1999 Diamondbacks and 1998 Tigers, and the primary to do it with three rookies. (In reality, they had been already the primary group to have rookies do it in consecutive video games.)

What a weekend at Dodger Stadium because the group improved to 54-25, together with 34-9 at house. The New York Yankees have been scorching, however the Dodgers are clearly the perfect group in baseball proper now, with the perfect file within the majors, within the a lot more durable league, as they head to 55 wins within the first half.

This weekend not solely showcased the Dodgers’ depth of the 40-man roster, but additionally showcased why they’re headed to a seventh straight division title — with possibly the perfect group of the run, even higher than the 104-win group of 2017. Consider the astute drafting:

— The Dodgers took Smith as a supplemental first-round decide (acquired for shedding Zack Greinke as a free agent). They favored his protection at Louisville, however his bat has been adequate to permit him to advance rapidly — he has hit .291/.397/.609 at Oklahoma City. In the identical draft, the Dodgers chosen infielder Gavin Lux with the 20th total decide and he has develop into a top-30 prospect, hitting .310 at Double-A Tulsa. Given that a number of of the top-10 picks from that draft have struggled, getting Lux and Smith late within the first spherical seems to be like a steal.

— Verdugo was a second-round decide in 2014 out of a highschool in Tucson, Arizona. Many groups noticed him as a pitcher along with his low-90s fastball, however he wished to hit and the Dodgers favored him in that function as nicely. Verdugo would have performed commonly for lots of groups final season however needed to wait his flip. The commerce of Yasiel Puig and harm to A.J. Pollock opened up taking part in time this yr, and Verdugo is hitting .302/.352/.489.

— Beaty was a 12th-round decide in 2015 from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, not precisely a baseball powerhouse, however he hit .382 his junior season with extra walks than strikeouts. He has hit .308 in his minor league profession (he missed most of final season due to a torn thumb ligament) and has made himself extra beneficial along with his potential to play first base, third base and left area. He’s hitting .333/.352/.478 in 69 at-bats.

When you are not selecting excessive just like the Dodgers, it turns into tougher to construct via the draft, however they’ve added depth and constructed one of many high farm methods by crushing these late first-round alternatives (Walker Buehler is one other instance) and discovering different gems later within the draft (akin to Cody Bellinger within the fourth spherical).

You will not imagine this, however extra loopy stuff occurred with the Mets: The Cubs beat the Mets 5-Three on Javier Baez‘s three-run homer off Seth Lugo within the backside of the eighth:

Baez’s house run got here off an 0-2 sinker from Lugo — nicely, it did not sink sufficient as he most likely wished to bury it within the dust — and whereas 0-2 is normally an out for many hitters, Baez is not a standard hitter:

Anyway, the Mets. Too usually, they simply cannot get out of their very own means. Lugo has truly been the group’s finest reliever this yr, in order that wasn’t the loopy factor that occurred. After the sport, tension escalated in the clubhouse when supervisor Mickey Callaway cursed out Newsday beat author Tim Healey, after which pitcher Jason Vargas, within the phrases of Daily News author Deesha Thosar, “took steps toward Healey looking for a fight before the two were separated by a handful of people.” The confrontation with Callaway resulted when Callaway walked previous Healey following his postgame information convention and Healey mentioned, “See you tomorrow, Mickey,” which the supervisor interpreted because the reporter being sarcastic. Callaway turned again to Healey and spewed out a string of phrases not appropriate for print right here.

The Mets issued a press release after the sport: “The Mets sincerely regret the incident that took place with one of our beat writers following today’s game in the clubhouse. We do not condone this type of behavior from any employee. The organization has reached out and apologized to this reporter and will have further discussions internally with all involved parties.”

Is this a giant deal? Probably not. Hey, possibly Vargas stepping up for his supervisor may even be seen as just a little group bonding. Or possibly it is the only the start of the ultimate disintegration. Callaway would possibly already be on edge after the group fired pitching coach Dave Eiland and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez just a few days in the past, and this actually is not going to please administration. While Sunday’s loss was painful, the collection towards the Cubs wasn’t a whole catastrophe as they break up 4 video games. Still, the Mets fell to 37-41 and so they have not received a street collection since early April. It’s time for the Mets to beat up on some opponents, not reporters.

Phading Phillies: Heck, the Mets aren’t even the largest catastrophe within the NL East proper now. The Marlins beat the Phillies 6-4, finishing a collection sweep and increasing the Phillies’ shedding streak to seven. Jordan Yamamoto picked up his third win for the Marlins in three profession begins, and Miami pounded out 16 hits. The Phillies have misplaced 16 of 22 and dropped 9 video games to the Braves within the standings in that spell.

Phillies followers let loose a refrain of boos when Roman Quinn popped out to finish the sport.

As Scott Lauber wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer, this isn’t what proprietor John Middleton paid for in believing the Phillies had constructed a World Series contender. They’ve been outscored 43-15 within the seven-game skid. “It’s not good,” Bryce Harper mentioned.

There are few Phillies who is likely to be anticipated to carry out higher — Harper, for starters, though his excessive strikeout fee suggests he isn’t going to all of a sudden go on a giant binge. J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura have been minor disappointments. The again of the rotation has been terrible, however most groups have struggled with the backs of their rotations. The Phillies actually simply appear like a .500 group and I do not see a lot purpose to anticipate them to go 20 video games over .500 the remainder of the best way. Indeed, FanGraphs presently initiatives a remaining file of 81-81. Next up: 4 video games at house towards the Mets. It looks like an necessary collection for each groups.

Run of the day: The Pirates beat the Padres 11-10 in a wild extra-innings sport (Kirby Yates lastly blew his first save of the season), however take a look at Fernando Tatis Jr. scoring on an infield pop-up. I’m fairly positive I’ve by no means seen this earlier than:

If you did not watch the whole replay, Tatis was dominated secure upon overview. This child is totally electrifying and is hitting .323/.387/.571 after going 2-for-Four with two walks Sunday. He most likely missed an excessive amount of time due to his hamstring harm to warrant All-Star consideration, however he’s fifth amongst NL shortstops in WAR and two of these forward of him (Trevor Story and Corey Seager) are presently on the injured record. Maybe the purpose is not that Tatis deserves to be on the All-Star group, however he has actually performed like an All-Star when wholesome.

Verlander avoids the sweep: It wasn’t a enjoyable journey to the Bronx for the Astros because the Yankees took the primary three video games of the collection — working Houston’s shedding streak to seven, their longest since a seven-game skid in June 2015. On Sunday, Justin Verlander lastly turned issues round, holding the Yankees to 3 runs and 4 hits in seven innings, and the Astros’ lineup smashed 4 house runs. One of these got here from Yordan Alvarez, his seventh in 12 video games:

OK, seven bombs in his first 12 video games is wonderful. He’s the fourth to do it, becoming a member of Trevor Story (2016), Trey Mancini (2016-17) and Dino Restelli. What, you’ve got by no means heard of Dino Restelli? Me neither.

Restelli hit seven house runs in his first 12 video games for the Pirates in 1949 — and solely six extra in a short main league profession that was over in 1951. Just a fluke? Probably, though one problem was he wore glasses and they’d consistently fog up within the East Coast humidity. (He stored a shiny purple bandanna in his again pocket to wash his glasses, a behavior that apparently ticked off opponents.) Early in his profession, after a glasses-cleaning timeout, Ewell Blackwell hit Restelli at the back of the neck. One concept says Restelli was by no means the identical after that.

Anyway, I’m fairly positive Yordan Alvarez can have a for much longer profession than Dino Restelli.

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