As I was sitting at the D-Backs game Friday night, I opined to my friend CJ that it was inexplicable to me their team could continue to hit catcher Miguel Montero behind basher Paul Goldschmidt and somehow…someway…Goldschmidt would still see pitches. For the season, Montero has all of six home runs (he’s never had more than 18 in a single season) with 31 RBI. His slash lines are .227/.311/.330, providing the “protection” for Goldschmidt’s 21 homers, 73 RBI and .305/.384/.560 slash lines.
In the bottom of the third inning that night, Goldschmidt came to the plate with runners on first and third and two out in 1-0 game. Colorado had the option to walk the All-Star first baseman and face the slumping Montero instead, but for some reason decided to pitch to him. Goldschmidt promptly smacked a RBI single to centerfield-Montero struck out swinging behind him.
Rox starter Jorge De La Rosa allowed a leadoff double to D-Backs second baseman Aaron Hill in the sixth inning, putting a runner in scoring position with no one out in what was then still a 2-0 game. Once again, De La Rosa had the option to pitch around the slugger and take his chances on Montero, but instead chose to go after Goldschmidt. The slugger promptly crushed a double to deep centerfield, extending Arizona’s lead to 3-0. What did Montero do behind him? You probably wouldn’t have needed even a second guess to figure out he struck out swinging once more.
On both occasions, I channeled my inner Brodie and loudly exclaimed “TEAMS STILL PITCH TO PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT WITH MIGUEL MONTERO BEHIND HIM!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?”
As my friend CJ pointed out, I might as well have been yelling “THAT KID IS BACK ON THE ESCALATOR AGAIN!”
If you’re a Baltimore Orioles fan and what you’re thinking to yourself now is that you don’t understand why I would spend more than 600 words telling tales about a team in the NL West and an eighteen year old comedy, you’re probably not going to outperform Marion Bartoli on your next IQ test.
O’s first baseman Chris Davis will be headed to Citi Field for the All-Star Game as the top vote getter in all of Major League Baseball. He may well be the American League MVP at the moment, having matched his 2012 season totals with 33 homers and 85 RBI. His 2013 slash lines are an unfathomable .324/.399/.721. For the better part of the season, manager Buck Showalter has left Davis in the fifth spot in the lineup, behind four solid hitters in Nate McLouth/Manny Machado/Nick Markakis/Adam Jones. More often that not, Davis’ protection has been catcher Matt Wieters. While Wieters’ slash lines are better than Montero’s (.227/.285/.404) with 28 extra base hits, I still find myself thinking “THAT KID IS BACK ON THE ESCALATOR AGAIN!” every time a pitcher decides to go after the slugger instead of simply taking a pass and going after Wieters.
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