A July 24 retrospective of all things Venezuelan and Major League.
The Red Sox are pretty darned average this year. Edwin Mujica and Felix Doubront have been part of that mediocrity by the Fens: 5.45 and 5.22 ERAs respectively. They got mop-up work in a blowout loss to the Blue Jays last night. Yeah, it’s like that in Beantown.
A man who’s well above average this year is Miami’s Henderson “Shutout” Alvarez. On Thursday he stoned the Atlanta Braves for 8 innings, giving them just 2 runs on a 2-out home run in the 2nd inning. He didn’t complete the game, which has been his strength this year, but Steve Cicesk didn’t blow it, his Atlanta counterpoint did–Craig Kimbrell had 2 wild pitches in the ninth—and there was joy in Miami. Henderson is 7-5 with a stingy 2.62 ERA.
Oakland beat the heck out of the bottom-dwelling Astros; that didn’t deter Jose Altuve from going 2-for-4 in his pursuit of individual glory (.338; a few points off the batting crown in the AL). Alberto Callaspo is still working his way back from a hamstring injury for the A’s of the East Bay.
Yangervis Solarte has awakened the slumbering bats of San Diego, Batting in the two-hole behind countryman Alexi Amarista, Yangervis scored one run and drove in another on a night when the Pods plated a baker’s dozen. Amarista scored twice and drove in two, while the true star of the show was Puerto Rico’s own Rene Rivera. One of Chicago’s three runs was knocked in by third baseman Luis Valbuena, who also committed an error.
You don’t expect big offensive numbers out of a 2-1, 14-inning affair, but the Royals’ win was helped along by Omar Infante breaking up a no-hitter in the seventh, and two double plays turned by smooth-as-silk shortstop Alcides Escobar.
In Seattle, catcher Jesus Montero remains on the big-league bubble, earning his second call-up to the big club of the season on Thursday. Jesus is only 23 and maybe is slowly driving the vision of Yankee Stadium’s 55-foot rightfield porch out of his eager young mind. Certainly it was an odd trade, because the pitcher theYankees received in return for Jesus, Michael Pineda, has been beset by a Kafkaesque series of injuries, and only made a name for himself during Pine Tar Gate in April.
Another catcher just appeared on VZBASEBALL’s radar tonight: Robinson Chirinos, who had 9 first-half homers standing in for the injured Geovany Soto in Texas. Robinson is from Punto Fijo, an industrial port in the far north of the country, a dry land of goats and huge old American automobiles. He joins stalwart SS Elvis Andrus and newcomer 2B Roughned Odor in the VZ-heavy Rangers lineup. Maracaibo man Odor is the preferred choice at second to countryman Luis Sardinas, who’s also gotten in 26 games (The preferred Odor? Really?)
Eugenio Suarez is making a case to be the Tigers’ regular shortstop down the stretch. On Thursday, he scored two runs, and had two hits and a stolen base as Detroit defeated the Angels of Anaheim. Suarez also turned a double play. It seems the tutelage of Tigers’ first base coach Omar Vizquel is paying off in spades for Eugenio, who celebrated his 23rd birthday last week with two hits against Cleveland.
Big ol’ Jean Manual Machi–all 6’0” and 255 lbs. of him–pitched the final inning of the Giants 3-2 loss to the Phils. The righty from El Tigre has a 1.52 ERA in 41 innings for the first-place Gigantes.