By far the best thing to come out of last night was Bryce Harper’s Q&A after hitting a monster home run in Toronto last night. One reporter asked him if he was going out for a celebratory beer afterwards, since he’s of legal drinking age in Canada. Harper, rightly, refused to answer the question. But then he followed it up with the now famous, “That’s a clown question, bro.” Other pressing clown questions:
Me: Hey Bryce, how many people are you going to fit into that VW Beetle?Bryce Harper: That's a clown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, wanna smell my boutonniere?Bryce Harper: That's a clown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, what's funnier, a pie in the face, or seltzer?Bryce Harper: That's a clown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, will you come to my son's birthday party?Bryce Harper: That's a clown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce... Bryce Harper: Bro,twitpic.com/9vzdiy— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, you gonna play that? Bryce Harper: That's a Homey the Clown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, what can you do for me?Bryce Harper: That's a brown question, bro.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, how do I get out of this box?Bryce Harper: Bro, that's more of a mime question, actually.— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Me: Hey Bryce, how do I get out of this box?Bryce Harper: Bro, that's more of a mime question, actually.
— The Common Man (@commnman) June 13, 2012
Incidentally, Bryce Harper's clown name is Droopy BonBon the Clown, according to the Clown Name Generator. Ok, on to last night's action:
Pitcher of the Night: Colby Lewis, 9 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 R Colby gets the nod over Johnny Cueto for reining in the better team and for doing it in Texas, which is still the second best offensive park in baseball. This is Lewis’ second consecutive complete game, and he’s given up just three runs in 17 innings combined in the two contests. It’s the fifth complete game of his career. He’s quietly having a tremendous season, leading the Majors in both BB/9 (1.1) and K/BB (6.73). His 3.13 ERA is impressive enough, but his 141 ERA+ is what’s really impressive. It’s amazing what you can do when you limit baserunners, and it’s probable that Lewis holds on to a lot of this value over the next 4-5 years. With him up for free agency after 2013, it’s going to be time to talk contract extension after season ends.
Hitter of the Night: Adam Jones 4-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI Jose Bautista, Trevor Plouffe and Brandon Moss all had really good nights too, but it’s hard to look past Jones’ four hits and homerun. Before Jones signed his contract extension on May 25, he was hitting .311/.357/.601. Since then, he’s plummeted all the way to .308/.343/.554. Slacker. That Erik Bedard trade is really going to haunt the Mariners for a long time, huh?
Two-way Player of the Night: Madison Bumgarner 7.2 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 2 R, 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI Bumgarner had one hell of a night, dominating the Houston Astros from both the mound and the batter’s box. Every single player in the Astros starting lineup, with the exception of Bud Norris, K’d at least once, including Jed Lowrie and Justin Maxwell three times each. Bumgarner’s started more games and faced more batters than any other pitcher in the NL this year, but it looks like his workload is actually being pretty carefully managed. That’s good, because with Tim Lincecum having secretly switched places with Barry Zito, the Giants need him to stay healthy if they’re going to stay within arm’s reach of the Dodgers.
Defensive Play of the Night: It’s hard to decide. It’s either Tyler Colvin taking this homer away from Cliff Pennington after hitting his own solo shot earlier in the game:
Or it’s Kung Fu Panda, doing things big men shouldn’t be able to do:
Game Changer: Juan Rivera
The Dodgers and Angels were tied in the bottom of the eighth, and Mike Scioscia decided to stick with Jerome Williams, despite the fact that he’d walked two and allowed a single to Andre Ethier to tie the game. Then Rivera did this. The three run shot gave the Dodgers the lead. It’s interesting that Don Mattingly didn’t go with the lefty-swinging James Loney there with two outs and a righty on the mound. Especially since Rivera has hit just .245/.272/.358 this year and hasn’t been able to hit righties for the last three. Meanwhile, hitting righties is the only thing James Loney can do anymore. But the move worked, and the Dodgers won, so let’s all be quiet and save our criticisms for next time, shall we?
Injuries of Note: Bud Norris - sprained knee
As if the Astros didn’t have enough trouble fielding a Major League team, they lose their second best pitcher in the fourth inning. This is the second time Norris has been removed from a start this year, and chances are this is a minor thing and he’ll be day-to-day. Norris continues to be an enigmatic talent, striking out 25% of the batters he faces, and walking batters at a league average pace, but allowing a bunch of homers. He’d probably be better served by an outfield defense that didn’t include Brian Bogusevic, JD Martinez, and Jordan Schafer.
Cliche of the night: Tie!
"I just need to keep on grinding. It's a funny test at this point for me. Have a little faith and keep grinding, that's what it comes down to. When it's tough like this, that's all you can do." -JP Howell "At some point, you have to tip your hat to the other pitcher. That guy pitched a great game, no doubt about that. We have a great lineup. The guy just made a lot of good pitches today." -Adam Wainwright on Jose Quintana
Teams We Haven't Talked About In a While: The Indians
Johnny Damon, it’s time to let go, brother. .184/.276/.282 in 116 plate appearances.
Yankees: Alex Rodriguez's 23rd career grand slam tied him with Lou Gehrig last night for most of all time. A-Rod’s been in decline for four years now, and part of The Common Man remembers him as a skinny little shortstop for the Mariners in 1994 and 1995. He now has 639 career homers, 5th all time. And as little as people like him, we should all take a moment to enjoy one of the greatest players of all time while his body is still sort of holding up.
White Sox: Rookie Jose Quintana gave up 10 hits in 5.1 innings, but the Cardinals managed to score just one run off him.
Mariners: We were all ready to give up on Michael Saunders, and maybe since he has a career .219/.286/.352 batting line in 868 career plate appearances, we still should be. But at least there’s a glimmer of hope in his last 13 games, when he’s hit .444/.474/.741 in 57 plate appearances.
Orioles: This has been a long time coming, but Brian Roberts is back, and he looked good last night, going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Really, after more than a year on the sidelines recovering from a devastating concussion, The Common Man is grateful for anything at this point.
Twins: Trevor Plouffe clubbed his 10th homer last night, and is hitting a very Joe Carter-eque .231/.309/.507. In his last 11 games, he’s hitting .386/.413/.886 with 6 homers.
Mets: After last night’s win over the Rays, Chris Young has started 10 games, and allowed 11 earned runs since the start of 2010. Go Chris. Stay healthy.