Every week during the 2017 season, we’ll check in with California’s five MLB teams. Who’s up? Who’s down? Who has the cheapest ticket this week and who will play in the best series? The Golden State is home to the best position player in baseball, the sport’s best pitcher, and the 25 overripe avocados who play for the Padres.
Best Record Last Week: Oakland Athletics 5-2.
Worst Record Last Week: San Francisco Giants, 1-4.
Best Attendance (cumulative avg.): Los Angeles Dodgers, 42,698.
Worst Attendance (cumulative avg.): Oakland, 16,683.
Huell Howser Memorial ‘Is This Guy Serious!?’ Outstanding Performance Video:
OK, so technically we’re pointing east to the Rockies this week for the highlight, but it came at the hands of the decade’s most dominant franchise stumbling out of the blocks. Friday night Colorado’s Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon went for a grand slam (Story) and an inside-the-park homer (Blackmon) en route to a demoralizing six-run fourth for heretofore Rockies undertaker Johnny Cueto.
Ordinarily, Story’s towering four-banger would be the …story, but it was Blackmon who just crushed some baserunning at nearly a mile high that was the MLB highlight of the week. The guy looks like he just got done chopping a cord of wood (or maybe he’s just growing on the north side of the tree) and there he is with the VO2 max of doper Armstrong chugging home. It was playoff determination and toughness in April and happened to become the game-winning run.
Not to be overly on the nose and April is April, but the game also came in the middle of the Rockies’ first three-game sweep of the Giants since the early days of the W. administration. It also ended them up at 11-6, tops in the NL and the first team since the (yep) New York Giants to go grand slam/inside-the-park in the same inning vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950.
Its early season moves like this that give the team the confidence to make special things happen in September and beyond.
Gob Bluth’s Huge Mistake of the Week:
Dodgers starter Hyun-jin Ryu had a chance to learn something on Tuesday after he gave up a first-inning two-run home run to the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado on a high-and-tight fastball: Don’t throw that pitch again. With the Dodgers clawing back in the 5th, down just 3-1, Ryu threw Arenado THE SAME GODDAMN PITCH and Arenado slapped it for a solo shot.
Cheapest Ticket This Week: $6 for Oakland Athletics vs. Anaheim Angels, Thursday 4/27.
California Series to Watch: Astros vs. A’s April 28-30. Lookey here, the A’s are suddenly several games above .500 and the pitching they firesold their near-term future (Donaldson, Zobrist, Colon, Lester, Cespedes, Carlos Gonzalez, Addison Russell, Drew Pomeranz…Jesus who doesn’t come up through O.co’s 4A park?) is finally coming to fruition. Meantime, the promise the Astros showed in ‘14-’15 is finally coming true. Look for this early season set in Minute Maid to show some things …or at least not be 110 on the field.
Athletics: 4/25-4/27 @ Angels, 4/28-4/30 @ Astros.
Giants: 4/24-4/27 vs. Dodgers, 4/28-4/30 vs. Padres.
Dodgers: 4/24-4/27 @ Giants, 4/28-4/30 vs. Phillies.
Angels: 4/25-4/27 vs. Athletics, 4/28-4/20 @ Rangers.
Padres: 4/24-4/27 @ Diamondbacks, 4/28-4/30 @ Giants.
Home series in bold.