Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.
ABOVE THE REST
Ryan Zimmerman is starting to dominate the Nationals/Expos record books. His second-inning solo home run against the Marlins gave him 906 career RBIs, moving him past former Expo Tim Wallach and into first place for most RBIs in franchise history.
Last month, Zimmerman broke the franchise record for home runs, which was previously held by Vladimir Guerreo, who hit 234 home runs in eight seasons with the Expos. Zimmerman also has the most home runs in D.C. baseball history, passing Frank Howard’s 237 career homers on July 30.
Zimmerman went on to add his second home run of the game with a two-run shot in the seventh, ultimately ending the night 4-for-4 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored. He is the third Nationals player to finish a game with at least four hits, four runs scored and four RBIs this season.
Sometimes you just need a little help from an unlikely source, and that’s exactly what the Cardinals got in their 8-5 win over the Royals on Wednesday night.
Mere seconds after the game was halted in the bottom of the sixth inning due to a stray cat running across the outfield, Yadier Molina hit a go-ahead grand slam, giving the Cardinals a three-run lead and paving the way for the #RallyCat sensation to sweep over Cardinals nation.
PERFECTION FOR PORCELLO
Nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts — that was the entirety of Rick Porcello’s fifth inning Wednesday night, when he completed the eighth immaculate inning of the 2017 season during the Red Sox’s 8-2 win over the Rays.
The 2016 American League Cy Young winner struck out Trevor Plouffe on a slider and fanned Wilson Ramos on a four-seam fastball before watching Mallex Smith take a two-seam heater on the inside corner for strike three.
Porcello’s fifth inning versus the Rays was the second immaculate inning for a Red Sox pitcher this year, joining Craig Kimbrel’s nine-pitch, three-strikeout inning against the Brewers on May 11.
GALLO GOES YARD … AGAIN
Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) August 9, 2017
Joey Gallo has hit seven home runs in his last eight games and 11 in his last 18, the latest of which came during the Rangers 5-1 win over the Mets.
Gallo’s most recent bomb — a two-run shot in the first inning — was his 32nd of the season, which puts him in a tie for fourth in MLB with Mike Moustakas. Giancarlo Stanton (38), Aaron Judge (35) and Cody Bellinger (33) rank first, second and third, respectively.
LOOK GOOD, PLAY GOOD
— MLB (@MLB) August 9, 2017
Major League Baseball, its teams and its players are getting a makeover the weekend of Aug. 25-27, when the league will celebrate its inaugural Players Weekend. As a result, teams will wear special alternate uniforms and players will don the nickname of their choice on the back of their jerseys.
Some of the highlights include Aaron Judge’s “All Rise” moniker, Craig Kimbrel going by “Dirty Craig” and Kyle Seager simply using the nickname of “Corey’s Brother”, a nod to his younger brother and 2016 National League Rookie of the Year Corey Seager.
HAPPENINGS AT BA
On Wednesday, Kyle Glaser reported on the latest strong start by Cincinnati Reds No. 3 prospect Tyler Mahle and Carlos Collazo released an extended notebook from Day 3 of the Area Code Games.