Three Up, Three Down: Scooter Gennett makes his mark

Welcome to this week’s edition of Three Up, Three Down — your weekly catch-up of the three best highlights (and lowlights) from around the league. We’re here for all of the cheers and the jeers, because it’s baseball. You can’t have a winner without someone losing along the way.

This week, we have an unlikely history-maker, a revival north of the border, an veteran looking like his younger self and an old pitcher looking like, well, an old pitcher.

Up: Scooter Gennett has an out-of-body experience

If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you have a decent amount of interest in baseball. However, not even the most hardcore of baseball’s followers can say that they’ve spent a decent amount of time thinking about Scooter Gennett. Yet, he flung himself onto the radar of every baseball fan on Tuesday night with one of the most gargantuan single-game performances in recent memory. On Tuesday night against the Cardinals, Scooter Gennett had a 5-for-5 night in which he slammed four home runs and brought in 10 RBIs in a blowout victory for the Reds.

Think about this: On a team that has the likes of batting genius Joey Votto playing, a career .281 hitter who had three homers going into this game was the one who ended up having a game that was completely out of this stratosphere. This was an unfathomable performance from Gennett, but we keep on saying that baseball is a very weird sport, so maybe we all shouldn’t have been shocked that a player as random as Scooter Gennett could have a night like this. Either way, it was absolutely amazing, and it’s what makes this sport great.

Down: The old guard remains stuck in the past

Even though baseball is continuing to evolve into a global game and has a history of bilingual players in MLB, there are still signs that some people within the game — both past and present — are still wary to progress in this regard. That was made clear on Tuesday when some poorly thought-out comments from Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt were told on WIP radio that he didn’t believe that Odubel Herrera could be a clubhouse leader because of the language barrier. Then, NESN commentator Jerry Remy stated on a game broadcast that he feels that translators shouldn’t be allowed for mound visits.

I could go into great detail about how silly both of these statements are, especially when you consider the contributions that Spanish-speaking players and players who have come over from Japan have made to the game in general. To their credit, both men apologized for what they said, but it still seems like some people are stuck in the past when it comes to embracing the international movement that baseball is undergoing.

Up: The Blue Jays aren’t dead yet

The Toronto Blue Jays got off to a horrific start to the season and have been in the cellar for the vast majority of this year’s campaign. In fact, they’re still at the bottom of the AL East at the time of writing. However, you have to give credit to the Blue Jays for not giving up, because they’re still very much alive. Now, you might look at their record and amount of games that they’re trailing by and be unimpressed with what they’ve done so far, but you have to put things in perspective.

The second-place teams in the AL West and NL East are both trailing by double-digit games. The Giants are currently being left in the dust by their NL West counterparts. Compared to those teams, the Blue Jays are doing just fine. They’ve still got a tough road ahead of them, but they’ve proved themselves resilient enough to get themselves off the mat from a first-round knockdown. They just might have what it takes to at least keep the fight going.

Down: Pedro teases something that will never happen

Based on his studio work during TBS’s broadcasts of playoff baseball, I could listen to Pedro Martinez talk about the game all day. With that being said, I could probably do without this one little bit of random rumor-mongering that the legend engaged in earlier this week when it came to the Red Sox and David Ortiz. You could argue that the Red Sox offense is mediocre at the moment, and you could also argue that even though Ortiz retired last season, he retired with plenty of pop left in his bat.

So when Pedro tweeted that Ortiz looked to be in good shape and that Boston could use his bat, people freaked out for a bit — so much so that Pedro had to walk it back a little. Still, it’s 2017 and people are prone to go crazy over stuff like this at any given moment, so maybe it wasn’t the best idea to get Boston fans’ hopes up over something as unlikely as Big Papi coming back. It’s fun to dream, but come on, Pedro — that’s just teasing, man.

Up: Albert Pujols cements his status as a legend

Ever since 1876, over 18,000 people have put on a uniform and played baseball at the Major League level. Of that vast number of baseball players over the history of the game, only nine have hit 600 home runs, and Albert Pujols became the ninth player to reach the feat when he hit a grand slam this past Saturday night.

Home runs have come back into vogue in a big way as of late. We just got done talking about Scooter Gennett hitting four dingers in one game. With that being said, I really hope the baseball world made sure to take as much time as possible to appreciate what a magnificent accomplishment Pujols achieved over the weekend. He will stroll into the Hall of Fame when it’s his time, and he’ll do so with the distinction of being one of the greatest sluggers to ever play the game.

Down: The end of the line may be near for Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon has managed to stay in MLB since 1997, and his performances up until 2017 led us to believe that he could still be productive and remain “Big Sexy” going into this season. Unfortunately for the Atlanta Braves, who signed him to a one-year, $ 12 million deal during the offseason, this hasn’t been the case, as his performance so far this season has been anything but productive or sexy.

Colon has made 12 starts this season, and his ERA has ballooned to 7.78 and his FIP is also at a high number of 5.04. Simply put, he’s been flat-out bad, and his bad season culminated with an oblique strain sending him to the disabled list. You could argue that the Braves used that as the official reasoning since you can’t put someone on the DL for “being bad at throwing the baseball,” but surely that’s just a cynic’s point of view. Still, it seems like Father Time may have finally gotten his cold, icy clutch on Bartolo Colon, and the 20-year ride may finally be coming to an end.

25 SLIDES
Most frustrating players of the 2017 MLB season

QUIZ: Name every member of the 500 home run club

27 MLB players have hit 500 or more home runs over the span of their careers. How many members of this exclusive fraternity can you name in six minutes?

CLUE: # of HR / YEARS ACTIVE

Score:
0/27

Time:
6:00

762 / 86-07

Barry Bonds

755 / 54-76

Hank Aaron

714 / 14-35

696 / 94-16

Alex Rodriguez

660 / 51-73

Willie Mays

630 / 89-10

Ken Griffey Jr.

612 / 91-12

609 / 89-07

Sammy Sosa

600 / 01-

Albert Pujols

586 / 56-76

Frank Robinson

583 / 86-01

Mark McGwire

573 / 54-75

Harmon Killebrew

569 / 86-05

Rafael Palmeiro

563 / 67-87

Reggie Jackson

555 / 93-11

Manny Ramirez

548 / 72-89

Mike Schmidt

541 / 97-16

David Ortiz

536 / 51-68

Mickey Mantle

534 / 25-45

Jimmie Foxx

521 / 59-80

Willie McCovey

521 / 90-08

Frank Thomas

521 / 39-60

Ted Williams

512 / 53-71

Ernie Banks

512 / 52-68

Eddie Mathews

511 / 26-47

509 / 88-09

Gary Sheffield

504 / 77-97

Eddie Murray

Yardbarker: MLB

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