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Brad Miller 2, Padres 0

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America’s quietest power hitter goes off again.

Baltimore Orioles v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Joseph Garnett, Jr. /Getty Images

The San Diego Dads Padres are now my favorite team in baseball. Wil Myers is now my favorite player in baseball. It might seem uncouth to wallow in another team’s misfortune, especially since they are too a small-market team, and frankly are a fun team to root for and follow and I wish nothing but the best for them 99 times out of 100. San Diego was a beautiful place and PETCO Park was so cool and classic in a super fun way. But at this point in the season, I will take absolutely any little nugget of joy I can. So take that, fellow small-market friends. See you in the 2017 MLB Draft!

First, the bad news. Matt Duffy is still injured (folks tell me he is pretty much okay, but I am still very uncomfortable with him repeating that injury) and also Nick Franklin got wrecked in the head by an errant Kevin Kiermaier swing.

Poor Cranklin. The moment he starts heating up, he gets hit in the face by the only other Rays player scrappier than he is. Frankly, cutting out the competition is an underrated element of scrappiness. Kevin Kiermaier, ever the scrapper.

Brad Miller hits a two-run home run in the first. Game over.

Don’t worry. If you can’t see it yet, you will be able to soon. That’s WDAE on the call, because SunSports doesn’t like to broadcast the fun games. Brad Miller (that’s right, Brad Miller) now has 25 homers on the year. This seems like an impossible figure for a guy with his body makeup, but Brad Miller certainly has the chops for it:

That’s dated March 2014 from the Seattle Mariners blog, and it seemed a little silly that year. Or even earlier this year. But it seems less ridiculous now. I’m not saying he’ll be a superstar this year, or next year. But a guy who is on pace for 35 home runs this year is excellent for a first baseman, let alone a guy who can also play SS or 2B in a pinch. I love Brad Miller, and I want you all to love him too.

Chris Archer is good now. Exclamation point.

Archer worked a lengthy first inning, finally putting a zero on the board after 22 pitches. After that, however, he really settled down. The only four hits he allowed the entire afternoon were softly hit, nothing harder than a ground ball single. Archer mixed pitches effectively, and possibly might be turning a corner. In any case, he avoided his MLB-leading 17th loss, and in fact pulled out his 7th win of the season. Plus, with his 9 strikeouts today, he’s now put up 186 strikeouts for the season, which actually leads the AL and puts him fourth in baseball, behind noted cyborgs Max Scherzer, Jose Fernandez, and Madison Bumgarner. Some people call for more robots in baseball, but I maintain that their accomplishments should come with an asterisk. A giant, glowing, red-eyed asterisk.

The Rays swept a team for the first time since the Stone Age, it seems. Like the Yankees before them, the Padres must now consider selling assets and rebuilding as soon as possible.

  • Wil Myers went 1-12 this series, and was struck out 8 times. What is it about Tropicana Field that makes him K like this?
  • Alex Colome collected his 28th save of the season. He’s saved 28 games for a team in last-place, who is 19 games below .500. David Robertson, by comparison, has 29 saves for a White Sox team that is 6 games below .500. Alex Colome has been a very good pitcher, even if you’re only looking at saves, perhaps one of the worst pitching stats.
  • Very considerate of the Rays to hit 69 losses and then win as many games as possible. Nice.
  • Today Evan Longoria became the Rays’ franchise leader in games played. Here’s to many more games, and many more buffalo wings at Ducky’s!