The Pirates know what it’s like to fall out of contention after playing well for four months and they hope to avoid a repeat of last year’s late-season struggles. “Our young players have been through it once,” Pirates GM Neal Huntington told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “They don’t ever want to go through it again.” Here are the rest of Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB…
The Yankees aren’t ruling out keeping Nick Swisher when he hits free agency after the season, but it seems more likely that he’ll sign elsewhere. It appears that Swisher will be tied to draft pick compensation this winter.
The Blue Jays will likely discuss an extension with manager John Farrell this offseason so he doesn’t enter the 2013 season without long-term security. If Farrell isn’t ready to commit to an extension, the Blue Jays could look to work out a deal with the Red Sox, who previously employed Farrell as their pitching coach.
Rosenthal points out that Marco Scutaro has provided the Giants with offense and versatility since San Francisco acquired him from Colorado last month.
Though the Brewers’ season has generally been disappointing, the team has developed Mike Fiers into a promising starting pitcher, found a second catcher in Martin Maldonado and traded for shortstop Jean Segura. The Brewers are impressed by Aramis Ramirez’s leadership, according to Rosenthal.
Rosenthal suggests we shouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers make another waiver trade before the month of August ends. They already acquired Joe Blanton from the Phillies in one waiver deal.
Could the Rays trade David Price to the Rangers for a package of players built around Elvis Andrus and Martin Perez this winter? Rosenthal speculates about the possibility, but there’s no indication the sides are discussing a deal.
Nationals 5, Braves 4: I suppose you can yell at Dan Uggla for messing up the play with the infield in and a runner on third in the 13th inning which allowed the winning run to score. But perhaps it’s also worth noting that the Braves played perhaps their most important game to date, in…
Coming into the season Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, and Matt Moore ranked 1-2-3 in some order on every prospect list, with each of them holding the top spot for at least one prominent ranking. Harper got all the early hype, Trout has emerged as the best player in the American League … and Moore has…
The Angels sent Zack Greinke to the mound, Albert Pujols and Mike Trout hit home runs, but the Angels still lost to the Rays 8-3. Matt Moore gave up the two solo home runs, but those were his only mistakes as his record goes to 10-7. Greinke walked four and struck out eight, but the Rays still managed seven hits in six innings against him, scoring six times. That gives Zack a 6.19 ERA since joining the Angles.
Vernon Wells played in his 12th game since returning from an injury on July 28th. The Angels are 3-9 in those games, 4-6 in the ones he didn’t play. It’s not all Vernon’s fault, but having him in the games certainly didn’t help.
The Rays couldn’t manage so much as a hit or a walk Wednesday in Felix Hernandez‘s perfect game, but look at what they did to the Angels’ starters in four games since: Dan Haren: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER Jered Weaver: 3 IP, 8 H, 9 ER C.J. Wilson: 4 2/3 IP, 6…
The Angels blew an 8-0 lead to lose to the Rays 10-8 on Saturday night. The turning point came in the top of the fifth inning. C.J. Wilson was in trouble, but still had plenty of wiggle room. Singles and walks had loaded the bases and brought in two runs when Ben Zobrist came to the plate with two out. He doubled, clearing the bases. Four pitches later Evan Longoria homered, and the inning ended with the Rays trailing 8-7. In five pitches Wilson sent from nearly out of the inning to nearly out of the game.
He gave up the tying run in the sixth, and then it was a battle of the bullpens. Alex Cobb only lasted 2+ innings, but the Rays relievers kept the Angels off the board the rest of the way. Carlos Pena delivered a two-run homer in the top of the eighth, and the Rays win again. The Rays are now 12-4 in August, and cut the Yankees lead in the AL East to five games.
Good starts by Angels pitchers are few and far between in August. They allowed 21 home runs in 97 2/3 innings, helping them to a 6.36 ERA.
Johnny Cueto continued to bolster his case for the National League Cy Young award this afternoon against the Cubs, giving up two runs over eight innings as part of a 5-3 victory in the first game of a doubleheader. Cueto is now the National League’s first 16-game winner. David Price of the Rays got there [...]
The Angels’ rotation hasn’t been the force we expected it would be this season, even after the Zack Greinke trade last month, but Jered Weaver has managed to be the exception. Until last night, that is. Weaver was tagged for a career-high nine runs over just three-plus innings as part of a 12-3 loss to…
David Price pitched seven shutout innings Thursday night against the Angels to run his record to 16-4. Something clicked for Price at the end of June. Beginning with his start on 6/24, Price greatly improved his control. He walked 19 batters in 71 1/3 innings in that time, after walking 31 in 90 2/3 innings before that. That’s a drop from a good 3.1 BB per 9 IP to a great 2.4 BB per 9 IP. Better control led to more strikeouts as well, and a lower batting average allowed, from .248 to .184. All of that led to Price reaching 16 wins first in the majors this season.
Dan Haren got knocked around again. He did not walk a batter in his 3 2/3 innings, but allowed seven hits and five runs, including homers by B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist. The breakdown of Haren and Ervin Santana this season is a big reason the Angels are fighting for a wild card slot rather than winning the division. The Rays are now tied with the Orioles for the two wild card slots, and LAnaheim sits two and half games back, with Oakland and Detroit ahead of them.
I think Selig should break up the Rays, they’re causing way too many perfecto’s to be thrown and that’s just messing up the record books about as much as the PED’s problem seems to have done. Tampa (over the past 3 seasons) has to be the worst excellent team ever. Has any other team been shutdown by a perfect game 3 times in all of history besides the Rays (who’ve only existed since 1998)?
The Rays are exactly the type of team that should be a perfect opponent for a perfect game pitcher. The team’s batting average accounts for a low percentage of their offense. They are a poor hitting team that takes pitches and tries to walk. That means if a pitcher can command the strike zone like Felix Hernandez did today, you can reduce the Rays OBP to close to their batting average. That’s .235 this season. A hacking offense, with a higher BA but a lower OBP should get no-hit less often.
There wasn’t even a near-miss in this one. Felix Hernandez dominated the Rays from top to bottom on Wednesday, striking out 12 in a perfect game to beat Tampa Bay 1-0. It was his first career no-hitter and the first perfect game in Mariners history. As for the Rays, this is becoming old hat for [...]
Hernandez struck out 12, allowing just 15 balls in play. He commanded the plate, throwing 113 pitches, 77 for strikes. Tampa Bay managed just five fly balls against him in the game.
Felix now has won a Cy Young award and thrown a perfect game, and he’s only 26 years old. The win gives him 96 for his career, a total that could be a lot higher if he pitched for a better team. At a young age, he’s put down a great foundation for a Hall of Fame career.
Felix Hernandez takes a perfect game into the ninth inning, scheduled to face Jose Lobaton, Elliot Johnson, and Sean Rodriguez. Their current batting averages/OBPs are .228/.331,.245/.312, and .207/.272.
Update: Desmond Jennings pinch hits. He falls behind 1-2.
Update: Jennings fouls off two pitches before swinging and missing for the first out of the inning.
Update: Jeff Keppinger pitch hits. He’s five for seven this year in that role.
Update: Keppinger falls behind 1-2. He grounds an easy ball to the shortstop for the second out.
Update: Rodriguez gets ahead 2-0. He swings an misses at a pitch outside, then takes a breaking ball over the plate to even the count. Sean then takes a perfect pitch on the lower inside corner, and Felix Hernandez throws a perfect game!
6:02 p.m EDT update: Hernandez is perfect, getting a called third strike on Sean Rodriguez to end the ninth. It’s the first perfect game in Mariners history, and the Rays became the first team ever to be on the losing end of three perfect games. Hernandez ended up striking out five of the final six [...]
Jeff Niemann, out since mid-May with a fractured leg, allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings in his second rehab start for high-A Charlotte on Tuesday. He’s still probably two rehab starts away from rejoining the Rays, but his return could prompt a roster crunch. Alex Cobb, Niemann’s rotation replacement, has won his last three…
The Seattle Mariners ended the Rays seven-game win streak with two runs in the bottom of the ninth as Tampa Bay falls 3-2. An error by the usually sure-handed Carlos Pena on a Chone Figgins sacrifice put runners at second and third with no one out. A sacrifice fly tied the game, then Eric Thames singled home the winning run. Seldom used players figured big in the Seattle win.
Matt Moore and Kevin Millwood both pitched well enough to win, Moore walking one and striking out nine in seven innings, Millwood one and eight.
The low scoring game capped a day of fairly low scoring games. The majors averaged 7.73 runs per game on Tuesday, the 24th lowest scoring day of the season (with at least 10 games played). Six shutouts contributed to that average, and in three other games the losing team scored just one run.
Yankees 8, Rangers 2: I suppose the critical mass of people mocking the Yankees’ pickup of Derek Lowe was just too delicious for God or Loki or Fate or whatever controls our world to pass up, because He/it/whatever decided to play it funny with us and allow Mr. Lowe to toss four scoreless innings in…
Blue Jays 10, Yankees 7: Holy frijole, did you see Rajai Davis’ catch, robbing Casey McGehee of a home run in the seventh? The guy is like 5”9″ and the wall is like ten feet and he went Spud Webb on that bad boy. Or Spiderman. Or something. Just wow. Otherwise, the Jays beat the tar out…
Desmond Jennings homered and singled Sunday afternoon for the Rays, his single leading to his scoring the winning run in the tenth as the Rays beat the Twins 7-3. After a poor June and July, he’s on a hot streak in August. In nine game he collected 12 hits, seven for extra bases, and scored 11 runs. He’s a big reason the Rays are 9-2 on the month.
With the Yankees losing, the Rays are just five games out of first place, with the Orioles 1/2 game back. Could we be looking at an epic collapse on the part of the Yankees? The Bronx Bombers tend not to collapse (compared to say the Red Sox), although they were the first team to blow a 3-0 lead in the playoffs. They were up 10 games on July 18, so in less than a month their lead was cut in half.