Wow – the wrong end of four shutouts in five games… The Rangers are done – picking the worst possible time for a batting slump never seen in Arlington before. Last night, Scott Kazmir and the Angels did the trick, winning 2 – 0. Texas needed a sweep this weekend, but now are 7-1/2 games out with two weeks to play. Those kinds of miracles just don’t happen all the time. [SI]
And, a nasty hamstring injury isn’t allowing Michael Young to play – and Young’s bat is really needed… Young says he’s day-to-day, but that’s not going to be enough. [ESPN]
Meanwhile, a late rally by the Diamondbacks continued to close the gap in the NL Wildcard race. The Rockies lost, while both the Giants and Marlins (Go Fish!) pulled off late rallies to win. The Rockies lead the Giants by 2-1/2, and the Marlins lurk four games back. I love the Marlins, but it’s hard enough to catch one team, much less two. The Marlins were two arms shy in this race, but have done a nice job. [MLB]
And, the Twins aren’t giving up. Last night, the Twins handled Detroit, 3 – 0, beating Rick Porcello no less to close the gap in the AL Central to just three games. If there is any race that is truly in play here, it’s this one. The two teams face each other six more times… [MLB]
By the way, Brian Duensing has looked solid since being inserted into the Minnesota rotation in late August. In three of his last four starts, Duensing hasn’t allowed an earned run.
Andy Pettitte can’t wait for Monday’s start to see if his tired shoulder is ready for a post-season run; and Tim Wakefield’s legs are coming around and he could also be ready to help in the post-season. [ESPN]
A third arm readying for the post-season is Clayton Kershaw. The Dodger starter is recovering from a separated (non-throwing) shoulder, and yesterday he pitched well in a bullpen session. Kershaw says he felt normal out there, so we might see him in a week or so. [MLB]
Cubs starter Rich Harden may miss a start or two – and didn’t learn it from his manager. Harden learned it talking to a Chicago Tribune reporter… I’m thinking that Lou Piniella’s reign won’t survive Memorial Day unless his team gets off to a 40 – 20 start. There are just too many hints that his personality issues are starting to get in the way of his managing skills and he’s wearing out his welcome. [SI]
Cy-Young candidate Zack Greinke got drilled by a comeback liner in his last start against Detroit, and now may get a couple of extra days before his next start. Miguel Cabrera’s liner caught Greinke in the upper part of his throwing arm… [MLB]
Kansas Jayhawk Alum and former Bill James intern Rob Neyer, as good a blogger as there is for ESPN, contends that Greinke should be more than a candidate for the Cy, but should be considered for the MVP award, too. [ESPN]
Baltimore rookie outfielder Nolan Reimhold’s season is over. Reimhold has fraying in his left Achilles tendon… He’s been dealing with pain for weeks now, but this week it turned for the worse, so the Orioles are shutting him down in favor of healing and resting for 2010. Reimhold (15 – 45 – .279, leads rookies in slugging and OBA) is a candidate for the Rookie of the Year award…
Another guy getting shut down? Yovani Gallardo, the ace of Milwaukee. (Bummer – this is killing my fantasy team in the playoffs, no less!!!) Gallardo will get one more start (making 30) for his first full professional season, and needs just a few strikeouts to make 200 on the season. [SI]
Hurry Back! Royals outfielder Jose Guillen (Former outfielder?) heads to the DL with a hamstring injury. Oakland pitcher Vin Mazzaro heads to the DL with shoulder tendinitis. Washington catcher Jesus Flores’s season comes to an end with a torn labrum. Orioles pitcher Kam Mickolio has inflammation in his throwing shoulder and heads to the DL.
Welcome Back! Mike Adams returns to San Diego.
Woohoo! The Royals signed Aaron Crow, their first round pick out of Mizzou…
Afterthoughts… Senior citizens who once were waiters at old Yankee Stadium were not retained in the new Yankee Stadium – which looks like age discrimination, hence a lawsuit (according to the NY Post). The Post says that waiters were paid $28,000 a year for 80 working days – which is a pretty good salary, don’t you think? Anyway – the waiters claim that the team wanted younger, cheaper staffers. [FanNation]
Another story that caught my attention… Read this article. How can the Orioles lose touch with Brooks Robinson?