News and notes from this past week’s baseball action:
J.A. Happ was hit in the head with a line-drive and subsequently fractured his skull. He was released from the hospital, and there is no brain damage. Here is a related article on protecting pitchers: Should Baseball Do More To Protect It’s Pitchers?
The umpires messed up two “calls” this past week. The first of which was a home run call that was reviewed, but still the correct ruling was not discerned. Instead, The A’s lost by one run because the game tying home run was ruled a double.
The second error was the day after the Oakland incident. This occurred when the umpiring crew apparently did not know the rule about switching pitchers. A reliever was called into pitch and began throwing warm-up tosses. Houston manager Bo Porter decided to call in another reliever, to which Mike Sciocia of the Angels protested. Apparently, a pitcher must pitch to one batter before being substituted. The umps allowed the switch, much to the chagrin of the Angel’s manager. After the first incident, the league was not going to wait for another incident to occur, and the chief was suspended for two games and him and the rest of his crew were fined. In my opinion, not knowing rules and other obvious mishaps should result in a fine or some sort of punishment in order to instill a culture of responsibility among umpires.
Francisco Liriano returned for the Pirates and pitched against the Mets. Originally compared to Johan Santana because of his change-up, Liriano has struggled thus far in his major league career. However, in his season debut Francisco Liriano struck out nine and pitched into the sixth inning. He also earned the win, as the Pirates routed the Mets 11-2.
Despite the amount of injuries to key players such as Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Mark Teixeira, Granderson, Nova, Youk, and much more, the yankees are currently on a 5 game winning streak and sit-a-top the AL East Division. Leading the way for the yanks is Robinson Cano, who is hitting .306 with 9 HR.
After a sluggish start to the season, the favorites to win the East and the NL pennant, the Washington Nationals have had a hot start to the month of May. They have gone 7-3, which brought them up from a 13-14 record heading into this month. Also, Jayson Werth on the 15 day DL and Bryce Harper missed two games after getting an in-grown nail removed.
Zack Grienke of the L.A. Dodgers could pitch as early as Wednesday against the Nationals. He is recovering from a broken collar bone from the now infamous incident with Carlos Quentin.
The only bright spot for the Mets this season has been Matt Harvey. He pitched twice this week. In his first start he threw 6 2/3 perfect innings and wound up striking out 12 in nine innings. His final line: 9IP, 12Ks, 0BBs, 1 H, and a no-decision. The Mets won in extras due to Mike Baxter, who actually hit another walk-off hit later in the week. His second start was not as sharp: 7IP, 2ER, 4Ks, 2BBs, and 5 hits.
Red Sox lose closer Joel Hanrahan for season, which serves as a blow to the team as they started the season with a 20-12 record, but have lost 8/10 and have fallen to a 22-16 record.