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Stephen Strasburg dealing with forearm tightness
Stephen Strasburg faced the Atlanta Braves last night, and, historically, he has not fared well vs them. In eight career starts vs the Braves, he is 3-4 with a 3.59 ERA and a 1.289 WHIP, with both stats below his career 2.96 ERA and 1.093 WHIP. He was wild last night, with two pitches going to the backstop in the first inning. He gave up 2 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks and 8 strikeouts in 6 innings of work.
In the fourth and fifth inning, he was shaking his right arm after several pitches, so much so that ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe was asking why the Nationals trainer was not going out to check on him. He looked uncomfortable on the mound in innings 1-5, but then struck out the side in the sixth inning, with his last fastball clocked at 98 mph. I wonder if he is working on a mechanical issue, as when pitching coach Steve McCatty came out to talk to him, Strasburg responded "I am $%^ing trying."
I just traded for Stephen Strasburg in my big NL-only league, so watching him give up so many base runners and look uncomfortable on the mound was not what I wanted to see in his first start on my roster.
Amanda Comak, Nationals beat writer for the Washington Times, tweeted this after the game:
Strasburg dealing with forearm tightness.— Amanda Comak (@acomak) April 30, 2013
Not what his owners wanted to hear. One good sign, though, is that Strasburg said after the game that he will make his next start. I imagine they will see how he feels during his mid-week bullpen session before making a decision to place him on the DL or allow him to make his next start.
Tommy John surgery in Dylan Bundy's future?
We learned last week that Dylan Bundy was shut down and was scheduled to visit with Dr. James Andrews. Certainly not what his owners wanted to hear. Yesterday, the news got worse, as he was given a PRP injection, or platelet rich plasma, and will rest for 6 weeks. For those of you who are not familiar with PRP, Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley had the PRP injection in the offseason, and just recently had Tommy John surgery. Let's hope the injection works for Bundy, but TJS may be in his future.
If he does end up going under the knife, there will be plenty of questions asked of Orioles GM Dan Duquette for limiting his pitches last season, and not allowing him to throw his best pitch, the cutter.
Here is what else happened on Monday night:
There were several intriguing pitching matchups last night, but none better than the matchup in St. Louis: Mat Latos vs Adam Wainwright. Latos has been pitching like an ace this season, and did not disappoint, as he toss six shutout innings, giving up 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out 4. He won for just the second time this season, despite lowering his ERA to 1.83, while his WHIP rose to 1.09.
I so wanted to recommend Astros starter Lucas Harrrell in my Monday Streamer Report, but decided not to since he was facing the Yankees in New York. I should have listened to my gut, as he pitched well, limiting the Yankees to one run on 8 hits, a walk and 4 strikeouts. He induced a season-high 14 ground ball outs, lowering his ERA to 3.60, and is now 3-2 on the season.
How soon before the Pirates give up on the experiment called Jonathan Sanchez. This is probably his last chance as a major league starter, in my opinion. Last night, he relieved Wandy Rodriguez, who got knocked around in his 3.2 innings of work, and promptly gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Sanchez was demoted to the bull pen after being thrown out of a recent start vs the Braves for hitting a batter. Could a Gerrit Cole call up be in our future in the short term?
Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez has his best start of the season, shutting out the Royals for 7 innings, giving up just 3 hits. walking 2 and striking out 4 to win his first game of the season. With an ERA over 7.00 and a 1.33 WHIP, don't assume you should go out an pick him up off of your waiver wire. If you do, you do so at your own risk.
Giants starter Matt Cain had a great 2012 season, winning 16 games with a 2.79 ERA, but this season has been a mirror image of his 2012 season. Cain struggled once again last night, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts in 6 innings. He has given up 25 earned runs and 9 home runs in just 34.2 innings thus far in 2013. Not the Matt Cain we drafted on draft day.
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez was with the team last night, and was activated from the DL last night per Eric Stephen at True Blue LA.
Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton left last night's game with a hamstring injury, falling to the ground in pain when running out a ground ball in his final at bat. It sounds like he will need a DL stint. Again.
If Stanton lands on the DL, will the Marlins call up Marcel Ozuna or Christian Yelich? I doubt it, but I didn't think Jose Fernandez would be in their rotation this year either.
Update: the Marlins placed Stanton on the DL and called up Marcel Ozuna.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval had to leave Monday's game with a sore elbow. No word yet on the severity of the injury and if he will miss any games. We will learn more today.
Tigers closer Jose Valverde was not available last night, so Joaquin Benoit got the save opportunity last night, getting the last out to earn his second save of the season. How much do you want to bet that Benoit will have a lower ERA and WHIP than Valverde this season?
Cubs closer Kevin Gregg got the last 4 outs to earn his fourth save of the season, striking out two batters in doing so. He has yet to give up a run so far, and he will be trade bait if he can keep pitching like this come June.
Stats, stats and more stats
Thus far in 2013, Petco Park is playing like a hitters park, as there have been 24 home runs hit there in 12 games. Start your hitters and pitchers accordingly.
After hitting a career high 13 home runs last season, Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler hit his 8th home run of the season last night in Los Angeles. He is on pace to shatter his career high in home runs, but one look at his 33.3% HR/FB rate and you wonder when the power will regress. It will happen soon.