Daily Dose: Myers headed for hip surgery?

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Brett Myers underwent an MRI exam on his hip Thursday and received bad
news as it showed fraying and a possible tear in the labrum. He hasn’t
been placed on the disabled list as of this writing, but that seems
inevitable after Myers revealed that “it sounds like surgery is almost
100 percent from the first opinion” and “they told me that my hip is
f***ed up.”

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. indicated that the Phillies would be
open to a trade to fill Myers’ spot in the rotation if he’s indeed done
for the season, but also made it clear that they’re more likely to
replace him internally with Kyle Kendrick, Carlos Carrasco, Andrew
Carpenter, or Antonio Bastardo. Carrasco is the team’s top pitching
prospect, but he’s 0-6 with a 5.81 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A.

While the Phillies hope that a second opinion can provide better
news for Myers, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Orioles right-hander David Hernandez made his MLB debut Thursday
by giving up one run over 5.2 innings for a win against Detroit.
Hernandez has never been highly touted as a prospect because of bad
command, as he walked four batters per nine innings coming into this
season. However, his strikeout rates have been fantastic and he showed
signs of improved control prior to being called up.

Hernandez had a 2.93 ERA and 60/13 K/BB ratio in 43 innings spread
over eight starts at Triple-A, giving him 595 strikeouts in 516 career
innings. If the improved control is legit Hernandez becomes a very
intriguing prospect, but he walked four of 25 batters Thursday while
needing 108 pitches to record 17 outs. He’s clearly worth keeping an
eye on and the 24-year-old could have value in AL-only spots.

* Chris Ray missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery,
but seemed to be doing reasonably well through his first 13 appearances
this season, posting a 13/5 K/BB ratio in 11.1 innings. Things began to
unravel for him last week and Ray allowed nine runs on seven hits and
six walks over a four-inning stretch that earned him a trip back to the
minors Thursday.

While his post-surgery struggles are discouraging, Ray still missed
a fair amount of bats by whiffing 21 percent of his batters faced
compared to 22 percent prior to going under the knife. His average
fastball was clocked at 94.1 miles per hour after being 94.2, 94.8, and
94.7 from 2005-2007, so aside from command issues his stuff still seems
plenty good. In other words, don’t give up on him quite yet.

* Travis Hafner’s comeback from a right shoulder injury was delayed
for 3-4 days by rib soreness, but he resumed his minor-league rehab
assignment Thursday at Triple-A by going 1-for-3 with a double and a
walk. Assuming that he can avoid a setback while playing 2-3 more games
at Columbus over the weekend, Hafner is on track to come off the
disabled list Monday.

AL Quick Hits: After missing three weeks with a hamstring
strain, Jorge Posada is slated to come off the disabled list Friday …
Victor Martinez drove in two runs Thursday, but his OPS dipped below
1.000 for the first time since the third game of the season … Jason
Varitek hit two homers off Anthony Swarzak before being ejected from
Thursday’s game, giving him 10 long balls in 133 at-bats after going
deep 13 times in 423 at-bats last season … Clete Thomas led off
Thursday, with usual leadoff man Curtis Granderson batting fifth for
Detroit … Luke Scott had a pair of homers Thursday, making him 4-for-8
with three homers and seven RBIs in two games since coming off the
shelf … Josh Beckett whiffed eight over seven innings of one-run ball
Thursday … Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder) is scheduled to make another
minor-league rehab start Sunday at Triple-A … Jacoby Ellsbury went
0-for-3 to snap his 22-game hitting streak Thursday.

NL Quick Hits: Carlos Zambrano has been suspended six games for
his amazing implosion Wednesday, so he’ll miss one start … Houston
manager Cecil Cooper doesn’t seem long for the job after general
manager Ed Wade declined to give him a vote of confidence Thursday …
Dan Haren threw seven innings of two-run ball Thursday, slicing his ERA
to 2.54 with a sparkling 71/9 K/BB ratio … Anibal Sanchez (shoulder)
tossed three scoreless innings in a minor-league rehab start Thursday
at Single-A … Randy Wolf keeps thriving in his second go-around with
the Dodgers, holding the Cubs to one run in seven innings Thursday …
Jonathan Broxton was unavailable after throwing 38 pitches the previous
game, so Ramon Troncoso picked up his third save Thursday … Tom Glavine
(shoulder) topped out in the mid-80s Thursday, but still had five
shutout innings in a rehab start at Triple-A … Xavier Paul (staph
infection) has been released from the hospital, but is likely still
several weeks from seeing game action.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).