– With not nearly as many intriguing pitching matchups on the schedule
as on Tuesday, it will be easy enough to key in on the potential
history-making event tonight.
Game of the Night
San Francisco vs. Washington – Randy Johnson’s first try for win No.
300 will come against the Nationals, the team he beat for win No. 298
on May 11. It’s also the franchise he pitched for when he earned his
first three career victories in 1988. He went on to spend part of 1989
with the Expos, going 0-4 with a 6.67 ERA before being traded to the
Mariners. Since then, he pitched against the ExpoNats 10 times, going
4-3 with a 2.99 ERA.
If Johnson does pick up the victory, he’ll be the 24th pitcher to
300 and he’ll join Lefty Grove and Early Winn in a three-way tie for
22nd place on the all-time list. At 45, he’d be the second-oldest
pitcher to get to 300 wins, behind only Phil Niekro.
The Nationals will go Jordan Zimmermann, who has been looking for
career win No. 3 for five weeks now. Since winning his first two major
league starts, he’s 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in six outings.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.