First-third awards – AL Cy Young

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Yeah, it’s a no-brainer, but let’s look at a few lists anyway.

Top 10 in ERA

1. Zack Greinke – 1.10 in 82 IP
2. Jered Weaver – 2.26 in 75 2/3 IP
3. Edwin Jackson – 2.30 in 74 1/3 IP
4. Erik Bedard – 2.37 in 60 2/3 IP
5. Roy Halladay – 2.77 in 91 IP
6. Mark Buehrle – 2.91 in 74 1/3 IP
7. Cliff Lee – 2.96 in 82 IP
8. Josh Outman – 3.02 in 53 2/3 IP
9. Jarrod Washburn – 3.22 in 64 1/3 IP
10. Kevin Millwood – 3.23 in 78 IP

Halladay and Lee are the only pitchers here that have made 12 starts so
far. The rest are at 10 or 11, except for Outman at nine.

Top 10 in VORP

1. Zack Greinke – 43.4
2. Roy Halladay – 31.3
3. Jered Weaver – 31.3
4. Cliff Lee – 28.5
5. Mark Buehrle – 25.7
6. Edwin Jackson – 25.4
7. Kevin Millwood – 23.0
8. Erik Bedard – 22.3
9. CC Sabathia – 21.1
10. James Shields – 20.8

Halladay’s innings count boosts him here. Jackson, who has given up
more unearned runs than any of the contenders (six), falls back a bit.

Top 10 in FIP

1. Zack Greinke – 1.57
2. Justin Verlander – 2.31
3. Roy Halladay – 2.76
4. Cliff Lee – 3.13
5. Felix Hernandez – 3.28
6. Edwin Jackson – 3.31
7. Gil Meche – 3.35
8. CC Sabathia – 3.51
9. Erik Bedard – 3.56
10. Jered Weaver – 3.57

Verlander soars once one tries to separate defense from pitching.
I’m not sure I buy it, though: he really was that bad at the start of
the season. Of course, he’s been right there with Greinke as the AL’s
best pitcher over the last five weeks.

By virtue of that innings total, I think Halladay is pretty
comfortably in second place right now. Third is a tougher call, with
Weaver and Lee having the best cases. I’m giving the edge to Weaver,
mostly because he’s had a somewhat more difficult schedule.

First-third AL Cy Young

1. Greinke
2. Halladay
3. Weaver

Jon Niese leaves start with knee pain

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
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Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.

Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.

Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.

Mark Trumbo’s home run streak ends

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 11:  Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits an RBI single against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 11, 2016 in Oakland, California. The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Oakland Athletics 9-6. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.

Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.

But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.