– Chien-Ming Wang bids to stay in the Yankee rotation when he and 14.34
ERA take the mound against the Nationals. In two starts since replacing
Phil Hughes, Wang has allowed nine runs over 7 1/3 innings, though
that’s actually lowered his ERA. The league is hitting an impossible
.446 off him this year. The Nats will throw ace John Lannan, who is 3-5
with a 3.51 ERA.
– Ivan Rodriguez is set to overtake Carlton Fisk by catching a major
league-record 2,227th game Wednesday against his former team, the
Rangers. Rodriguez will be breaking the record at age 37. Fisk played
until he was 45.
– Three players are going after career RBI No. 1,000. Paul Konerko
and Lance Berkman are both at 998, while David Ortiz stands at 997
after homering Tuesday.
– If the Dodgers can beat the A’s tonight, Joe Torre will pass
Sparky Anderson for fifth on the managerial victory list at 2,195.
That’s probably as high as he’s going to get, as Tony La Russa has 300
wins on him in third and Bobby Cox has 160 more as the fourth-place
Game of the Night
Arizona vs. Kansas City – It’s not exactly a banner night for
matchups, so let’s go with the most intriguing pitchers, even if the
teams behind them are less than stellar. Starting for Arizona will be
Max Scherzer, who has pitched 12 2/3 scoreless innings in his last two
starts. He’s 3-4 with a 3.63 ERA for the year. Zack Greinke will try
again for his elusive ninth victory for the Royals. He’s allowed 11
earned runs in his last three starts, taking his ERA from 0.84 to 1.72.
Still, he pitched well enough to win two of those outings. Both
Scherzer and Greinke are among the 12 starters in baseball currently
striking out at least a batter an inning.
Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.
Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.
Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.
Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.
If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.
Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”
Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”
Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.