What we're watching – Wang & Greinke

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– 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
manager all-time.

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.

Video: Bryce Harper crushes a home run to the Chase Field concourse

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Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.

Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.

The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.

The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Chi Chi Gonzalez to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.

This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.

It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.