The Jerod Morris Hex? Ibanez lands on disabled list

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I’d like to submit a new entry to the pantheon of sports voodoo alongside the Sports Illustrated cover jinx and the Madden curse: The Jerod Morris blogger hex.

Two weeks after setting off the latest mainstream-versus-blogger firestorm by freaking out over “some 42-year-old blogger typing in his mother’s basement” Raul Ibanez has been placed on the disabled list with a strained left groin. Coincidence? Of course. But still.

Ibanez, who had avoided the DL since 2004, was just 5-for-27 (.185)
with 11 strikeouts since calling one of Morris’ blog entries about him
“pathetic and disgusting” and struggled to run out ground balls
recently, so the Phillies decided to shut him down for at least a
couple weeks.

John Mayberry Jr. has been called up from Triple-A to replace Ibanez
after getting into three games during his first taste of the majors
last month. The 6-foot-6 son of the former two-time All-Star with the
same name, Mayberry has big-time power but has hit just .261 with a
.323 on-base percentage and 141/51 K/BB ratio in 166 games at Triple-A.

As for Ibanez, his career-best season will be put on hold as he
heads to the DL ranked second in the league in homers (22), runs (51),
RBIs (59), slugging percentage (.656), and OPS (1.027). The good news
is that he’ll have plenty of time to peruse the pathetic, disgusting
blogosphere, and I’d suggest grabbing a laptop and finding a basement
somewhere so he can maybe start a blogging hex of his own.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”