The Yankees' protest: more trouble than it's worth

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The Marlins screwed up a double switch yesterday, and Joe Girardi protested:

New York manager Joe Girardi protested the game because of a mixup
with the Marlins lineup in the eighth inning, when a Florida player was
removed in a double switch but took his position on the field anyway .
. .

. . . In an odd mixup, Chris Coghlan started the top of the eighth
in left field after Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez had removed him in a
double switch. Alejandro De Aza batted for pitcher Renyel Pinto in the
seventh and was supposed to take over in left, but never ran on the
field.

Leo Nunez threw a pitch, then Girardi came out to protest. After
about a 5-minute delay, Coghlan was removed, Jeremy Hermida went to
left field and the Yankees played the rest of the game under protest.
They were trailing 6-3 at the time.

I guess you sort of have to protest that, but even if Girardi is
successful, and the game result nullified, I’m not sure New York comes
out ahead. That’s because the game would be resumed at some later date
with the Marlins ahead by three in the eighth inning. The chances of
the Yankees coming back from that aren’t all that great, really, and
when you add in the facts that the game would have to take place on an
off day during the height of the summer or the height of the pennant
race, would require superfluous travel, and would tax the bullpen, one
wonders if it’s really worth it. At the very least, if you’re the
Yankees you’d hope that the protest is successful, and the resumption
of the game is scheduled for the day after the end of the season. If
New York is out of the playoffs by one game, great, resume the Marlins
game. If not, let it slide.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.