Daily Dose: Wakefield floats to DL

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Clay Buchholz is back in Boston’s rotation after making a spot start
last week, as the Red Sox put Tim Wakefield on the disabled list
Tuesday. Wakefield, who was picked for his first All-Star game last
week, tweaked his lower back while tossing a bullpen session Saturday
and the AL co-leader in wins will have to wait a while for victory No.
12.

Buchholz will pitch in Wakefield’s place Wednesday against the
Rangers after he allowed one run in 5.2 innings versus the Blue Jays
last week. He struggled with Boston last season, going 2-9 with a 6.75
ERA in 76 innings, but Buchholz is still just 24 years old and has
definitely earned another chance after going 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and
89/30 K/BB ratio in 99 innings at Triple-A. He has AL-only value.

While the Red Sox’s vaunted starting pitching depth continues to come in handy, here are some other notes from around baseball …

* Scott Olsen will miss the remainder of this season following
surgery to repair a partially torn labrum, but the good news is that he
should be fully healthy in time for spring training. Had it been a
fully torn labrum Olsen would’ve been facing at least 12 months of
recovery and rehab, but the Nationals’ team doctor described this
surgery as “just a clean-up procedure.” Healthy or not, he’s a question mark.

* Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi revealed Tuesday that he’s
set a July 28 deadline to deal Roy Halladay, adding: “At this point
it’s probably unlikely that we’ll trade Doc” because “no one has really
stepped up yet” with a big offer. July 28 is the deadline because
Halladay is scheduled to start on July 29 against the Mariners,
although my guess is that a great offer on July 30 would be listened
to.

* Hours after some doofus at Circling the Bases
suggested that he might be a better trade target than Halladay, Cliff
Lee allowed one run in a complete-game victory against none other than
the Blue Jays. Two straight complete-game wins have his ERA down to
3.17 and Tuesday’s gem involved outlasting rookie Brett Cecil’s seven
shutout innings.

* Failing to make it out of the third inning in back-to-back outings
earned Andrew Miller a trip back to the minors Tuesday. Miller’s raw
stuff has always been good enough to dominate and he has 206 strikeouts
in 258 career innings, but horrible control has too often been his
undoing with 143 walks. Also of note is that Miller initially looked
like an extreme ground-ball pitcher, but has been neutral recently.

* Gaby Sanchez was recalled from Triple-A to take Miller’s roster
spot and could get a shot at third base if the Marlins finally realize
that Emilio Bonifacio’s great speed doesn’t make up for a .617 OPS and
bad defense. Sanchez hit just .281 with nine homers in 60 games at
Triple-A and is already 25 years old, but batted .314/.404/.513 with 17
homers, 42 doubles, and 17 steals at Double-A last year.

AL Quick Hits: John Danks has been scratched from his scheduled
Wednesday start with a blister on his index finger … Carlos Guillen has
put his rehab stint on hold to have his sore shoulder examined by a
team doctor … Franklin Gutierrez is day-to-day with left knee and left
elbow contusions after violently crashing into the outfield wall
Tuesday … Justin Duchscherer (elbow) threw a simulated game Tuesday and
could begin a rehab assignment next week … Clayton Richard got a
no-decision for the best start of his career Tuesday, allowing one run
in eight innings … Jack Hannahan homered twice Tuesday to double his
hit total with the Mariners … Josh Beckett lost Tuesday for the first
time since June 14, giving up four runs in eight innings … Sergio Mitre
won for the first time since July of 2007 in his Yankees debut Tuesday
… Jeff Niemann won his fifth straight decision by tossing eight innings
of two-run ball Tuesday, whiffing seven and walking none.

NL Quick Hits: Lance Berkman will rest for a few days after
being diagnosed with a Grade 2 calf strain … Ryan Dempster is slated to
have his broken toe X-rayed Thursday and may then be cleared to throw …
Jim Riggleman finally got into the win column Tuesday with John
Lannan’s first complete-game shutout … Brandon Phillips was benched
Tuesday after not running out a fly ball Monday … Braden Looper
combined with three relievers to shut out the Pirates on Tuesday … John
Maine (shoulder) faced Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado in a 65-pitch
simulated game Tuesday … Mark DeRosa homered twice Tuesday for his
second straight multi-hit game … Ryan Sadowski’s deal with the devil
finally ran out Tuesday, as he coughed up eight runs … Manny Ramirez
left Tuesday’s game and was taken for X-rays after being hit on the
hand by a pitch … Oliver Perez allowed four runs in six innings Tuesday
and has a 12/17 K/BB ratio since rejoining the Mets.

Pete Rose says no one ever told him not to gamble on baseball anymore

Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose poses while taping a segment for Miami Television News on the campus of Miami University, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Associated Press
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Pete Rose will soon be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and have his number retired and all of that jazz. To mark the occasion, Cincinnati Magazine interviewed the Hit King. And, for, like, the 4.256th straight time, Rose shows that he’s in complete denial about why he was banned in 1989 and why he was not reinstated last year when Rob Manfred agreed to review his case:

In this time of limbo after the ban, did you worry about your legacy? I normally don’t ever worry about anything that I’m not in control of. I wasn’t in control of anything in that situation. I went through a period when I got suspended where I didn’t even go to the ballpark. It’s not because I didn’t want to. There were so many restrictions on me, I just didn’t want to put people through that. It didn’t feel good to me.

Sure he wasn’t in control of anything. He was a tiny boat, cast out onto the waves, left to drift in a sea of uncertainty and powerlessness.

But it gets better. Rose was asked about how he changed his life after his ban:

But you still bet on baseball, albeit legally. It seems like the commissioner’s office has taken issue with that fact. Have you considered not betting on baseball anymore? That’s a good point. You remember reading about Bart Giamatti telling me to reconfigure my life? OK, no one has ever told me—including Manfred, including Selig—what does that mean? I guess my point is, just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it. I’m in control. Just tell me. If I want to bet on Monday Night Football, and that’s the way I enjoy my life, why is everybody so worried about that? I’m 75 years old, I have to be able to have some form of entertainment. I’m not betting out of my means. It’s not illegal. If you don’t want me to bet on baseball or anything else, just tell me.

If they told you that— I’d do it. Absolutely. But no one has ever explained “reconfigure your life.” I have taken responsibility for it. I have apologized for it. I have shown I’m sorry. But there again, no matter how many times you say you’re sorry, not everybody’s going to hear you. All I can do is imagine what they meant when they said reconfigure my life. And evidently, no one’s willing to tell me what that means.

So it was all a big misunderstanding. A man who was in his late 40s was banned for gambling on baseball and was told to straighten up yet he had no idea, for 26 years, that maybe it’d be a good idea for him to not gamble on baseball anymore in order to get back into the good graces of the folks who banned him. Damn, why did they pose such impossible riddles to him! If only he had a clue as to what sort of behavior would have improved his chances!

But really, guys: Rose is ready to stop betting on baseball. All you have to do is tell him. If he had known before now, well, we’d be having a TOTALLY different conversation, I’m sure.

Jose Fernandez plunked the Rays mascot

Raymond
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Nuke: “What are you doin’ out here? I’m cruisin’, man.”

Crash: “I want you to throw the next one at the mascot.”

Nuke: “Why? I’m finally throwin’ it where I wanna throw it.”

Crash: “Just throw it at the bull. Trust me.”

The Tampa Bay Rays’ mascot is not a bull — it’s this weird blue thing named Raymond — but apparently Crash Davis got to Marlins starter Jose Fernandez before yesterday’s Marlins-Rays game. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Fernandez, a Tampa native, plunked the Rays’ mascot, Raymond, while warming up in the bullpen before the game. Why?

“He was all over my business,” Fernandez said. “I’m trying to concentrate. It was a little change-up that came out of my hand. Just part of the game, man. This is a game, and I love to have fun.”

Raymond needs to learn to play the game the right way if he doesn’t want no-nonsense old schoolers like Fernandez putting him in his place. Reminds of how Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale used to bury one in Mr. Met’s ear on the regular. Guys like them don’t take no guff.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

MIAMI, FL - MAY 21: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on May 21, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Marlins 9, Rays 1: Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings. After the game he said “it’s time for me to learn how to manage myself on the mound and learn how to pitch.” Wow, he’s doing all of this in ignorance? Just imagine how many dudes he’d strike out if he learned to pitch. It’s like Barry Allen in season 1 of “The Flash” when he still didn’t even know what he was doing but was still pretty impressive. I mean, look at Fernandez in the picture above. He even sorta looks like The Flash.

Astros 4, Orioles 2: George Springer hit two solo homers, but the real story was, once again, just how strikeout-tastic the Astros pitching staff was. Astros pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the night. That goes with their 18 strikeouts on Wednesday night and their 19 strikeouts on Tuesday to set a new major league record for strikeouts in a three-game series with 52. The New 52, as it were.

Pirates 8, Diamondbacks 3: Gerrit Cole hit a three-run homer but the Pirates blew the lead he gave them. Luckily Josh Harrison, who didn’t start because he was sick, came off the bench to hit  two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give them back the lead for good. They’d add some insurance later. Always gotta be careful not to add too much insurance, though, as it may inspire Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray to bump you off. Or maybe Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: J.A. Happ allowed one run over seven innings and notched his sixth win. He outdueled CC Sabathia who turned in his best outing of the season (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 7K) but simply didn’t get the run support. Sabathia allowed one earned run in 20 innings in the month of May.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: Homers from Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa backed Joe Ross, who is quite quietly having a sweet season at the back end of the Nats’ rotation, boasting a 2.52 ERA in nine starts. OK, he’s probably not boasting. He seems like a fine young man who lets his actions speak rather than his words. That’s what my source tell me, anyway. My source is Joe Ross’ mom. I’m worried that she may be biased, however, so I’m using a second source: his grandma. I’m gonna get to the bottom of this Joe Ross character controversy, that I can promise you.

Rockies 8, Red Sox 2: Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak ends at 29. And with that, Joe DiMaggio cracks open the bottle of champagne he saves for the end of every hitting streak of 25 games or more. Mercury Morris taught him that trick and you can never go wrong with doing something Mercury Morris thinks is cool. Trevor Story hit his 13th homer.Carlos Gonzalez and Dustin Garneau went deep too. Clay Buchholz‘s ERA is now 6.35.

Brewers 6, Braves 2Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar each homered as the Brewers swept the Braves. They have three wins in Turner Field in three games this year. Atlanta has two wins in Turner Field in 22 games this year.

White Sox vs. Royals — POSTPONED: I don’t care if it rains

(Let’s all go to the bar)
I don’t care if there’s a hurricane
(Let’s all go to the bar)
And I don’t care if I’m the one to blame
(Let’s all go to the bar)

Video: Bryce Harper launches a homer into the upper deck

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has had a tough month of May. Opposing pitchers have become increasingly unwilling to throw hittable pitches in the strike zone for him, and he’s had trouble adjusting. Entering Thursday’s action, Harper was hitting .194/.454/.306 with two home runs in 97 plate appearances this month. 31 of those plate appearances ended in a walk, nine intentionally.

Harper finally got a pitch to hit in the sixth inning against Cardinals starter Mike Leake. Leake threw a 1-1 curve and Harper promptly launched into the upper deck at Nationals Park. It’s Harper’s 12th homer of the year.