– Matt Cain and Jason Marquis have both failed twice and Johan Santana and Adam Wainwright once apiece, so now Tim Lincecum will have a shot at becoming the first NL pitcher to reach 13 victories. He’ll be facing the Reds for the first time in 80 career starts. I’m not positive about this, but with nine strikeouts tonight, it looks like he’ll be the earliest to get to 200 in a season since Randy Johnson’s 334-strikeout campaign in 2002. Erik Bedard got their on Aug. 15 in 2007.
– The Braves will attempt to recover from a devastating loss Thursday tonight in the second game of a four-game series in Los Angeles. The Braves led 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth on Friday, only to see Rafael Soriano give up a walkoff homer to Andre Ethier. Tonight’s game will be a rematch of the contest five days ago in Atlanta, which the Dodgers won 9-1. Chad Billingsley threw five scoreless innings in that one before leaving with a hamstring cramp. Jair Jurrjens surrendered four runs in five innings to take his first loss in five starts. He’s 9-8 with a 2.85 ERA, while Billingsley is 11-6 with a 3.82 ERA.
– Carlos Lee will aim again for his 300th homer, this time against the Brewers’ Carlos Villanueva. He has four extra-base hits in his last three games, but all were doubles. He’s 4-for-13 with a homer against Villanueva in his career.
Game of the Night
Boston vs. New York – Having fallen to 8-1 against the Yankees, the Red Sox are terribly desperate for a win, what with there only being 45 games left and them being a mere two games up in the wild card (even if that is the same lead they held 10 games ago). With the season on the line, they’ll send Josh Beckett to the mound. He’s 2-0 in three starts against the Yankees, despite having a 5.82 ERA. Burnett has been roughed up in both of his outings versus Boston, compiling a 12.91 ERA in 7 2/3 innings.
It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.
Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.
Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of MLB.com, Scioscia isn’t concerned.
“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”
Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.
After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.
Astros center fielder Carlos Gomez sat out the final series of the regular season in order to rest a strained left intercostal muscle, but there was good news coming out of a workout today in advance of Tuesday’s Wild Card game vs. the Yankees.
This has been a lingering issue for Gomez, who missed 13 straight games with the injury last month. He aggravated the strain on a throw to home plate last Wednesday and was forced to sit while the Astros fought to keep their season alive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters last week that Gomez’s injury would typically take 45-50 days to recover from, so it’s fair to wonder how productive he can be during the postseason.
Gomez mostly struggled after coming over from the Brewers at the trade deadline, batting .242 with four home runs and a .670 OPS over 41 games.