Link-O-Rama: A-Rod notches 2,500 career hit

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* Last night Alex Rodriguez delivered his 2,500th career hit, which is remarkable given that this is his age-33 season. The only players in baseball history with more hits than Rodriguez through the age of 33 are Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. And he can pass Foxx and Ott with a strong September.
Since rejoining the lineup on May 8 following hip surgery Rodriguez ranks among the AL’s top five in homers, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage. Oh, and overall this season the Yankees are 66-32 (.673) when Rodriguez starts and 19-16 (.542) when he doesn’t. Meanwhile, the media in New York can’t seem to decide whether to hype Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter as the person to steal the MVP from Joe Mauer.
* David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal studied every team’s play-by-play announcer to determine who talks the most and found that the chattiest guy (Dan McLaughlin of the Cardinals) said twice as many words per minute as the least-chattiest guy (Duane Kuiper of the Giants). Actually, Vin Scully said by far the most words per minute, but a) he’s the only play-by-play guy who works without a partner/analyst, and b) he’s Vin Scully.
* Jarrod Saltalmacchia returned from the disabled list yesterday, but still expects to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome once the season ends and may be limited to bench duties down the stretch.
* Grady Sizemore is also talking about surgery and may opt to have his injured elbow operated on before the season ends. “I see both sides,” Sizemore said. “Every player wants to be out there and finish the season. But I understand the logic behind the conversation. They want to put me in a position to where I’m strong for next year.”

Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start with forearm tightness

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Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller left Sunday’s start against the Dodgers after four-plus innings due to tightness in his right forearm, the team announced. He’ll be reevaluated tomorrow. Needless to say, though, a forearm injury is very concerning. In his four innings, Miller gave up three runs on four hits and five walks with three strikeouts, raising his ERA to 4.09.

Miller, 26, has had a nightmare of a time since joining the Diamondbacks in December 2015. Last year, he made 20 starts and posted a 6.15 ERA. He suffered a finger injury suffered from scraping his hand on the pitcher’s mound with his follow-through, and he was also demoted to Triple-A during the summer as well.

Ivan Nova finally issued his first walk. It was to an AL pitcher taking his first major league at-bat.

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Pirates starter Ivan Nova has been outstanding in his first three starts of the 2017 season. He yielded only five earned runs in 20 innings for a tidy 2.25 ERA. But even more impressively, Nova didn’t issue a walk in any of those starts.

That changed on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees, but in a most peculiar way. Nova had struck out the side in the first inning, notched a 1-2-3 frame in the second, and got two quick ground outs to begin the third inning, bringing up Yankees pitcher Jordan Montgomery for his first major league at-bat. Montgomery never batted in the minor leagues, either, so Sunday’s AB against Nova was his first since his senior year of high school in 2011. Montgomery took the first two pitches for balls, then a called strike, a ball, and another called strike to even the count. Nova came in with his sixth consecutive fastball but it missed low, walking the Yankees’ pitcher for his first free pass of the 2017 season.

Nova got out of the inning without any further issue. He wound up going seven innings, giving up a lone run on four hits and a walk with seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to an even 2.00.