– Seattle‘s Brandon Morrow will make his first major league appearance since July 10 when he starts against the Rangers. The 25-year-old was being used carefully in Triple-A Tacoma, though he did throw a nine-inning shutout on Aug. 14. In four starts since, he had pitched 19 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs. He had a 4.55 ERA in six starts for the Mariners before being sent down. Texas will start Kevin Millwood, whose 2010 option would vest at $12 million if he throws eight innings tonight.
– The Giants have fallen 4 1/2 games behind the still surging Rockies in the wild card, so it’s be a great time for Matt Cain to pick up his first win against the Dodgers as the two teams begin a three-game series. Cain has a respectable 3.97 ERA versus L.A. in 12 career starts, but that’s resulted in an 0-6 record. Cain finally prevailed last week against the Brewers to snap a seven-game winless streak. His opponent in this one will be Hiroki Kuroda, who came off the DL to allow three earned runs over five innings in a loss to the Padres on Sunday.
Game of the Night
Tampa Bay vs. Boston – In a freefall that started when they lost two out of three to the Red Sox at home, the Rays can only play spoiler now. Still, they will have that chance this weekend in Boston and in two weeks when they play in Texas. The Red Sox are currently two games up on the Rangers in the wild card, and they have Jon Lester on the mound tonight. Tampa Bay will start James Shields, who saw his ERA jump over 4.00 for the first time since April when he gave up six runs last time out against the Tigers. Lester is 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA since the break, and he’s turned in two gems against the Rays during that time.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.
Agent Scott Boras eulogized client Jose Fernandez at his funeral on Thursday. Boras couldn’t even get through the first sentence without breaking down in tears. It was difficult to watch without wanting to sob myself, but it was a touching eulogy that spoke for a lot of people who were fond of Fernandez.