Ubaldo Jimenez was scheduled to make his Cactus League debut during Friday’s split-squad game against the Angels, but was delayed nearly two hours because of a traffic jam following a fatal bus crash that killed more than six people and left more than 15 people injured in an area just south of Tempe. Jimenez elected to drive to the game, rather than take the bus with the rest of the team.
“I didn’t move forever, about three hours,” said Jimenez, who
nonetheless managed to maintain his smile. “I left around 9 and got
here at 1:30, after the game started. I feel good about how I threw. I
was throwing strikes. Even the walks were on close pitches.”
Talking about baseball almost seems silly at this point, but Jimenez eventually entered the game in fourth inning and struck out the side. He gave up four runs on three singles and two walks in his second inning of work. Jimenez, who just turned 26 in January, was 15-12 with a 3.47 ERA and 1.23 WHIP last season.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.