9:36pm: Christensen passes along word that Nathan has opted to undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and will miss all of the 2010 season. The throwing session apparently ran less than smoothly:
“It didn’t go like we hoped,” Nathan said. “We knew it was a long shot,
but this will help clear my head.”
8:48am: Joe Nathan finally got around to playing catch Sunday morning, a final test before he decides whether to undergo season-ending elbow surgery. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is awaiting word from the Twins, as are we.
Nathan was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament last week and will miss a large chunk of the 2010 season no matter what course he takes. After all, rehab for such an injury would almost certainly last several months.
The 35-year-old closer collected 47 saves last season while posting a 2.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 89/22 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings of work. The Twins haven’t announced who will fill in for him this season, though it’s safe to guess that Jon Rauch and Matt Guerrier are the front-runners for the substitute gig. Rauch has closing experience and Guerrier is one of the finest setup men in the game.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.