Ron Washington gets ejected . . . for some reason

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Ron Washington argues.jpgRich Harden fielded a chopper to the mound in the second inning of last night’s Rangers-Athletics game. He ran it back to the bag himself, beating Eric Chavez by a mile.  Chavez was called out. Problem: based on the video, Harden did not appear to touch the bag. The umpires conferred after the call and the first base umpire’s original call of safe was overturned. Correctly, it would appear.

This, not surprisingly,caused Ron Washington to come out and argue the call. Despite being ejected just this past Friday, Washington does not have a reputation as a combustible manager. His argument, which you can also see in the linked video, also seems subdued.  So why the ejection? According to crew chief Joe West, Washington was ejected because managers “are not allowed to argue
after the umpires confer on a call.”

Um, OK.  This is nothing I’ve ever heard before. I mean, on some level I can understand it if a manager argues, gets the umpires to confer, they confer and the call that caused all the trouble is upheld, because at that point the manager is really no longer trying to persuade as much as he is just bitching.

But that’s not what happened here. Washington had a favorable call overturned, and he was arguing the overturning in the first instance. This was Washington’s beef after the game when he said “Bobby Geren can argue and I can’t argue?”

I’m with you Ron. I mean, you were wrong because Rich Harden clearly didn’t touch first base, but it seems like you’re just as entitled to argue a call as the next guy, and that’s all you were doing.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.