As if LeBron and the Cavs weren't bad enough …

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Yesterday couldn’t have gone much worse for the Indians, who announced Asdrubal Cabrera will miss 8-10 weeks following surgery to repair a broken forearm, placed Grady Sizemore on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left knee, and then watched Kerry Wood turn a 4-3 lead into an 8-4 loss to the equally lowly Royals in his disastrous first save chance of the season.
Wood has now allowed seven runs while recording 10 outs since coming off the DL, so whatever slim chance the Indians had of getting any kind of value for him at the trading deadline is rapidly vanishing. He was booed off the field and chucked his glove into the stands for good measure after retiring just one of the seven batters he faced. Chris Perez might be in line to replace Wood if he hadn’t struggled at closer already.
Jason Donald will continue to fill in for Cabrera at shortstop while Trevor Crowe started in center field and led off in place of Sizemore, who was hitting just .211/.271/.289 with zero homers and a ghastly 35/9 K/BB ratio before injuring his knee in an awkward slide Sunday. Sizemore is out indefinitely and may need surgery.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.