Javier Vazquez looked brilliant with the switch back to National League rules on Friday night, holding the Mets to just one hit — a fifth inning single by Angel Pagan — over six shutout innings, while striking out six and walking two. Mariano Rivera made things interesting in the ninth, but the Yankees held on to win the game 2-1.
Vazquez needed just 70 pitches to complete six innings, and was well on his way to even more, but the strong performance took a backseat once he was forced to leave the game after bunting the ball off his right index finger in the top of the seventh inning. According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, X-rays on the finger came back negative.
“It’s frustrating, but the good news is that the finger is good and the
X-rays were negative,” Vazquez said. “I’m pretty sure I’m going to make
my next start.”
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.