UPDATE: Lineups were just announced for tonight’s Yankees-Orioles tilt. The Captain will play. Damn. Now I owe Nick Swisher a million bucks. Hope he takes a check.
11:15 A.M. Derek Jeter got plunked on the leg during yesterday’s game and ended up leaving when his hamstring stiffened up.
The injury is being characterized as minor, but when asked if Jeter would go in tonight’s game against the Orioles, Joe Girardi said they’d have to wait and see. Nick
Johnson Swisher is more confident, however, saying “He’ll be back. I bet you a million dollars he’ll be in the lineup.” And I suppose he probably will be, Giradi’s caution notwithstanding.
Can’t help but wonder if he should be, though. The opponent is Baltimore, the player in question is getting older and the season is still young. No one on the planet is ever going to question Jeter’s toughness, so he has nothing to prove here. But there is at least a little something to be gained, is there not, by giving the Captain an extra day to stretch out the kink in that hamstring? This is especially true now that he looks to be climbing out of his sluggish start (he’s 17 for his last 35). Why risk a nagging ache when a day off against the worst team in baseball may keep you that much fresher?
No, this isn’t the most important thing in the world. I guess more than anything I wonder if Girardi actually makes this call or if Jeter does.
Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.
With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.
The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.
The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.
Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.
It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.