Your pitching star of the night: Jeff Niemann


Jeff Niemann fist pump.jpgSo enough about Strasburg. Nice and all, but he didn’t have the best pitching performance last night. The Rays’ Jeff Neimann did.  Niemann allowed just two hits in a shutout of the Blue Jays, who sport a slightly better offense than the Pirates.

Indeed, there were a number of fabulous pitching performances last night by fellows not named Stephen Strasburg. Matt Cain shut out the Reds on seven hits.  Mike Pelfrey didn’t get the win because the Mets bats didn’t break through until extra innings, but he went nine and gave up a single
run on five hits.  Chris Carpenter and Hirkoki Kuroda battled in Los Angels, each shutting out the other side for seven innings. Ted Lilly gave up a single earned run to the Brewers over eight while striking out eight, though his Cubbies did end up losing.  Colby Lewis, Kevin Slowey, and even Tim Wakefield all had strong, strong outings.

I guess something was in the water last night.

Jorge Polanco suspended 80 games after testing positive for Stanozolol

Brian Blanco/Getty Images
Leave a comment’s Rhett Bollinger reports that Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol.

In a statement, via Dan Hayes of The Athletic, Polanco denied knowingly using the substance. Polanco said, “To be clear, I did not intentionally consume this steroid. I now know, however, that my intention alone is not a good enough excuse and I will pay the price for my error in judgment. The substance that I requested from my athletic trainer in the Dominican Republic and consented to take was a combination of vitamin B12 and an iron supplement, something that is not unusual or illegal for professional athletes to take. Unfortunately, what I was given was not that supplement and I take full responsibility for what is in my body.”

Last year was Polanco’s first full season in the majors. He hit .256/.313/.410 with 13 home runs, 74 RBI, 60 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 544 plate appearances.

The Twins have Ehire Adrianza and Erick Aybar to handle shortstop while Polanco is out. The club could also give the starting job to prospect Nick Gordon, ranked No. 4 in the Twins’ system according to MLB Pipeline. Gordon had a solid 2017 campaign at Double-A Chattanooga, posting a .749 OPS with 29 doubles and 13 steals in 578 PA.