Stephen Strasburg just finished his sixth major league start a short while ago, allowing two runs over five innings against the Mets. Not only was it the shortest outing of Strasburg’s brief major league career, but he managed a career-low five strikeouts.
After Strasburg labored through a 37-pitch first inning, it was pretty obvious he wouldn’t be long for this one. He issued three walks in the opening frame, the most notable of which was a 10-pitch at-bat by Josh Thole. Somehow, he was able to escape with just one run crossing the plate, courtesy of an RBI double by Jason Bay.
Things really could have been a lot worse, as he was able to get Jeff Francoeur to fly out with the bases loaded to end the inning. This, after nearly beheading Francoeur earlier in the at-bat. I’ll give Frenchy some credit for actually staying in the batter’s box after that pitch, because I probably would have needed a new pair of pants.
Strasburg retired the final seven batters he faced after allowing an RBI single to Thole in a 26-pitch third inning, but it was too little too late. He was pulled after throwing 64 of 96 pitches for strikes.
The 21-year-old right-hander now has a 2.45 ERA and 1.06 WHIP over his first six major league starts, posting a 53/10 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings. He’ll wrap up the first half with a start against the Padres next Thursday.
Jered Weaver, a 12-year big league veteran and a three-time All-Star, has announced his retirement.
Weaver was struggling mightily with the Padres this year, going 0-5 in nine starts and posting a 7.44 ERA,, a 2.6 BB/9 and 4.9 K/9 ratio over 42.1 innings. He hadn’t posted a sub-4.00 ERA since 2014 and his velocity had, quite famously, sunk into the low 80s and even high 70s at times in recent seasons. A spate of physical setbacks contributed to that, with a hip inflammation ailing him this season and nerve issues in his neck and back afflicting him for the past few years.
But even if his recent seasons have been less-than-memorable, it’s worth remembering that he was, for a time, one of baseball’s best pitchers. He posted a record of 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA in his first 9 seasons, leading the American League in strikeouts in 2010 and leading the circuit in wins in 2012 and 2014. He likewise led the league in WHIP and hits allowed per nine innings in 2012.
He finishes his career with a record of 150-98, an ERA of 3.63 (ERA+ of 111) and a K/BB ratio of 1,621/551 in 2,067.1 innings. He pitched in four American League Division Series and the 2009 ALCS, posting a 2.67 ERA in seven playoff games pitched.
Happy trails, Jered. A first-ballot induction into the Hall of He Was Really Dang Good, Even if We Forgot About It For A While is in your future.
Last November it was reported that the Marlins planned to build a memorial for Jose Fernandez, likely including a statue. The effort was said to be a pet project of the Marlins owner, Jeff Loria, who was close with Fernandez.
Today the Miami Herald reports, however, that those plans are in limbo due to the sale of the team:
The planned statue to honor Jose Fernandez, which was departing owner Jeffrey Loria’s idea, is now very much in question because it will not be erected before Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter take over, and it will ultimately be the new owners’ call. That matter has not yet been discussed, with the sale agreed to only in the past few days.
There’s nothing in the report suggesting that they’re opposed to the statue — it’s possible this was placed in the Herald by people close to the new group in order to test the waters — but there always was the sense that the idea was something of a priority for Loria personally. One wonders how much momentum it will have once he’s gone.
Then, of course, there’s the fact that Fernandez was eventually found to have been under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and was behind the wheel of the boat at the time of the accident that claimed his life and the life of two others, making any memorial to him suspect in the eyes of some people.
Thankfully we don’t spend a lot of time and energy discussing the ethics of statues in this country, so I’m sure it’ll have no bearing on the matter.