UPDATE: Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said that an MRI and X-ray on Stephen Strasburg showed only inflammation in his right shoulder and no structural damage, reports Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com. He is currently listed as day-to-day.
7:34 PM: According to Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made the decision to pull the plug after Stephen Strasburg was having trouble getting loose.
The Nats are calling it precautionary, however Strasburg is scheduled to undergo an MRI and an X-ray, just to cover all the necessary bases. Whatever your team affiliation, let’s hope it’s nothing.
7:07 PM: According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Stephen Strasburg has been scratched from Tuesday’s start against the Braves. The reason why isn’t immediately clear.
For those without the benefit of the MASN feed, Strasburg was warming up in front of Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty before the game and it was pretty clear something just wasn’t right. Ivan Rodriguez could be seen consoling Strasburg before he left the bullpen mound. Miguel Batista came out to start Tuesday’s game, instead.
It’s disappointing for those who wanted to see Strasburg face Jason Heyward, but the Nationals aren’t going to gamble on the future of their franchise, not when they are 15 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East. We’ll pass along further information when it is made available.
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.
It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:
Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:
Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.