Ricky Nolasco was diagnosed with a torn right meniscus over the weekend and scratched from his scheduled Sunday start in favor of Andrew Miller. With such a serious diagnosis, and with the Marlins well out of contention, it felt like Nolasco might be done for the season. But, alas, he could be ready to pitch again by Saturday.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports that Nolasco will play catch on Monday and throw a bullpen session on Wednesday. If those go well, he is likely to be cleared to start against the first-place Braves this weekend.
“He wants to pitch, and he says he’s feeling much better the last two
days,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said. “At this point of the season, pretty much
everybody’s hurt. Nobody’s 100 percent. If he says he’s 90, 95 percent, I
think it’s good enough.”
Nolasco, 27, struggled through the first half of the season but he’s limited opponents to a .237 batting average and has racked up 53 strikeouts in 45 innings since mid-July. Through 25 total starts this season, he owns a 14-8 record, a 4.22 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and 147 strikeouts.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.