Dice-K injury causes Red Sox to juggle rotation

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The Red Sox planned to go with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester in their doubleheader Wednesday against the Mariners, but after winning the first game with Beckett on the mound, they announced that Lester would be pushed back to Friday as a replacement for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is battling a sore back.
Matsuzaka, who is 2-1 with a 3.64 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break, apparently will miss at least a full turn in the rotation with his latest ailment. He missed the month of April due to neck and back soreness and he served a DL stint in June with a forearm strain.
With Dice-K sidelined, the Red Sox will turn to knuckleballer Tim Wakefield to start tonight. It will be his first start since July 20. His last nine appearances dating back to July 7 have all come in Red Sox losses, and he’s 3-9 for the season.

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.