The Cardinals got a helping of bad news Wednesday. Kick a team while its down?
According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, left-handed reliever Trever Miller flew back to St. Louis on Wednesday after complaining of discomfort and was diagnosed with a strained muscle in his throwing arm. Hummel says that Miller will be sidelined for “at least several more days.” Our guess is he won’t return for another two weeks, if not more.
It gets worse. Hummel also reports that third baseman David Freese underwent a procedure to repair ligament damage in his right ankle Wednesday in Vail, Colorado. Freese just had left ankle surgery in August and the combination of the two could hurt his availability for the start of the 2010 season.
Freese, a 27-year-old rookie, posted a solid .296/.361/.404 batting line, four home runs and 36 RBI in 240 at-bats before hitting the disabled list for good on June 29.
Miller, 37, has a 4.02 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 31.1 innings. He’s held left-handed hitters to a .203/.292/.266 batting line.
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.