Carlos Zambrano is 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA since rejoining the Cubs' rotation

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Carlos Zambrano knocked the Padres out of the Wild Card lead last night by tossing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 victory, continuing his excellent run since rejoining the Cubs’ rotation following a misguided temporary move to the bullpen.
Zambrano is now 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 10 outings since becoming a starter again, holding opponents to a .189 batting average and just one homer in 219 at-bats. And amazingly, after posting ERAs of 6.56, 5.00, and 5.01 in April, May, and June his overall mark is down to 3.36, which would be Zambrano’s best ERA since 2005.
I’m not convinced that Zambrano is all that new and improved, because his 55/37 K/BB ratio isn’t particularly strong and despite doing such a great job keeping the ball in the ballpark his ground-ball rate isn’t actually very good either. On the other hand, I thought the Cubs were far too quick to bump him from the rotation in the first place and his current run is a not-so-subtle reminder that he can still be a very effective starter.
All of which is good news for the Cubs, because they still owe him $18 million in each of the next two years.

Mike Moustakas sets Royals single-season record with 37th home run

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Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.

The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.

Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.

Chris Sale records his 300th strikeout this season

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Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.

Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.

Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.