Doctober? Pfft! Get ready for OctLoweber!

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Was that convincing? Nah, didn’t think so. Sigh.

I started thinking about tonight’s Braves-Giants game a few minutes ago. I want to talk myself into Atlanta coming out of the gate strong, but I’m having a hard time really getting on board. My thought process: 

The good: Derek Lowe was 5-0 in September, with 29 strikeouts, three walks and a 1.17 ERA in 30.1 innings.

The not-so-good: Those starts came against the Pirates, the Nationals — twice — the Mets and the Marlins.

The good: Lowe is 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA in eight starts in AT&T Park, including a good one this year.

The not-so-good: He’s a groundball pitcher and the Braves have Brooks Conrad at second and Omar Infante at third. Conrad is bad everywhere. Infante is more comfortable at second than he is at third.

I guess a hot Lowe is all a Braves fan can ask for at the moment, but I think there may be more light than heat here. And I really just wanted an excuse to say “OctLoweber” again, because it’s all kinds of fun. Other random bits causing me nervousness:

  • The Giants’ ERA for the month of September: 1.78. Yikes;
  • The Braves outfielders that aren’t named Heyward are still McLouth, Melky, Diaz and Ankiel;
  • The Braves were 35-46 on the road this year, which is the worst road record among playoff teams;
  • The Braves bullpen is cited as a big strength — and it is — but the Giants’ was actually better this year;

I’m not trying to be overly pessimistic here. I’m psyched and rooting and all of that. But I figured I owe a lot of people who are accusing me of being a Debbie Downer about the Braves’ chances this postseason a bit of an explanation as to why I’m being a Debbie Downer.

But again: OctLoweber! 

Drew Smyly has a torn UCL, will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that Mariners starter Drew Smyly has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Smyly was diagnosed with a flexor strain in his left elbow at the end of spring training. He had been on the shelf since then, but was throwing bullpen sessions. He was set to throw his first simulated game today, but that was scratched after he said his arm didn’t feel right in his last throwing session. The Mariners called it “a little setback.” A reexamination shows that this is not little, obviously.

The Mariners acquired Smyly in January for outfielder Mallex Smith and two minor leaguers, and were expected to utilize the lefty as a core member of their rotation in 2017. Now he’s going to miss all of this season and, given that he’s on a one-year deal, will be released by the team at the end of the season. Odds are that he’ll be unable to pitch for most of 2018.

Tough break.

Miguel Montero to be designated for assignment

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A play in three acts:

I.

Miguel Montero talks smack about his teammate

II.

A team leader talks smack about Miguel Montero

III.

The Cubs get rid of Miguel Montero:

This is rather surprising. As I said in the last post, I figured he’d apologize today and it’d all be in the past. Guess not. Even more surprising: we learned earlier this week that the key to good clubhouse chemistry is having a teammate everyone hates. Guess that only works for the Giants.

Montero is making $14 million this season, so the Cubs are definitely eating some money to make a headache go away. They’re also losing some offensive production, as Montero has hit a nice .286/.366/.439 on the season. His terrible defense against opposing baserunners mitigates that, of course. And the whole “pissing off everyone in the clubhouse” thing isn’t exactly working out for him either, so here we are.

Oh well, have a good one, Miguel.