Brewers, Nats are “out in front” on Carl Pavano

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I spent this morning at the doctor’s office getting my annual checkup.  First one since, like, 2003, so I should probably look up the term “annual.”  In any event it went well.  When my doctor asked me if I’m still practicing law I told him no, that I was a baseball blogger.  I got the same response I normally get when I say that: “really?”  That’s combined with a face that basically says “that’s a job?”  Alas.  He was nice, though: as soon as he said that he asked me if I’ve ever seen “that PBS documentary about baseball.  The one with all of the old footage in it. Kind of goes over the whole history?”  I’m beginning to suspect that my doctor isn’t the biggest baseball fan.

Anyway: back to the grind:

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tells us that the Brewers and Nationals are “out in front” in the “Carl Pavano sweepstakes.” Just like I can tell what my doctor’s facial expressions mean, I can detect tone from certain tweets, and I think Mr. Cafardo is being sarcastic in calling this a “sweepstakes.”

Not that Pavano wouldn’t be a prize. Especially for the Brewers, whose starting pitching was a freakin’ train wreck last season.  Pavano would be a nice addition. Between that and the Brewers deciding that they’re going to keep Prince Fielder, one gets the sense that they’re really going to try and go for it next year.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.