Hank Schulman has a feature story today about Cody Ross catapulting into fame last fall on the power of postseason heroics. He compares this to the legacies of Dusty Rhodes, Al Weis, Buddy Biancalana, Brian Doyle and … Mark Lemke:
Lemke might be the most famous member of the fraternity, at least in this era. The slick fielder hit .234 in 1991, then went nuts in the World Series against Minnesota. After hitting two triples in the regular season, he tied a Series record with three against the Twins and hit .417.
Lemke stamped his reputation as a great postseason hitter. Though that was not always true, he did hit .272 over five postseasons while finishing an 11-year major-league career with a .246 average.
Those postseason heroics always made casual Braves fans — which, by definition, is most Braves fans — think a bit too highly of Lemke’s bat and left ’em hoping he’d do something greater. I imagine the same will happen to Cody Ross. He’s a nice player, but he’s not hit-homers-off-Roy-Halladay-at-will kind of guy. Serious fans know this, but the people who jumped on the bandwagon during the playoffs will probably always wonder why Ross isn’t an MVP or something.
You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.
In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.
Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.
The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.
Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks pitcher Shelby Miller has a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and is considering undergoing Tommy John surgery. Surgery would end Miller’s 2017 season and would cut into a significant portion — if not all — of his 2018 season as well.
Miller sent his MRI results to Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews for second and third opinions, respectively. He could choose to rehab his elbow rather than undergo surgery, but that comes with its own set of positives and negatives.
Miller lasted only four-plus innings in his most recent start on Sunday and carries a 4.09 ERA on the season, his second with the Diamondbacks. His time in Arizona has not gone well.