Astros reliever Brandon Lyon got bad news about the status of his right biceps muscle last week from Dr. Lewis Yocum. Today, it was confirmed that the right-hander is going to need season-ending surgery.
According to Alyson Footer, who serves as the Astros’ director of social media, the procedure will be performed next Thursday by Dr. James Andrews.
Lyon signed a three-year, $15 million contract with Houston in December of 2009 and opened the 2011 season at closer, but he allowed 27 hits and 17 runs in 13 1/3 innings before landing on the disabled list for good on June 9. Mark Melancon is expected to finish out the year in the Astros’ ninth inning role.
One of these days, major league teams might figure out that handing multi-year contracts to relievers is not a great strategy. Lyon is making a hefty $5.25 million this year and is owed $5.5 million in 2012.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.