Michael Stutes pitched a scoreless ninth inning in last night’s 1-0 walkoff win over the Athletics. While it wasn’t a save situation, Ryan Madson was curious in his continued absence.
According to Ray Perillo of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel admitted after the game that Madson was unavailable due to numbness in his pitching hand. He hasn’t pitched since last Saturday against the Mariners.
“For about a week now, he didn’t have feeling in his hand,” Manuel said. “Today, hopefully, he got it taken care of, and he should be able to pitch in three or four days.”
Manuel wasn’t specific about when the injury took place, but it’s believed that the numbness stems from when Madson was hit in the hand by a comebacker off the bat of David Murphy on May 20. Madson has a 4.15 ERA and 11/4 K/BB ratio over 13 innings since the date in question.
Stutes and Antonio Bastardo figure to share the closer role over the next couple of days, but one wonders if they would ramp up their pursuit of Heath Bell if Madson’s hand continues to be an issue.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.