Don’t get your hopes up. Unless something completely unexpected happens, your team isn’t going to acquire Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier or Clayton Kershaw. However, the Dodgers will surely be more than willing to trade away some other useful pieces before the deadline.
One major-league source tells Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com that “a lot of clubs” are already showing interest in right-hander Hiroki Kuroda.
In fact, the Reds and Rockies had scouts present at Kuroda’s most recent outing, though it’s not clear if they were there to see him in particular. We’ll see tons of teams getting linked to specific players based on information like this in the weeks to come, so just be prepared.
Kuroda, 36, is 5-9 through his first 16 starts this season, but has a very solid 3.10 ERA and 77/28 K/BB ratio over 101 2/3 innings. He has a 3.52 ERA since arriving stateside in 2008. For what it’s worth, that’s better than the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Verlander, John Danks and teammates Chad Billingsley and Ted Lilly.
Kuroda is still owed around half of his $12 million salary for this season and would have to waive his full no-trade clause to complete a deal.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.