UPDATE: So much for that. Sabathia got Ichiro swinging for his 12th strikeout to begin the seventh inning, but then Brendan Ryan flared a single into left field for the first hit of the ballgame.
9:05 PM: After play resumed, Sabathia got Greg Halman to pop out to first base (ending his strikeout streak at seven) and Chone Figgins on a groundout to end the inning. He’s now perfect through six. It’s beginning to rain again at Yankee Stadium, though.
9:00 PM: Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that play will resume around 9 p.m. ET. That’s just about…now. Sabathia will continue.
8:54 PM: CC Sabathia hasn’t allowed a baserunner over his first 5 1/3 innings this evening against the weak-hitting Mariners, but a rain delay has interrupted his chance at history.
Sabathia has already notched 11 strikeouts, just two short of his career-high. Incredibly, he has fanned the last seven batters he has faced.
The big left-hander has only thrown 59 pitches so far, so he should have plenty left in the tank if play resumes quickly. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the tarp is being dumped out in left field, even though it is still drizzling a bit at Yankee Stadium, so it sounds like he’ll get a chance to finish what he has started.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.
The Nationals lost a heartbreaker on Tuesday night, as the Indians overcame a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Nationals 7-6. Closer Jonathan Papelbon faced five batters but was unable to record an out, yielding a leadoff walk, a double, a bunt that ended up very successful due to a Ryan Zimmerman throwing error, an intentional walk, and a single. Oliver Perez came in and eventually allowed one of his inherited runners to score, saddling Papelbon with the loss.
Papelbon also served up four runs in the outing before Tuesday’s, on Saturday against the Padres. The two clubs entered the top of the ninth tied 6-6, but a walk followed by three two-out singles and a bases-clearing double off of Papelbon allowed the Padres to take a 10-6 lead.
On the season, Papelbon is 19-for-22 in save chances with a 4.18 ERA and a 30/12 K/BB ratio in 32 1/3 innings. If the season were to end today, the right-hander’s 21.4 percent strikeout rate would be the lowest mark of his career and his 8.6 percent walk rate would be his highest mark since 2010.
Manager Dusty Baker didn’t indicate that he’s going to make a change at closer, but he sounded dissatisfied with Papelbon’s performance thus far. Via Mark Zuckerman of MASN, Baker said, “He doesn’t have his command, which is evident when you walk the leadoff hitter. But it’s like, what do you say? How does he look? Right now he doesn’t look like Pap. He doesn’t look very good. Usually he doesn’t walk people like that.”
The non-waiver trade deadline is on Monday, August 1. The Nationals, at 58-42, still have a four-game lead over the Marlins and a 4.5-game lead over the Mets. Tuesday’s loss has motivated the club to attempt to upgrade the bullpen, Jon Morosi reports. The Nationals were in the mix for Aroldis Chapman before the Yankees sent him to the Cubs. Perhaps Andrew Miller could be next on the Nats’ wish list.