Tim Lincecum scratched with flu

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Tim Lincecum is ducking the Phillies.  Or Vance Worley, anyway.

The Giants scratched their ace, who looked just fine at the White House yesterday, with a case of “the flu” Tuesday and moved up Barry Zito in the rotation to replace him in tonight’s showdown.

I think Lincecum just wanted to take his chances with Cole Hamels instead of the red-hot Worley.  Worley has allowed one run or fewer in six straight starts, the longest such streak in the NL this season.  If he can do it again tonight, he’ll match Justin Verlander for the majors’ longest streak this season.

Lincecum, on the other hand, has allowed one run or fewer in a mere five of his last six starts.  He’s 8-8 with a 2.90 ERA, while Worley is 6-1 with a 2.02 ERA.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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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.

Shelby Miller has a tear in his UCL, considering Tommy John surgery

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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.