The Braves may bring Omar Infante back

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UPDATE:  Buster Olney says that a lot of teams have called the Marlins about Infante and that, at the moment, no one is really close, including Atlanta. Upshot: the Marlins may hang on to their All-Star.

8:50 AM: Hey, if you have a chance to add a former All-Star at the deadline, you take it, right? Don’t look at me like that. Omar Infante was an All-Star last year. You can look it up.

Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are talking to the Marlins about that very thing.  And given that the Feesh are in Atlanta finishing up a series today, they may not even have to pay for a flight.

While the Braves are still looking to acquire an outfield bat a la B.J. Upton, Michael Bourn or Carlos Quentin, Infante could be a nice fallback option who could help the Braves get through their current outfield depth problems brought on by injuries to Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. Most likely in taking over third base and allowing Martin Prado to move back to left field.  Although it’s worth noting that Infante has played the same number of games in the outfield –101 — than he has played at third.

On the season Infante is hitting a paltry .264/.312/.328.  But did I mention that he was an All-Star?

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.