Tonight has been a pretty interesting night in that we have seen some excellent performances from pitchers who were written off a long time ago.
Let’s start with Dontrelle Willis. Even though he took the loss tonight against the Rockies, he allowed three runs over eight innings while striking out 10 and walking just one. This was the first time he had went at least eight innings or reached double-digits in strikeouts since the 2007 season. Always handy with the bat, he also hit an RBI triple.
Chien-Ming Wang was just pulled after tossing six shutout innings against the Cubs. Relying primarily on his sinker, he didn’t give up his first hit until Tony Campana beat out an infield single to begin the top of the sixth. Wang struck out just one and walked two, but induced 11 ground balls. This was his first scoreless start since he infamously tore a ligament in his right foot while running the bases against the Astros on June 15, 2008. UPDATE: The Nats topped the Cubs 3-1, so Wang has earned his first win since June 29, 2009.
And we shouldn’t forget about Rich Harden, either. He just spun seven innings of one-run ball against the Blue Jays, striking out eight and walking a pair. Though the Red Sox were understandably turned off by his medical records before the trade deadline, the oft-injured right-hander has a 4.07 ERA and 45/15 K/BB ratio over 42 innings this season.
Yes, for one night at least, we have all been transported back to 2005.
Teams in need of starting pitching can call the White Sox about James Shields as the club has made him available in a trade, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports.
A trade would allow Shields to land with his third team this season. The Padres traded Shields to the White Sox in early June for pitcher Erik Johnson and minor leaguer Fernando Tatis, Jr. Things haven’t gone better for him since leaving San Diego with a 4.28 ERA. In 10 starts with the White Sox, Shields has compiled a 5.17 ERA with a 29/25 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings.
Shields, 34, is owed $21 million in both 2017 and ’18, then has a $16 million club option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout.
The White Sox are teetering on the edge between being buyers and sellers. They entered play Wednesday on a four-game winning streak with a 50-50 record, eight games out of first place in the AL Central and six games out of the second AL Wild Card slot.
Wednesday gives us six afternoon games, leaving nine games for the evening. Masahiro Tanaka will start one of those games as the Yankees take on the Astros’ Lance McCullers in an 8:10 PM EDT start.
The Yankees went into the All-Star break an even 44-44, 7.5 games out of first place and looking like sellers. They have come into the second half winning 8 of 12 games, including their last three. The club has only managed to make up one game against the first-place Orioles in the AL East, but they are also only four games out of the second AL Wild Card slot.
Aroldis Chapman has already been shipped out, but the Yankees are also drawing trade interest in Andrew Miller, who has assumed the closer’s role. If the Yankees win tonight and perform well against the Rays in a three-game series in Tampa, the Bronx Bombers may enter the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline deciding to be competitive after all.
The rest of Wednesday evening’s action…
Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray) @ Baltimore Orioles (Dylan Bundy), 7:05 PM EDT
Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole), 7:05 PM EDT
St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) @ New York Mets (Logan Verrett), 7:10 PM EDT
Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo) @ Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel), 8:05 PM EDT
Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea) @ Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish), 8:05 PM EDT
Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson), 8:10 PM EDT
Atlanta Braves (Mike Foltynewicz) @ Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey), 8:10 PM EDT
Los Angeles Angels (Matt Shoemaker) @ Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy), 8:15 PM EDT