James Shields has thrown a lot of complete games this year and today he tossed his ninth. A three-hitter too! Except he lost. The Sox beat the Rays 3-1.
That’s what happens when (a) the other team’s pitchers only give up three hits as well; and (b) unlike you, they don’t bunch them altogether at once. Two singles and a homer allowed in the third inning aren’t a lot on the grand scheme of things, but it’s everything when your offense can only scratch across one run on a first inning groundout. Jon Lester allowed only one hit in his seven innings. Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon closed it out.
This game, the first of a twin bill, flew by pretty quickly for AL East standards, at two hours twenty-four minutes. I always wonder if guys consciously buzz through games in a double header in order to get more chill time.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.