Buster Olney asks an odd question

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I’m guessing this is Buster Olney trying to add to the whole pitching to the score/pitcher wins/Cy Young/Jack Morris debate.  But since it’s Buster Olney, it doesn’t make all that much sense.

The tweet:

A question for anyone who thinks pitchers don’t make decisions according to the score: please explain timing of intentional walks.

OK.

1. Pitchers don’t call for intentional walks.  The bench calls for intentional walks.  At best, the pitcher might have some influence over the decision following a trip to the mound.

2. The intentional walk is simply a maneuver used by a team in an attempt to hurt the other team’s chance of scoring one or more runs (usually one).  At least, that’s the idea anyway.  Teams issue them when they’re ahead, when they’re behind and when they’re tied, simply because the whole idea is that it’ll hurt the other team’s chances of scoring.

Anyway, I’m not sure what Olney hoped to add to the debate here.  Besides, no one has ever said pitchers don’t acknowledge the score when they pitch.  Many of us just don’t think it makes any real difference at all.  The great pitchers tend to be just as great whether they have one or eight runs to work with.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.