Brian Matusz

Brian Matusz breaks Roy Halladay’s major league record

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But Brian Matusz is having an awful season.  How could he break a Roy Halladay record?

Well, that’s because Roy Halladay once had a pretty terrible season himself.

Starting against the Tigers, Matusz gave up six runs in five innings on Sunday, just slightly increasing his ERA from 10.68 to 10.69.  It’s the worst ERA ever for a pitcher who made at least 10 starts in a season.

1. Brian Matusz (Bal, 2011): 10.69 ERA in 49 2/3 IP
2. Roy Halladay (Tor, 2000): 10.64 ERA in 67 2/3 IP
3. Micah Bowie (Atl/ChC, 1999): 10.24 ERA in 51 IP
4. Aaron Myette (Tex, 2002): 10.06 ERA in 48 1/3 IP
5. Steve Blass (Pit, 1973): 9.85 ERA in 88 2/3 IP
6. Sean Bergmann (Min, 2000): 9.66 ERA in 68 IP
7. Andy Larkin (Fla, 1998): 9.64 ERA in 74 2/3 IP
8. Edgar Gonzalez (Ari, 2004): 9.32 ERA in 46 1/3 IP
9. Todd Van Poppel (Oak/Det, 1996): 9.06 ERA in 99 1/3 IP
10. Bryan Rekar (Col, 1996): 8.95 ERA in 58 1/3 IP

Since Matusz, who averaged barely more than four innings an outing in his 12 starts, came up one-third of an inning short, Halladay still holds the record of highest ERA for anyone with at least 50 innings pitched in a season.  Matusz is the new record holder for guys with 40+ innings.  Stu Flythe of the 1936 Athletics holds the record at 30+.  He had a 13.04 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.