Dusty Baker may be unsure if Sean Marshall can step into the closer role for the injured Ryan Madson, but Marshall’s performance over the past two seasons suggests he’d be fantastic in the ninth inning and yesterday the left-hander made it clear that he’d “like the opportunity to pitch in that role.”
Part of Baker’s apparent hesitation comes from wondering if Marshall would do well pitching three or four days in a row, to which Marshall told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com: “I’ve definitely pitched at least three days in a row and been hot and ready to pitch a fourth game, too, and felt good. … I’m more than capable of doing it.”
He wants the role, he’s fine with the potential workload, and he’s got a 2.45 ERA, 169/42 K/BB ratio, and .222 opponents’ batting average in 145 innings since 2010.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.