Tom Gorzelanny took one for the team (and on the chin)

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Sometimes a relief appearance is more about soaking up innings than actually preventing runs, which Tom Gorzelanny found out the hard way last night.

Gorzelanny entered the game in the sixth inning following an abbreviated Edwin Jackson start and the first seven Astros batters he faced went single, fielder’s choice, single, single, single, single, double.

At that point a 5-4 deficit had grown to a 10-4 deficit and the game was all but over despite the fact that Gorzelanny had recorded just one out, but instead of removing him from the mess manager Davey Johnson left him in.

And then afterward he explained the move to Gene Wang of the Washington Post:

Bullpen’s been pretty taxed pretty much all year. It wasn’t the case where I was going to throw the kitchen sink at them trying to win that ballgame. I want to go into the division series against Miami without an overburdened pen so Gorzo kind of hand to take it on the chin. That happens in this game.

Gorzelanny escaped the inning without further damage and then allowed “only” one more run in the next frame, so he avoided ruining his ERA for the entire season and simply saw it grow from 0.00 to 7.36 in the span of 46 pitches.

Brandon McCarthy wins final spot in Dodgers’ rotation

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We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.

McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.

Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.

Yankees re-sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

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The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.

Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.