I’m a longstanding opponent of the Designated Hitter. I think it’s evil and wrong and Godless and I shudder to think that my children may hear about it from a stranger before I get a chance to have “the talk” with them about it.*
But something has happened that has thrown all of that into question. It’s a moral issue, really. You see: the lack of a DH in the National League has led to betrayal and disgrace:
Chien-ming Wang, Taiwan’s favorite major league baseball pitcher, confessed in an April 24 press conference held in Florida Viela, his team’s spring training site, that he had had an extra-marital affair two years ago while in Florida … At the press conference given to Taiwanese media, Wang said he made a “big mistake” and would not seek to make any excuses. He added that he does not expect forgiveness from his family or fans, but expressed “innermost apology.” He cited growing pressure from pitching in the major league, especially after his surgery in 2009. “I was so depressed at the time. Besides the long road to rehabilitation, the only thing I could do is wait,” said Wang.
The case here is clear: If the DH were ubiquitous, Wang doesn’t bat in an interleague game. If he doesn’t bat, he doesn’t run the bases. If he doesn’t run the bases, he doesn’t injure himself. If he doesn’t injure himself he’s not on that depressing, lonely “long road to rehabilitation,” and if he’s not on that road he does not have that affair.
Let’s put the DH in he NL now, people. Not because it’s good — it’s far from it — but because the lack of the DH destroys families.
*“Son, when a man loves a woman very much, it can be a beautiful thing. Now, think of the polar opposite of that kind of beauty. Of horrors and awfulness as powerful as the greatest love in the world is wonderful. That, my son, is the DH.”
(link Via SBNation)
Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.
While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.
When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.
Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.
Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)
It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.