Yankees 3, Braves 0: Ivan Nova shut out Atlanta for seven innings and four relievers handled the last two. Atlanta didn’t even get a runner to third base all night. The Yankees have won four in a row, nine of 11 and are now tied for first place in the AL East.
Nationals 6, Blue Jays 3: And the Nats take advantage of the Braves loss to extend their lead in the NL East. Bryce Harper had three hits and drove in a run. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run homer. The big news here, though, was Brandon Morrow leaving after just nine pitches with an oblique injury.
Marlins 4, Red Sox 1: Miami finally wins one after a six-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Boston loses another. Seventh time in eight games, actually.
Angels 3, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first with help from a bad pickoff throw at the second that Mike Trout made worse when trying to field it in center. But Trout homered in the fourth, singled in a run in the sixth and Pujols won the sucker with an RBI single — scoring Trout — in the ninth. Trout is on pace to score approximately 1,349,593 runs this season. Approximately.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.