Alex Rodriguez suffers fractured hand on HBP

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Alex Rodriguez suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand when he was hit by a Felix Hernandez slider on Tuesday night and will go on the disabled list, the Yankees announced after the 4-2 loss to the Mariners.

Here’s the video.

Even though it wasn’t a fastball at 88 mph, it looked like Rodriguez suffered a break from the moment he was hit. He was in serious pain as he rolled around on the ground, and he showed no interest in moving his wrist as he walked off the field.

Jayson Nix pinch-ran for Rodriguez. He and Eric Chavez figure to split time at third base for at least the next couple of weeks for the Yankees. While it’s good news that Rodriguez didn’t suffer a more serious fracture that would have been guaranteed to knock him out for at least 4-6 weeks, it still isn’t all that likely that he’ll be ready to go when his 15 days are up. For what it’s worth, Chavez said after the game that he missed five weeks in 2004 with a break similar to the one A-Rod suffered.

A-Rod was Hernandez’s second hit batter of the inning and third of the game. Derek Jeter was also hit in the hand by a pitch in the eighth, and while he seemed to be in considerable pain initially, he stayed in the game.

Hernandez was pulled following the A-Rod HBP, but he ended up with the win after allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. The second run scored after he left the game in the eighth. Lucas Luetge got out of the jam from there — though not before he knocked down Raul Ibanez with some chin music — and Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out for his 11th save.

Still trying to win a close game. the Yankees declined to send any messages back to the Mariners in the bottom of the eighth. One wonders if Ivan Nova will drill a batter early in Wednesday’s series finale. While it wasn’t obvious that any of the Mariners’ plunkings tonight were intentional, the fact that there were three, followed by the Ibanez dusting, could be considered worthy of retaliation.

Matthew Stafford audibles with “Kershaw! Kershaw!”

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Last night the Detroit Lions played the New York Giants. During the game Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford called an audible. The call itself referenced Stafford’s childhood friend and high school baseball teammate, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. From the Freep:

Matthew Stafford stepped to the line of scrimmage late in the third quarter and surveyed the Giants defense.

With five pass rushers across the front and three Giants cornerbacks showing a press-man look, Stafford looked at his two receivers to the left and invoked the name of his childhood friend, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

“Give me Kershaw here, Kershaw,” Stafford said, repeating his friend’s name two more times as he spun around at the line of scrimmage.

The audible did not result in a pick-4 to Aaron Altherr. It called for a run up the middle. And it worked nicely, gaining eight yards.

You may suggest the results of other starting pitcher-themed audibles in the comments. I’ll start: “Harvey! Harvey!” is where the QB fakes a handoff, drops back, looks deep and then his arm falls completely off. Damndest thing.

Matt Harvey has a 13.19 ERA since coming back from the disabled list

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Matt Harvey‘s season was mostly a loss due to extended time on the disabled list. He’s been given a chance, however, to end the season strong and make a case for himself in the Mets’ future plans. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make that case. He was shelled again last night, and his late season opportunity has been a disaster.

Last night Harvey gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out only two batters in four innings against a Marlins team that, until facing him anyway, had been reeling. It was his fourth start since going on the shelf in mid-June and in those four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. His average fastball velocity, while ticking up slightly in each of his past four starts, is still below 95. Back when he was an ace he was consistently above that. His command has been terrible.

Injury is clearly the culprit. He had Tommy John surgery just as he was reaching his maximum level of dominance in 2013. While he came back strong in 2015, he was used pretty heavily for a guy with a brand new ligament. Last year he was felled by thoracic outlet syndrome and this year a stress injury to his shoulder. Any one of those ailments have ended pitchers’ careers and even among those who bounce back from them, many are diminished. To go through all three and remain dominant is practically unheard of.

Yet this is where Matt Harvey is. He’s 28. He’s still arbitration eligible, for a team that is, to put it politely, sensitive to large financial outlays. While his 4-5 start opportunity to end the year may very well have been seen as a chance to shop Harvey to another team, his trade value is at an all-time low. It would not be shocking if, on the basis of his recent ineffectiveness, the Mets considered non-tendering him this offseason, making him a free agent.

Someone would probably take a chance on him because famous names who once showed tremendous promise are often given multiple chances in the big leagues (See, Willis, Dontrelle). But at the moment, there is nothing in Harvey’s game to suggest that he is capable of taking advantage of such a chance. All one can hope is that an offseason of rest and conditioning will allow Harvey to reclaim at least a portion of his old form.