Ben Sheets continued his surprising resurgence last night against the Phillies, allowing just one run over six innings as part of a 6-1 win.
Sheets scattered six hits while striking out four and walking just one. He gave up his first earned run of the season on an RBI double by Shane Victorino in the first inning, but held the Phillies off the board the rest of the way.
Cole Hamels really struggled in his first start since signing his six-year, $144 million extension, giving up five runs (three earned) on four hits and six walks over five innings. It was his shortest outing of the season while his six walks were a career-high. He obviously can’t handle the pressure of his big money contract. Or maybe baseball is just weird like that.
As for Sheets, he’s now 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 15/5 K/BB ratio in 18 innings across his first three starts with the Braves. The Braves’ rotation would look better with Ryan Dempster in it, but Sheets’ recent emergence softens the blow a little. Now, if only he can stay healthy from here.
Your Friday box scores:
Cardinals 9, Cubs 6
Athletics 14, Orioles 9
Padres 7, Marlins 2
Red Sox 3, Yankees 10
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 8
Pirates 6, Astros 5
White Sox 9, Rangers 5
Nationals 0, Brewers 6
Indians 0, Twins 11
Reds 3, Rockies 0
Rays 1, Angels 3
Mets 5, Diamondbacks 11
Royals 1, Mariners 6
Dodgers 5, Giants 3 (10 innings)
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles have interest in free agent right-hander Alex Cobb, who rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Rays earlier this week. Cobb was most recently linked to the Cubs, who reportedly reached out to his agent during the GM Meetings and garnered mutual interest from the righty, but nothing appears to be set in stone yet.
Cobb, 30, completed his sixth season with the Rays in 2017. He went 12-10 in 29 starts and turned in a respectable 3.66 ERA, 6.4 SO/9 and career-best 2.2 BB/9 in 179 1/3 innings. Despite losing a couple of weeks to turf toe, he remained healthy for most of the year and showed no signs of the elbow issues that robbed him of the majority of his 2015-2016 campaigns.
It’s still fairly early for any deals to come to fruition, but Morosi notes that the Orioles seem to be focused on bulking up their rotation during the first few months of the offseason. It’ll take more than a healthy Alex Cobb to right that ship, however: Orioles’ starters earned a collective 5.70 ERA and 5.5 fWAR in 2017, good for worst and fourth-worst marks in the league, respectively. Behind Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy (and perhaps Gabriel Ynoa/Miguel Castro), they still need three viable starters to compete in 2018. Whether or not they can afford to spring for a single starter with Cobb’s price tag (four years, $48 million, per MLB Trade Rumors) remains to be seen.