All you need to know about how poorly Scott Kazmir’s time with the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters is going can be found in the first sentence of this game recap on the team’s official website:
Eight walks sounds bad, but there are plenty of positives to be found in Scott Kazmir’s last start.
When someone is looking to find “positives” within an eight-walk start from a 28-year-old former big-league All-Star pitching in an independent league … well, things aren’t going well.
Here’s more, from recapper Devon Teeple:
The numbers don’t do it justice. Sure, Kazmir walked eight batters and dropped to 0-5, but he went six innings, the most in his eight appearances. He only allowed two earned runs, and four hits while striking out four. Again, this is a testament to the hard work he is putting in. Take away the walks and Kazmir produced his best start for the Sugar Land Skeeters.
Yes, if you take away the eight walks it wasn’t a bad little outing. Now, in fairness within that same article it says Kazmir’s fastball was clocked in the mid-90s, which would be legitimately encouraging if true.
And now he’ll be rotation-mates with Roger Clemens. Helluva team.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.