From Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose once promising U.S. career was sidetracked by elbow reconstruction surgery in 2011, has told members of the Japanese media that he likes the idea of possibly restarting in San Diego. It seems he liked the city and the ballpark when he pitched at Petco Park in the first World Baseball Classic.
Matsuzaka posted a wretched 8.28 ERA in 45 2/3 innings this summer after returning from Tommy John surgery and really hasn’t been an effective major league starter since the 2008 season. But he should come cheap, and the Padres are usually open to considering any potential low-cost, low-risk free agent signing.
The 32-year-old native of Tokyo went 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in that first World Baseball Classic, which was won by Team Japan. The semifinals and finals were played at San Diego’s pitcher-friendly stadium.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.