Will Middlebrooks had Red Sox fans freaking out yesterday when he injured his right wrist on a swing, was looked at on the field by trainers, and slammed his batting helmet to the ground before exiting the game.
Middlebrooks missed the final two months of last season after fracturing the same wrist, but this time around he appears to have avoided anything serious.
According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com the Red Sox think Middlebrooks’ discomfort yesterday was simply due to some scar tissue breaking up, with the third baseman explaining:
That’s our best bet. Nothing’s broken, nothing’s torn. It was just kind of a scary, awkward swing and we wanted to make sure everything’s fine. It’s not as serious as we thought it was. It was just more of a scare because of the area where it was, right where I broke it last year. I just took a swing and obviously it looked pretty awkward and felt just as awkward as it looks.
X-rays weren’t even taken, which clearly suggests everyone is convinced it’s nothing major, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox will send Middlebrooks to a wrist specialist.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.
I mentioned this in the recaps this morning, but I think it deserves it’s own special place. Get what went down in the second inning of last night’s Rays-O’s game:
Ryan Flaherty was on first with Seth Smith up to bat. Smith hit a single to center. Flaherty, who was running with the pitch, was making for third base. All-world defender Kevin Kiermaier tried to gun him down but threw wildly to third, causing Flaherty to break for home.
Pitcher Alex Cobb had the play backed up, however! He got the ball near the dugout. Flaherty scampered back to third and Cobb tried to throw him out. The ball hit Flaherty’s helmet, richocheting into left field, allowing both Flaherty and Smith — who had stopped at first and then stopped at second, like a kid at tee ball or something — to come around and score.
I still think the Rays walking home the winning run on four pitches in the 11th inning was worse, but this looked worse.
Oh well: the Rays get the day off today and tomorrow, of course, is another day.