You may remember yesterday’s post which dealt with comments made by Nats starter Stephen Strasburg and second baseman Danny Espinosa where both said they were not impressed by the Braves. Espinosa had said this, after the Braves took the first two games of the three-game series in Washington:
“They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us,” Danny Espinosa said. “They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”
The Braves stomped the Nats again this afternoon, completing the sweep with a 9-0 win. The Nationals dropped to 7-5, while the Braves bumped to 11-1, the second-best start after 12 games in franchise history. Espinosa did not back down from his comments when he spoke to the media after the game, though.
The two teams meet in Atlanta for a four-game series starting on April 29, so Espinosa won’t have to wait very long to put his money where his mouth is.
Espinosa, by the way, had to leave this afternoon’s game after being hit on the right wrist with a pitch, but x-rays were negative. Steve Lombardozzi replaced him in the game and would fill in for him if Espinosa needs to miss any time.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.