Catching up with the man Matt Bush almost killed

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Former Rays prospect Matt Bush is in jail for almost killing a man in a drunken hit-and-run accident last year. Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times catches up with Bush’s victim, Tony Tufano:

Tufano, speaking publicly for the first time, said Wednesday that while he doesn’t remember the crash, the pain he feels is a daily reminder. Tufano hopes Bush can turn his life around, but he believes both Bush and the Rays should share some responsibility in what happened.

“He (messed) me up, plain and simple,” Tufano told the Tampa Bay Times. “To put it in a nutshell, and it sounds crazy, but I still feel deformed. I don’t feel like I have the body I had before. … They say, that’s what happened to me. But if that … jerk wasn’t out there drunk, we wouldn’t be talking right now.”

True. I don’t really buy the notion that the Rays have any legal responsibility here and chalk that part up to a lawyer looking for a deep pocket, but Tufano’s anger is understandable. Still, he has some charitable words for Bush, hoping that he uses his time in prison to turn his life around and noting that he’ll still be young when finishes his four year, three months sentence.

Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day disabled list with neck inflammation

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The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.

Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.

It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.