Throughout baseball history, only two starting pitchers have tossed enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and finished a season with a strikeout-to-walk ratio in excess of 10: Bret Saberhagen in 1994 (11.00) and Cliff Lee in 2010 (10.28). With ten strikeouts and no walks in a complete game effort this evening against the Giants in the second half of a doubleheader, Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright pushed his K/BB to an even 14.00 (84/6) in 89 innings, which would easily set the Major League record if it holds — a huge if, of course.
Wainwright, who needed 106 pitches to get through nine innings in his league-leading third complete game, lowered his ERA to 2.33, helping the Cardinals sweep the doubleheader. The Cardinals have won nine of their last 11 games, improving their record to 37-18 as they remain atop the NL Central by two games over the Reds.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.