Indians starter Scott Kazmir held the Marlins scoreless over six frames this afternoon, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out seven. As recently as June 15, his ERA stood at an unsightly 5.89, but after today’s outing, it is now 3.89. The Indians got their two runs on a Lonnie Chisenhall RBI single in the second and a Michael Brantley RBI single in the eighth.
Kazmir’s rebirth is inspiring, and believe it or not, the lefty is still under the age of 30. He has not pitched a full season in the Majors since posting a 5.89 ERA in 150 innings with the Angels in 2010. After the Angels released him in June 2011, Kazmir played with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. The Indians took a $1 million flyer on Kazmir and it has paid off well, particularly lately. In nine starts dating back to June 21, Kazmir has a 1.93 ERA in 56 innings.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.