Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers

Zack Greinke becomes first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since 2007

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Zack Greinke is having a great year on the mound, but what has been more impressive is what he has accomplished offensively. He entered this afternoon’s start against the Padres with an .809 OPS, easily the best mark among pitchers at the dish this season. Cubs pitcher Travis Wood has a .717 OPS, the second-best mark among hurlers.

In the bottom of the fifth, with the score tied 1-1, Greinke singled to center with two outs against Padres starter Tyson Ross. With Carl Crawford batting, Greinke stole second base, his second stolen base of the season. Greinke is the first pitcher with two stolen bases in a season since Orlando Hernandez accomplished the feat in 2007 with the Mets. He is the first Dodger to steal two bags since Orel Hershiser in 1987.

Player Year SB Age Tm Lg G PA CS OPS
Orlando Hernandez 2007 2 41 NYM NL 28 54 0 .375
Greg Maddux 2006 2 40 CHC/LAD NL 34 77 0 .317
Adam Eaton 2004 2 26 SDP NL 38 76 0 .594
Adam Eaton 2000 2 22 SDP NL 23 45 0 .742
Mike Hampton 1998 2 25 HOU NL 32 76 0 .676
Kevin Foster 1995 2 26 CHC NL 33 68 0 .636
Doug Brocail 1993 2 26 SDP NL 30 44 0 .364
Rick Sutcliffe 1989 2 33 CHC NL 37 90 0 .421
Tom Browning 1988 3 28 CIN NL 41 98 0 .362
Orel Hershiser 1987 2 28 LAD NL 40 102 1 .495
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/1/2013.

On the mound, Greinke went seven innings, allowing just the one run on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. He lowered his ERA to 2.78 with the effort. Yasiel Puig blasted a solo home run to left field in the sixth to give him a 2-1 lead before departing. Relievers Ronald Belisario and Paco Rodriguez teamed up for a scoreless eighth before closer Kenley Jansen shut the door in the ninth for his 24th save.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.

Shelby Miller is in the best mental shape of his life

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller had about as bad a season as one can have. He was the headliner in the trade that sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, All-Star outfielder Ender Inciarte, and highly-regarded pitching prospect Aaron Blair to the Braves. It was a trade that was pilloried at the time and continues to be pilloried to this day.

Miller didn’t do then-GM Dave Stewart any favors with his 2016 performance. He went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 101 innings. That included a bout with mechanical failure, as he kept hitting the mound with his follow-through. He went on the disabled list. And after that, he was demoted to Triple-A. After getting fired, Stewart expressed remorse over acquiring Miller — or, more accurately, giving up Swanson to do so.

So, the 26-year-old Miller heads into 2017 without any momentum. To his credit, though, he’s going into the new season with a very positive perspective. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

I’m just in a really happy place, away from the field, on the field. […]

Maybe it’s just the way I go about everything, trying to be positive in every single aspect of life. Baseball’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. I know bumps in the road are going to happen. Last year was obviously not just a bump, but a huge mountain. Right now, that’s completely behind me. I’m not worried about any of that.

I’m really ready for this year, ready to redeem myself so much.

Even pitching coach Mike Butcher sees the change in Miller’s mentality. “He’s not a different guy. But you can see there’s a presence in him. That’s what we need. Just be Shelby Miller. You don’t have to live up to anything. Just be yourself.”

Manager Torey Lovullo, too, praised Miller. “I saw a guy who had spent a lot of time taking care of his business in the weight room — he looks fantastic, in fantastic shape,” he said.

It sounds like Miller is not only in great mental shape, but great physical shape, too. Is it the “best shape of his life”? Only time can tell.