Rescheduling last night’s rained out Rays-Sox game: harder than you’d think

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The Red Sox and Rays game was rained out last night. One would think that rescheduling such a thing would be a cinch because these are division rivals, it’s early in the season and they will play each other a lot over the next several months. Yet, there is still some controversy and rancor.

The Rays didn’t want a day-night doubleheader today. They are slumping badly, they have multiple pitchers on the DL and the weather doesn’t look all that great for today either. They preferred a makeup game on one of the mutual off-days they and the Sox have before later series between the teams in Boston, but the Sox don’t want that because each time that occurs it deprives them of their only off-days in a long stretch or come after a long road trip.

One other factor that a lot of people were talking about yesterday? Last night was supposed to be Dustin Pedroia bobblehead day and, if the game is not made up today, the Sox are going to have to find storage for several thousand boxes of bobbleheads. That, however, the team is saying played no factor:

“I can assure you the bobbleheads had nothing to do with our decision to play two tomorrow,” [Sox COO Sam] Kennedy wrote in an e-mail Wednesday night. “We have a responsibility to play 81 home games each season, and two games tomorrow gives us the best chance. Of course, you never know what tomorrow will bring weather-wise, but that’s baseball in New England.”

So, it’s a day-nighter today. The Rays aren’t happy about it — there was a lot of back and forth with the league about it last night — but that’s what’s going down. And everyone who wanted to get a bobblehead last night can get one today.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”