Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka took the loss last night against the Cubs, falling to 6-1 in his tremendously impressive rookie season, but here’s a much more startling factoid: It was his first regular season loss since way back in August of 2012, when he was pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.
In between losses Tanaka made 42 starts for the Golden Eagles and Yankees, going 34-0 over the span of 639 days.
I’m the first person to say that wins and losses are often misleading for pitchers and are far from the best way to evaluate their performance. After all, Tanaka actually pitched reasonably well last night in allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings to take the “loss” in a situation where he could have easily gotten a no-decision or even a win with decent run support.
But still: 42 starts and 34-0 is a helluva streak. And to snap it against the Cubs of all teams!
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.