Ichiro wants to pitch. The Yankees may let him

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Ichiro is hitting when he’s playing, he’s just not playing that much these days. So why not give him something else to do, Joe Girardi?

He just may, David Waldstein of the New York Times reports. After noting that the Yankees have played a lot of long games and burned through a lot of players, Girardi tells Waldstein that Ichiro may be the next position player he calls on in a blowout. And Ichiro likes the idea:

“I would be happy to help if they need me,” he said, his eyes brightening at the prospect of it.

Suzuki pitched to one batter in the 1996 Japan All-Star Game, and with his free-and-easy delivery, he induced a ground ball for an out from a pitcher.

Suzuki has two strong pitches.

“Fastball and slider,” he said with pride. “But like all Japanese pitchers, the splitter is my bread and butter.”

My bread and butter. I feel like that kind of hubris is kangaroo court fine-worthy. Not that I wouldn’t want to see him on the mound. God, now that I think about it, that may be the best reason to watch a Yankees game all year.

 

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.