Jordan Zimmermann was great for the Nationals last night, but Lance Lynn was just a little bit better. Lynn tossed eight scoreless innings while Matt Adams homered in his return from the disabled list as the Cardinals cooled down the Nationals with a 1-0 victory at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Lynn retired his first 16 batters until Jose Lobaton singled with one out in the sixth inning. He ended up giving up just two hits in all while walking none and striking out eight. Trevor Rosenthal struck out three in the ninth inning and worked around a two-out error from Kolten Wong to notch the save.
As for Zimmerman, he threw his second straight complete game in the tough-luck loss. Amazingly, he needed just 76 pitches to complete his eight innings of work. Per MLB.com, that’s the fewest pitches thrown in a complete game since Aaron Cook threw 74 in a nine-inning complete game for the Rockies on July 25, 2007. The all-time record belongs to Jose Bautista — no, not that Jose Bautista — who threw a 70-pitch complete game over eight innings for the Orioles in a loss on September 3, 1988.
Your Friday box scores:
Nationals 0, Cardinals 1
Blue Jays 4, Orioles 0
Cubs 2, Phillies 1
Twins 2, Tigers 0
Padres 2, Mets 6
Pirates 8, Marlins 6 (13 innings)
Indians 3, Red Sox 10
Angels 3, Braves 4
Royals 7, White Sox 2
Reds 6, Brewers 5
Rays 6, Astros 1
Yankees 7, Athletics 0
Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 4
Rangers 1, Mariners 0
Rockies 7, Giants 4
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.