Here’s a perfect example of how baseball is simultaneously amazing and bizarre: Monday night Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, a former Cy Young winner with the most wins in the league this season, matched up against Royals right-hander Joe Blanton, who briefly retired last year and has a 5.00 ERA since 2000.
Blanton out-dueled Hernandez, tossing six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts and zero walks. Last time Blanton allowed one run or fewer with at least seven strikeouts and zero walks in a start? June of 2012. And before that it was August of 2010. And before that it was never, because Monday was just the third time in his 11-season, 250-start career Blanton has had such an outing.
Hernandez wasn’t exactly terrible, allowing four runs in 6.1 innings, but he continued a pattern of alternating great starts with bad starts that dates back to late May.
May 27: Complete-game shutout
June 1: Seven runs in 4.2 innings
June 6: Seven innings of one-run ball
June 12: Eight runs on 0.1 innings
June 17: Eight shutout innings
June 22: Four runs in 6.2 innings
Blanton, meanwhile, has a nifty 1.73 ERA and 24/3 K/BB ratio in 26 innings for Kansas City and the Royals somehow keeping chugging right along in first place with a patchwork starting rotation.
Two weeks ago Angels vice president of marketing and ticket sales Robert Alvarado made headlines for his quotes about how the team caters to wealthier fans while often neglecting what he called “people on the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder.”
And now Alvarado has resigned from his job with the Angels.
Angels vice president of communications Tim Mead told Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times that Alvarado “made a personal decision to resign from the organization” and “we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
However, according to Shaikin the quotes upset Angels owner Arte Moreno, who showed recently the lengths he’s willing to go to get rid of someone in the case of Josh Hamilton. And so after 15 years with the organization Alvarado “made a personal decision to resign.”
Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova is ready to complete his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery and is expected to come off the disabled list to make his season debut Wednesday against the Phillies.
For now the Yankees have said they’ll use a six-man rotation, but it’s unlikely to be a long-term solution and Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Warren could be pitching for their starting jobs.
Nova is about 13 months removed from surgery and his minor-league rehab assignment was a mixed bag in terms of results, but reports had his velocity back to pre-surgery levels. He’s making $3.3 million this season via arbitration because the Yankees wanted to keep the 27-year-old with a 4.20 career ERA despite knowing he’d miss the first 2-3 months.