Bill Baer

Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco is helped off the field in the third inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, April 24, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Indians to place Carlos Carrasco on the disabled list with a hamstring strain

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Indians starter Carlos Carrasco strained his left hamstring covering first base on a ground ball during the bottom of the third inning of Sunday’s game against the Tigers. He’s traveling back to Cleveland to undergo an MRI, but manager Terry Francona says the right-hander will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, per Zack Meisel of Cleveland.com.

Trevor Bauer relieved Carrasco and yielded two runs in 3 1/3 innings. Bauer is likely to be the Indians’ first choice to join the rotation in Carrasco’s absence. Including Sunday’s outing, Bauer has a 4.76 ERA with a 14/5 K/BB ratio in 11 1/3 innings.

Alex Rodriguez exited Sunday’s game with an oblique injury

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez watches his RBI single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
AP Photo/Bill Kostroun
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Update (7:23 PM EST): The MRI came up negative, per Josh Thomson of Lohud.com. Rodriguez will travel with the Yankees as they begin a three-game road series against the Rangers on Monday.

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Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez was pinch-hit for by Dustin Ackley in the bottom of the sixth inning as he was dealing with what the team reported as “left oblique stiffness,” per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Rodriguez will undergo an MRI to provide more details about the severity of the injury.

Oblique injuries usually result in a stint on the disabled list, so it would not be surprising if that ends up being the case for the 40-year-old Rodriguez. He went 1-for-2 with an RBI double on the afternoon, but he’s hitting an abysmal .145/.242/.273 with two home runs and six RBI in 62 plate appearances so far this season. A couple of weeks off might not be the worst thing for him.

Steven Souza celebrates 27th birthday by hitting two homers

Tampa Bay Rays Steven Souza Jr. hits a two-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees on Sunday, April 24, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger
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Rays outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. celebrated his 27th birthday on Sunday and did it in style, helping the Rays take down the Yankees 8-1. He drilled a two-run home run off of Michael Pineda in the first inning, then added a solo shot in the fifth off of Pineda. Beats going to Chuck E. Cheese.

Souza now has a .291 average, five home runs, and 11 RBI in 59 plate appearances so far this season.

Jake Arrieta, not Clayton Kershaw, is currently baseball’s best pitcher

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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For at least the last five years, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw has been considered the best pitcher in baseball, and for good reason. Kershaw is the proud owner of three Cy Young Awards (2011, 13-14) and an MVP award (2014), and led the majors in ERA for four consecutive seasons between 2011-14. Since his sophomore season in 2009, Kershaw has never finished a season with an ERA higher than 2.91 and has twice finished with a sub-2.00 ERA. It’s tough to beat that.

Yet Cubs right-hander Jake Arrietawho threw his second career no-hitter on Thursday — has been better, especially lately. As USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale points out, over Arrieta’s last 24 starts, he has an unfathomably low 0.86 ERA with a 20-1 record. And that one loss? It took a no-hitter to beat Arrieta! Cole Hamels threw a no-hitter at Wrigley Field on July 25, his final start with the Phillies before he was traded to the Rangers.

Using adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) from Baseball Reference, Arrieta has actually been slightly better than Kershaw since the start of the 2014 season. Adjusted ERA accounts for park factors and the quality of the pitcher’s league. In this case, since the pitchers both pitch in the National League, that isn’t really a factor. According to ESPN’s park factors, Dodger Stadium has been more pitcher-friendly than Wrigley Field.

How does Arrieta do it? He uses a four-seam fastball and a cutter, accounting for nearly 80 percent of his pitches — 50 percent and 29 percent, respectively. Hitters find him very tough to square up, making “hard” contact — in the estimation of FanGraphs’ batted ball data — approximately 23 percent of the time, the second-lowest rate since the start of the 2014 season among 85 pitchers (min. 300 innings), behind Dallas Keuchel. 53 percent of balls put in play against Arrieta have been on the ground, the eighth-highest rate.

There’s been a lot of debate lately in which some have stated that Bryce Harper has overtaken Mike Trout for the title of best player in baseball. At least when it comes to pitchers, Arrieta might be the Harper to Kershaw’s Trout.

Video: Jake Arrieta retires Eugenio Suarez to complete his no-hitter

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jake Arrieta delivers during the second inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez was all that stood between Cubs starter Jake Arrieta and his second career no-hitter on Thursday night. Like the rest of his Reds teammates, Suarez didn’t stand a chance. He hit a weak fly ball to shallow right field, easily gloved by right fielder Jason Heyward.

The Cubs’ last no-hitter was thrown by Arrieta on August 30 last year against the Dodgers. And before Arrieta did it last year, Carlos Zambrano was the most recent Cub to complete a no-hitter, doing so in September 2008 against the Astros, then in the NL Central.

For the Reds, it’s the first time they’ve been no-hit in the regular season since the Phillies’ Rick Wise did so in 1971. Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds in the 2010 NLDS.