Cubs starter Jon Lester became the 82nd pitcher in baseball history to record 2,000 career strikeouts, punching out Jack Reinheimer to end the top of the fourth inning during Tuesday’s game at Wrigley Field. Lester is the 25th left-hander to accomplish the feat.
Lester also joined Max Scherzer as pitchers who hit their first career home runs on Tuesday night. Lester’s shot came with a runner on base on a 2-2 count facing Patrick Corbin.
Lester entered the start 8-6 with a 3.88 ERA and a 130/39 K/BB ratio over 130 innings. At the plate, Lester had taken 234 plate appearances entering Tuesday night without a home run.
On Friday, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina caused a stir when he made a post on Instagram, responding to a comment manager Mike Matheny made about the veteran’s durability. Matheny said, “Yadi’s caught a lot. Yesterday, just kind of watching him go around the bases, too, you could tell that he’s, you know…”
Molina wrote, “I train to play 174 games because that’s what it takes to be Champion, I’m not tired and the day I feel tired I’ll express it myself #misinforming.”
Molina made another Instagram post, this time posting a picture of a younger him with Jose Oquendo, currently the Cardinals’ special assistant to GM John Mozeliak. Oquendo had been a coach with the Cardinals from 1999-2015. He had a knee injury that required surgery, which ended his stint as a coach. Molina wrote, “missing this men right here ‘secret weapon’ old school baseball” while also providing a Spanish translation.
Oquendo was a candidate for the Cardinals’ vacant manager position going into the 2012 season. The Cardinals decided to go with Matheny.
Matheny has come under criticism as the Cardinals opened Tuesday’s action at 52-53. The club didn’t make any upgrades at the trade deadline and remains on pace to have the worst record during his tenure. Molina’s post might have been innocent, but it could also have been publicly hinting at a preference for a managerial change.
Tom Ackerman of KMOX spoke to former Cardinal Kyle McClellan, who said, “…the timing of it all puts into question the intent, for sure.” He added, “You can jump to conclusions, but I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to pin that on anyone, but [Molina’s Instagram account is] certainly something to keep your eye on going forward…they’re going to have to get a handle on it, because it could get out of hand really quick.”
Update (8:14 PM ET): Scherzer left with a neck spasm, per Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post.
Max Scherzer‘s Tuesday night in Miami did not go at all how anyone expected. The right-hander belted his first career home run in the top of the second inning, staking his team to a 4-0 lead as part of a six-run inning. He warmed up to begin the bottom of the second inning, but was taken out of the game with an apparent injury.
In Scherzer’s one inning, he set the Marlins down in order on two ground outs and an infield pop-up. Matt Grace relieved him in the second inning.
The Nationals should pass along word on Scherzer’s status during or after the game. Obviously, this could be a season-altering issue for the Nats. Scherzer entered the evening with a 12-5 record, a 2.23 ERA, and a 201/36 K/BB ratio in 145 1/3 innings.