At this point the Washington Nationals are merely playing out the string on a highly disappointing 2015 season, but both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper came to play Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
Harper hit a solo shot in the top of the first inning, an RBI single in the top of the third, drew a walk in the top of the sixth, and then capped off his night with this two-run shot off Phillies reliever Adam Loewen in the top of the eighth …
Harper is now batting .338/.467/.667 with 39 home runs and 90 RBI in 137 games this season. The 22-year-old should really be a unanimous selection for National League MVP.
Strasburg struck out 14 batters over eight innings of one-hit ball in Washington’s 4-0 victory Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. He struck out 13 batters last Wednesday against the Mets and is now just one of two pitchers in the combined history of the Nationals and Expos to rattle off consecutive 13-plus-strikeout games. The other: Pedro Martinez.
Anibal Sanchez was supposed to return to the Tigers’ starting rotation Wednesday in a piggyback start with fellow rehabbing right-hander Daniel Norris, but that plan has been trashed.
Sanchez is still experiencing discomfort in his injured right shoulder and will pay a visit to renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday for a thorough examination, per Chris Iott of MLive.com.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and pitching coach Jeff Jones are both optimistic that the injury isn’t serious, but Sanchez hasn’t started a game since August 18 and probably won’t pitch again in 2015. He felt renewed soreness while trying to throw a bullpen session Monday in Minnesota.
Sanchez is currently sitting on a rough 4.99 ERA through 157 innings this season.
The 31-year-old is owed $16.8 million in 2016 and another $16.8 million in 2017.
Add right-hander Jesse Chavez to the Athletics’ long list of injured starting pitchers.
Oakland skipper Bob Melvin informed beat writer Jane Lee of MLB.com on Tuesday that Chavez — who was scheduled to start Wednesday night against the White Sox — has been shut down for the remainder of the season after an MRI showed a non-displaced fracture in his rib cage.
Chavez told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he’s been experiencing discomfort around his ribs for a while, which might help explain his recent struggles.
The 32-year-old will finish the 2015 season with a 4.18 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, and 136/48 K/BB ratio in 157 innings. He’ll be arbitration-eligible this winter.
Drew Hutchison boasts a 13-4 record and 2.91 home ERA this season for the American League East-leading Blue Jays, but the 25-year-old right-hander has been dreadful on the road and will no longer be trusted in a starting role.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that Hutchison has been demoted to the bullpen, where he’s likely to remain through the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. There might be a spot start for him in late September if the Jays clinch early.
Hutchison allowed six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings last Wednesday at Fenway Park and he holds a 9.44 ERA in 12 starts away from Rogers Centre this year.