Felix Hernandez had the worst start of his career last night and the Mariners couldn’t get anything going against Brett Oberholtzer, so manager Lloyd McClendon decided to let catcher Jesus Sucre pitch the eighth inning of a lopsided game. He allowed one hit, but only needed seven pitches to get out of the inning and topped out at 90.5 mph according to Brooks Baseball. Not bad at all:
One of my favorite things about position players pitching is that they regularly attempt to act like this is business as usual while fighting off a grin. Sucre was no different.
Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit an RBI triple in the second inning of Friday night’s game against the Red Sox, chipping into what was a five-run deficit. The 28-year-old, a veteran of six seasons in the majors, hadn’t hit a triple in his career spanning 2,316 plate appearances entering the game. That was a record until it was snapped.
As our own Matthew Pouliot noted on Twitter, Diamondbacks catcher Welington Castillo now has the most plate appearances without a triple.
On the triple, Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts slammed face-first into the center field wall at Fenway Park. He stayed in the game initially but exited after two innings with a sprained lower back, per ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes.
Mariners ace Felix Hernandez didn’t last very long in Friday night’s start against the Astros. The right-hander gave up eight runs on five hits and two walks with one strikeout before he was taken out of the game with only one out in the first inning. Joe Beimel relieved him and was able to finish the inning without any further damage.
Hernandez had only once before allowed eight runs in a start. That occurred on August 28, 2013 against the Rangers. He started but could not finish — could not even record an out in — the fourth inning. King Felix had failed to complete the first inning in a start once, on April 18, 2007 against the Twins, but that was due to an injury: a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.
It’s been known for a while that the Phillies are shopping outfielder Ben Revere, but there was an interesting note from Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune today that talks with the Mariners quickly stalled because Philadelphia was asking for James Paxton or Taijuan Walker in return. That’s insane, of course, but it led to the predictable mocking of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. on Twitter and in other places.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal asked Amaro about the rumor this afternoon and he got a pretty strong response:
“Typically we would not comment on rumors. But when they reach this level of ridiculousness, I can say unequivocally that what has been written is false.”
We’ve heard similar reports regarding teams who are talking to the Phillies about Cole Hamels, which paints the picture of Amaro as asking for too much in return. Sure, we’ve had laughs at Amaro’s expense in recent years, but it’s important to stop and think about what could be motivating teams to leak this sort of information to the media. Our own Bill Baer wrote about this very topic at Crashburn Alley and you should check it out.