Tag: Zack Greinke

Lance McCullers

Astros recall Lance McCullers for Sunday finale against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw


Astros right-hander Lance McCullers was optioned to Double-A Corpus Christi on August 3 after failing to make it out of the first inning in a disastrous start against the Rangers. Houston’s braintrust wanted the 21-year-old to take a breather and come back ready to assist in the club’s final push for its first ever American League West title. That push is now on.

McCullers — owner of a cool 3.17 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 79 strikeouts over his first 76 2/3 major league frames — has been recalled from the Double-A level and will start against Clayton Kershaw in Sunday’s series finale against the visiting Dodgers.

Houston got to Zack Greinke on Saturday for a 3-1 victory and Mike Fiers threw a no-hitter on Friday. This is coming together as a statement series for the ‘Stros here in late August.

As of Sunday morning, they hold a four-game lead in the AL West.

In the NL West, the Dodgers’ lead over the Giants is just 1 1/2.

Dodgers demote Mat Latos to the bullpen

Mat Latos

Right-hander Mat Latos has allowed 12 runs in 14.2 innings for the Dodgers since they acquired him from the Marlins on July 30 and now he’s being demoted to the bullpen.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers will skip Latos’ next two turns in the rotation, taking advantage of the schedule allowing them to use a four-man rotation for two weeks. Alex Wood, not Latos, will be the fourth starter during that time behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Brett Anderson.

For now Latos’ next start is penciled in for August 29. Not quite how he probably envisioned things going with free agency around the corner.

The Nationals have lost six straight, eight of ten and are now under .500


Back in March the Nationals were everyone’s favorites. They had just signed Max Scherzer to a mega deal which put him alongside Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Doug Fister, and Gio Gonzalez as perhaps the best rotation in baseball. They had a core of guys with both speed and defensive bonafides in Anthony Rendon, Denard Span, Ian Desmond. They had Jayson Werth. They had a healthy Bryce Harper and a healthy Ryan Zimmerman.

They also had, in terms of competition, a Braves team which decided to punt the year and rebuild, a Phillies team which looked like a disaster and Mets and Marlins teams which, while on the upswing, didn’t figure to match the firepower of the Washington Nationals. Simply put, no one in their right mind did anything but pick the Nationals to win the East and win it easily. And they still may win the NL East. There’s a month and a half of baseball to go and anything can happen.

Right now, however, they are looking terrible. They’ve lost six in a row, eight of ten and find themselves at 58-59, four and a half games back of the Mets. Who, by the way, also got swept this weekend, which means the Nats lost a prime opportunity to make up ground. Or, if you’re more of an optimist, saved the Nats from being buried even deeper than they are.

Also, if you’re optimistic, you can say that it was gonna be an ugly road trip to begin with. Yes, they’re 1-6 on the west coast swing and were just shut out for the third time in six games, but those three shutouts came at the hands of Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner, who are probably the three best pitchers in the game. And, after an off-day today, they do get to play the Rockies who are no great shakes. We’ll just forget for a moment that the Nats dropped two of three to the Rockies at home last week.

No matter how you want to spin it, the numbers don’t lie and the numbers are pretty ugly. The Nats are 10-20 since the All-Star break. While four and a half games don’t seem like an insurmountable deficit, it becomes harder and harder the longer time goes on. If the Mets play at their current pace the rest of the way the Nats have to go something like 12-games over .500 for the remainder of the season to beat ’em out. And, because the wild card deficit is so big — nine and a half games — there is no margin for error here. Second place means watching the playoffs from home.

Time to get moving, Nats. You have a lot of expectations to live up to and not a lot of time left to do it.

Settling the Scores: Sunday’s results

Chris Sale

A lot of really amazing performances yesterday. Madison Bumgarner was a one-man gang, homering and tossing a 14-strikeout shutout. Zack Greinke also homered and outdueled Anthony DeSclafani of the Reds. Chris Sale struck out 15, but didn’t homer. He may claim it was because he was playing in an American League home park and there was a DH, but maybe he just didn’t want it bad enough. Shelby Miller had a no-hitter into the eighth, but didn’t even get a win. That’s a fine how-do-you-do. At least the Braves won the game on a Cameron Maybin walkoff.

And then there the leaders in the National League East. The Mets got swept by the Pirates. But that’s OK as far as the standings go because the Nationals got swept by the Giants for their sixth straight loss and eighth loss in their last ten games. They’re under .500 now. The NL East: not-so-impressive.

Apologies for no full And That Happened today. It’s my kids’ first day of school and they’re old enough now to where I can truly embarrass them in front of their friends while I take pictures and stuff so there’s a lot on my plate this A.M. Here are the rest of yesterday’s results, with box scores and recaps here.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1
Pirates 8, Mets 1
Orioles 18, Athletics 2
Mariners 10, Red Sox 8
Braves 2, Diamondbacks 1
White Sox 3, Cubs 1
Brewers 6, Phillies 1
Twins 4, Indians 1
Astros 6, Tigers 5
Marlins 6, Cardinals 4
Ranger 5, Rays 3
Giants 5, Nationals 0
Dodgers 2, Reds 1
Rockies 5, Padres 0
Royals 4, Angels 3