Sure, Felix Hernandez did his usual thing, striking out 10 as Seattle bested Cleveland 9-2 on Wednesday. But this was no ordinary game:
– We mentioned last month that Josh Tomlin broke Daisuke Matsuzaka’s major league record for outings of at least five innings to begin a career. That streak was snapped at 37 today, as he was charged with six runs in 4 2/3 innings. Tomlin broke the record with his 29th straight appearance of at least five innings on July 4.
– The incomparable Wily Mo Pena went 3-for-3 with a homer, a double, four RBI, a walk and a HBP. Yes, that’s right, a walk. It was his first in 23 games this season. His previous major league walk came on July 29, 2008. It was also his first three-hit game since Sept. 14, 2007, and it marked the first time in 583 career games that he’s reached base five times.
– Kyle Seager went 4-for-4 with three doubles and three runs scored. Chris Coghlan on April 6 and Ben Zobrist on June 11 are the only other two players to collect four hits, three doubles and three runs scored in a game this season. Including Tuesday’s doubleheader, Seager now has a remarkable 10 hits in two days, raising his average from .224 to .312. He’s the 12th player this year to have three straight games with three hits. No one has made it to four.
– Jamey Wright fanned five in two scoreless innings out of the pen. It was his high strikeout game since Aug. 3, 2007 and the first time he’s ever fanned so many batters without throwing at least four innings.
– Mariners pitching as a whole fanned 16 batters, the team’s most in a nine-inning game since Aug. 8, 1997. The team did have 16 strikeouts in a 14-inning win over the White Sox on Aug. 12, 2009.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.