Astros right-hander Bud Norris has been so good against the Cardinals over the years–and so mediocre against just about everyone else–that St. Louis scribes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch and Matthew Leach of MLB.com have a running joke with fans on Twitter about his dominance using the hashtag #BudChuck.
Norris did it again last night, shutting out the Cardinals for 7.1 innings after coming into the game 5-13 with a 5.05 ERA this season, out-dueling Chris Carpenter while snapping an 18-start winless streak.
For his career Norris now has a 2.74 ERA in 15 starts versus St. Louis, compared to a 4.83 ERA in 81 starts versus all other teams. That includes yearly ERAs of 0.00, 3.38, 2.52, and now 3.52 against the Cardinals.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.