Jayson Stark’s column today deals with all of the schedule havoc wreaked by the bad weather early in the season. Stark talks with Katy Feeney, who handles the MLB schedule, and she explains why it’s so hard to optimize things given so many competing interests. Sorry, there do have to be games in Minnesota before Mother’s Day, folks. That’s just how it is.
Also how it is, however, and which seems to be the driver for so many of the logistical issues Stark and Feeney discuss, is the unbalanced schedule. Which goes unmentioned entirely, by the way, because it’s simply a non-starter to go back to the old balanced schedule among MLB decision makers.
Which, in turn, limits my sympathy for MLB decision makers when the weather takes a bad turn. You make it so teams visit the majority of their road opponents once and only once, you put yourself at the mercy of Mother Nature.
Orioles right-hander Alex Cobb made the shortest start of his seven-year career after reopening a cut on his pitching hand during Sunday’s game against the Yankees. In the first inning, he worked a 2-2 count on four pitches to Andrew McCutchen, then made a prompt exit from the field after taking a closer look at his right index finger.
This isn’t the first time Cobb has dealt with blisters on his pitching hand; in fact, it marks the second consecutive outing in which he’s been prematurely pulled from the mound after reaggravating the injury. By Sunday’s start, the 30-year-old righty had already lost three weeks of the season to the same issue, though the Orioles appeared confident in his ability to make another appearance after watching him successfully complete two bullpens last week. He entered the game with a 5-15 record in 27 starts and a career-worst 4.90 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, and 6.0 SO/9 across 152 1/3 innings. At this point, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll get another opportunity to pitch in the majors before the end of the year.
Following Cobb’s departure in the first inning, reliever Mike Wright Jr. was tabbed to fill in for the righty. His performance yielded disappointing results as well: After kicking off the inning with three back-to-back walks, he allowed three runs on a Gleyber Torres sac fly and a pair of RBI singles from Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez. The Orioles currently trail the Yankees 3-1 in the fourth as they look to avoid a franchise-worst 111th loss.