Indians starter Scott Kazmir held the Marlins scoreless over six frames this afternoon, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out seven. As recently as June 15, his ERA stood at an unsightly 5.89, but after today’s outing, it is now 3.89. The Indians got their two runs on a Lonnie Chisenhall RBI single in the second and a Michael Brantley RBI single in the eighth.
Kazmir’s rebirth is inspiring, and believe it or not, the lefty is still under the age of 30. He has not pitched a full season in the Majors since posting a 5.89 ERA in 150 innings with the Angels in 2010. After the Angels released him in June 2011, Kazmir played with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. The Indians took a $1 million flyer on Kazmir and it has paid off well, particularly lately. In nine starts dating back to June 21, Kazmir has a 1.93 ERA in 56 innings.
Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen has been issuing managerial orders from home. Citing an anonymous industry source, Van Wagenen made the call to remove Jacob deGrom from his June 1 start against the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning due to a hip cramp. deGrom was visibly frustrated with his removal.
According to Puma’s source, Van Wagenen was watching the game on TV at home. He communicated with a member of the team support staff that deGrom should be removed from the game. Word got to Callaway, who went to the mound and took out his starter. Furthermore, some in the Mets’ clubhouse were miffed that Van Wagenen didn’t take credit for the decision because it looked like deGrom and Callaway were at odds with each other.
Puma also notes that the decision to limit closer Edwin Díaz’s innings is also Van Wagenen’s. Díaz was not used in Sunday’s loss against the Cubs. Javier Báez ended up hitting a go-ahead three-run home run off of Seth Lugo. Callaway was questioned for choice not to use Díaz after the game, which resulted in a brouhaha in the clubhouse.
A veteran executive of another team said that a GM issuing managerial directives would be “unusual” and “crossing the line.” He added, “I have never seen that done, personally.”
Van Wagenen insisted, “Mickey has control of baseball decisions.”
In a season marked by dysfunction, things may be even more dysfunctional within the Mets organization than we knew.