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.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.