Joe Kelly made his second start for the Red Sox last night after coming over from the Cardinals at the trade deadline, tossing six innings of two-run ball against the Reds.
He also went 1-for-2 at the plate and then did something on the bases that no Red Sox pitcher has done since 1969: Kelly stole a base.
And it was third base, too.
Kelly singled to center field off Mat Latos in the third inning, got bunted over to second base by Brock Holt, and then swiped third base without a throw while the unsuspecting Reds were walking Dustin Pedroia on four pitches.
The last Red Sox pitcher to steal a base? Bill Landis on September 8, 1969.
The last Red Sox pitcher to steal third base? Tom Brewer on July 30, 1959.
Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.
It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.
While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.
If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.