Phil Hughes has had a fantastic season for the Twins, potentially setting the all-time strikeout-to-walk ratio record, and entered his final start today needing to throw 8.1 innings to reach 210 for the year and trigger a $500,000 bonus in his contract.
Hughes has cruised through eight innings against the Diamondbacks, allowing just one run, but now it’s raining heavy in Minnesota and the tarp is on at Target Field.
Hughes needs one more out to get an extra $500,000.
Hopefully the Twins either give him a one-out relief appearance over the weekend and just hand him the $500,000 bonus either way. According to Fan Graphs he’s been worth more than $30 million to the team this season based on his performance.
UPDATE: After an hour-plus rain delay Hughes did not come back into the game, which means he’s officially one out short of reaching 210 innings for his $500,000 bonus.
UPDATE #2: Twins manager Ron Gardenhire says Hughes won’t pitch again, so he’ll finish short of the 210-inning mark. Hughes says he was “very aware” of the bonus, but “some things aren’t meant to be.”
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.