Rays right-hander Chris Archer dominated the Astros tonight, allowing just one hit in a 1-0 victory at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Archer struck out 11 batters and walked just one in the victory. The only hit was a fifth-inning single by Colby Rasmus. Archer needed only 98 pitches to go the distance, so this qualifies as a “Maddux.” For those not familiar, a “Maddux” is a shutout thrown with fewer than 100 pitches.
The only offense of the night came on a Desmond Jennings RBI single off Collin McHugh in the fourth inning. However, it was enough with Archer dealing.
This was Archer’s third career shutout and his first since 2013. The 26-year-old right-hander owns a 2.77 ERA and 205/42 K/BB ratio in 169 innings across 26 starts this season.
Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.
Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.
Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”
Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.
Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.