AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s Action


Wednesday night’s West coast match-up between the Diamondbacks and Giants at AT&T Park will feature two starters who are not only good at pitching, but hitting as well. Zack Greinke will start for the D-Backs opposite the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner. Greinke has six career home runs, including two last year, while Bumgarner has 12 career round-trippers, including five last season and one already in 2016. Since he came into the league in 2004, only six pitchers have hit more homers than Greinke: Bumgarner, Carlos Zambrano, Yovani Gallardo, Travis Wood, Micah Owings, and Dontrelle Willis. Opponents of the DH, such as yours truly, will find Wednesday’s game particularly intriguing.

Pitching-wise, both have been slow to start, but it’s nothing to worry about — especially this early in the season. Greinke has a 6.75 ERA over his first three starts, having allowed 22 hits and five walks with 15 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. Bumgarner has a 4.50 ERA on 19 hits and seven walks with 21 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Greinke inked a six-year, $206.5 million contract with the D-Backs in December, representing one of their two big offseason additions along with Shelby Miller. Miller has also struggled, and it’s been the club’s young pitchers — Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray — who have impressed thus far. Combined over six starts, Corbin and Ray have a composite 2.37 ERA with 31 strikeouts and 15 walks in 38 innings. One can almost set his or her watch to Greinke and Miller eventually figuring things out, so if Corbin and Ray can keep it up over a full season, the D-Backs will be in a good place.

The rest of Wednesday’s action…

Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker) @ Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar), 6:10 PM EST

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 7:05 PM EST

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ New York Yankees (Nathan Eovaldi), 7:05 PM EST

Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) @ Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez), 7:05 PM EST

Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EST

Tampa Bay Rays (Chris Archer) @ Boston Red Sox (Rick Porcello), 7:10 PM EST

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen), 7:10 PM EST

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 7:15 PM EST

Houston Astros (Doug Fister) @ Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels), 8:05 PM EST

Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson), 8:10 PM EST

Pittsburgh Pirates (Jeff Locke) @ San Diego Padres (Drew Pomeranz), 10:10 PM EST

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
Getty Images

ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.