Getty Images

What’s on Tap: Previewing Friday’s action

3 Comments

Welcome to the weekend, y’all. A full slate of games tonight including a couple of dudes making debuts for new clubs: Nick Tepesch for the Dodgers and Wade LeBlanc for the Mariners. Tommy Milone has been recalled by the Twins and will make his first big league appearance since May 3. Cody Reed of the Reds, in contrast, is a seasoned pro, making his second big league start.

On the older end of the spectrum is Max Scherzer, going in Milwaukee. The last time he pitched there he struck out 16 dues and retired the first 18 batters he faced. He’s facing a young man in Zach Davies, however, who has done some very special things himself in his short time in the bigs, particularly lately. Meanwhile, Jered Weaver is coming off of his best start of the season: a three-hit shutout in Oakland in which he needed only 95 pitches. He only struck out one dude in that game and his fastball can barely break glass, so he must’ve O.D.’d on the gumption and savvy pills. Why those are legal while PEDs are not I have no idea, but I suppose he’d be grandfathered in if they banned them anyway.

Enjoy your Friday night.

Los Angeles Dodgers (Nick Tepesch) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jameson Taillon), 7:05 PM EDT, PNC Park

Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone) @ New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka), 7:05 PM EDT, Yankee Stadium

Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore) @ Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo), 7:05 PM EDT, Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT, Marlins Park

Cleveland Indians (Danny Salazar) @ Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmermann), 7:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

San Diego Padres (Colin Rea) @ Cincinnati Reds (Cody Reed), 7:10 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

New York Mets (Steven Matz) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:35 PM EDT, Turner Field

Boston Red Sox (David Price) @ Texas Rangers (Nick Martinez), 8:05 PM EDT, Globe Life Park in Arlington

Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez) @ Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon), 8:10 PM EDT, U.S. Cellular Field

Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Zach Davies), 8:10 PM EDT, Miller Park

Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 8:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley) @ Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson), 8:40 PM EDT, Coors Field

Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp) @ Los Angeles Angels (Jered Weaver), 10:05 PM EDT, Angel Stadium of Anaheim

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Seattle Mariners (Wade LeBlanc), 10:10 PM EDT, Safeco Field

Philadelphia Phillies (Zach Eflin) @ San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy), 10:15 PM EDT, AT&T Park

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
Getty Images
7 Comments

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.