Happy Wednesday, all. With everyone now off and running, we can at last start to settle in to our baseball routines.
Rangers 7 Astros 0 - Yu Darvish was one out away from the 24th perfect game in MLB history, only to have Marwin Gonzalez knock the ball through his wickets for a single. He joins Mike Mussina, Armando Galarraga, and others in the "8⅔ Club," whose annual meetings must be depressing.
Mariners 7 A's 1 - Yoenis Cespedes went deep for Oakland but otherwise their stayed silent for the second straight night. The A's have just six hits in two games. July trade candidate Mike Morse went deep twice for the Mariners.
Giants 3 Dodgers 0 - Madison Bumgarner did his best Clayton Kershaw impression Tuesday night, throwing eight two-hit innings and helping himself with an RBI fielder's choice. Hyun-Jin Ryu had a strong MLB debut, but took the loss.
Cardinals 6 D'Backs 1 - Heath Bell made a not-so-great first impression in Arizona, giving up three runs on two long balls in just a third of an inning. Enjoy him, D'Backs... he's all yours.
Indians 4 Blue Jays 1 - JP Arencibia did his best to adhere to Bob Uecker's mantra about the best way to catch a knuckleball, allowing three passed balls in the first two innings. He and R.A. Dickey eventually got on the same page, but by then the damage was done.
Orioles 7 Rays 4 - David Price left after six with a 2-3 lead but it was gone by the time he got back to the dugout. Adam Jones and Chris Davis did the damage for the O's, knocking Jake McKee around for five runs in the seventh.
The Big Three
1. Yu Darvish got oh so close to a perfect game last night, shutting down the Astros for 8⅔ before giving up a single to Marwin Gonzalez on his 106th pitch of the night. You can make all the jokes you want about how he was pitching against a glorified Triple-A team and whatnot, but the fact is the Astros scored eight runs the night before so it's not as though they're completely impotent. Darvish would have been the 24th player to achieve perfection in MLB history and the eighth to do so in the last decade, which seems to be pretty telling about the direction baseball is headed. Instead, Yu joins the much larger club of "near-perfect" players, who likely meet and commiserate on a yearly basis, if not more frequently.
2. Taking a page out of Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez's book on handling life as a Scott Boras client, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano has decided the best way to deal with him is to not. Cano has fired Boras. On any normal day, this would be the big headline, but Tuesday wasn't a normal day. In lieu of Boras, Cano has opted to be the first major client of a managing company called Roc Nation, which just so happens to be owned and run by Jay-Z. Yes, that Jay-Z. For the time being, Cano will be co-represented by the reputable firm CAA, but reportedly Jay-Z is actually working to become a certified MLB player-agent, which should make the Winter Meetings much more exciting, if nothing else. I find it both ominous and fitting that something similar to a Chappelle's Show sketch from a few years ago is now pretty much a reality. It's only a matter of time before Wayne Brady is arrested for going on a crime spree, apparently.
3. The Braves got some bad news on Tuesday, but seem to be in a sort of denial about how much worse news is likely on the horizon. Jonny Venters received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his elbow from Dr. James Andrews and has been shut down for four weeks in the hopes that everything will be hunky-dory when they check out his arm again next month. This kind of thing is typically a precursor to Tommy John surgery, so while I understand not wanting to jump into a year-long procedure, it seems like Atlanta is just delaying the inevitable here. If he does need TJ, Venters would be the sixth or seventh player to do so this season. And we're not even through the first week yet.
In Other News...
1. Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew has finally been cleared by MLB to return to game action, so he should be back in Boston's lineup fairly soon. I think it's great that the league has such a strict policy about letting players with head trauma back on the field, and I hope other sports follow suit.
2. The Phillies acquired a new fifth outfielder Tuesday, claiming Ezequiel Carrera from the Indians. Carrera will take over for equally strangely-named outfielder, Ender Inciarte, who was DFA-ed. No idea what'll happen once Delmon Young gets back. If Philly were smart, they'd drop Young, but there's no way that's happening.
3. Johan Santana's shoulder surgery on Tuesday was a success, and now he must begin the very long, arduous road to recovery. It took him a year and a half to return from the operation last time, so there's no telling how long this rehab will take.