Lester is More: In “Have We Entered an Alternate Dimension?” news, The Cubs’ Jon Lester picked off Starling Marte today. Yes. You read this correctly. Jon Lester, who hasn’t picked off a runner since 2011, picked off Starling Marte in an actual game today. Not to mention a complete game with nine strikeouts to boot. But seriously. Dude picked someone off. It’s incredible. I ought to stop the train right now, but…
Hey, Joe: During today’s Red Sox/Orioles game, Joe Kelly left the mound with shoulder tightness and fatigue. He had an impressive streak going, winning his last eight straight outings. The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham is reporting that the Sox will shut Kelly down. It’s too bad; I was hoping he’d eventually shave his godawfully bad moustache off and finally regain some facial dignity, but now I’ll never know.
‘Cause The Eyes of a Ranger Are Upon You: In July, the Rangers were eight games back and looked like a write-off. Now they lead the Astros in the AL West by a 1/2 game. Mitch Moreland did his part today, securing a win over Houston with a sac fly. Yesterday, the Rangers’ hosted a “Dinner with a Legend” program and the legend in question was my favorite person ever put on the earth, Greg Maddux. I’d like to think that being in close proximity to such overwhelming greatness gave the Rangers the boost they needed to defeat the ‘stros, but it’s probably just Prince Fielder getting his groove back. And no, Scout, I did not attempt to hitch hike down to Arlington to crash the dinner party.
The Ghost of Mark Prior: Stephen Strasburg did yeoman’s work this evening, defeating the Phillies in commanding fashion. Stras is a tragic figure to me; he has all the talent in the world and yet he’s incredibly unlucky on the injury front. He reminds me a lot of Mark Prior in that regard. I used to have a second sense about Prior – when I started thinking about him, it inevitably meant that he had torn a rotator cuff or stubbed his toe or something. I don’t have the same connection with Stras, but I do wish him well, and hope that next year, when the Nationals have traded him to a team with a better conditioning coach, he can once again log more innings pitched than days on the DL.