After two months of playoffs, the NBA Finals are almost here. MLB should clearly adopt the NBA's playoff time line, so we can be watching baseball in December.
- Get ready to hear folks clamoring for an end to pitchers batting during interleague play. Rangers pitcher Alexi Ogando strained his groin beating out a bunt single this weekend, and, since American League pitchers don't typically bat, clearly the evils of pitchers batting during interleague play is to blame. Technically, I suppose that's true, I just hate blaming something as unpredictable and random as injuries to the fact that a professional athlete has to run a little bit. I mean, come on. Is it not fair to expect that these guys can do some jogging a few times per season? Ogando will be re-evaluated today, but he says it doesn't feel good right now.
- The Ogando injury is particularly ill-timed for the Rangers, who recently placed starter Derek Holland on the DL with shoulder fatigue. Ogando was replacing Holland, Neftali Feliz is already on the DL, and the Rangers are still waiting on recently-signed starter Roy Oswalt to be ready to go.
- Speaking of Oswalt, he'll make his third of what was supposed to be about four tune-up starts at AA Round Rock tomorrow. He's thrown just six combined innings in his first two starts, giving up five earned runs.
- The Angels' creative effort to ensure that they could keep Mark Trumbo in the starting lineup after signing Albert Pujols is paying dividends. Trumbo homered twice yesterday, and is hitting an incredible .326/.380/.632 on the year.
- SBN's Wendy Thurn, inspired by R.A. Dickey's late career succes, analyzes other starting pitchers who've had their first real taste of success as a starting pitcher as late as Dickey.
- Reliever scoreless streaks are dropping like flies. After we saw Aroldis Chapman finally give up a run last week (and he actually lost a game for the Reds yesterday), Angels reliever Scott Downs, who'd gone 23 straight appearances without allowing a run, finally gave up a run yesterday. At least he still got the save.
- Joba Chamberlain is already throwing off the mound, which is pretty incredible for a guy whom many thought would not pitch this season after suffering a grotesque trampoline-induced ankle injury earlier this year.
- Tim Lincecum struggled again yesterday, and his season is spiraling out of control. Now through 13 starts, Lincecum's ERA stands at 6.00 and his WHIP at 1.58. He has just one quality start in his last eight outings. He's still striking out a ton of guys, and his FIP (3.66) and BABIP (.335) say he should be/has been better than he has looked. But you can bet the Giants are worried.