This Great Game Comebacker

The Week That Was in Baseball: August 5-11, 2013
The Postscript on the Biogenesis Suspensions A-Rod Fights the Lonely Fight
Jack Clark's Costly Exclusive on Albert Pujols Anyone Want Ryan Madson?

Best and Worst of the Week

BEST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
28 7 12 2 0 4 11 4 1 0 0

After missing much of the previous week with abdominal pain, Cabrera returned to action and showed that the rest worked for the best. The reigning MVP was tanned, rested and ready to rumble as he played havoc with opposing pitchers in Cleveland and New York (and especially Mariano Rivera). Talk sprung up this week on whether Cabrera can beat out Mike Trout again for this year’s award, but c’mon—the man’s on pace to hit .365 with 50 homers and 154 RBIs. Those are Mickey Mantle-at-his-peak numbers.


BEST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
25 8 11 3 0 2 5 3 0 0 0

The lanky left-handed first baseman was invincible in the minors and has always torn apart spring training, but regular season play has always been something much more difficult. This past week’s spurt of strength, however, give Giant fans hope that Belt is slowly evolving into the Belt who belts the big guys as much as the little ones. An extended late-season tear would give the last-place (and defending champion) Giants something of a silver lining to finish the year.


WORST HITTER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Matt Domínguez, Houston Astros

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
21 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0

The 23-year-old Van Nuys, California native is one of many raw talents the Astros are giving ample playing time to, but this past week saw the downside to his unrefined status as he was a non-participant in an offensively decent week for the Astros (never mind that they continued to lose). Martinez was showing good discipline at the plate in July, but that all went out the window in this first full week of August.


WORST HITTER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Nick Hundley, San Diego Padres

AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
IB
HB
SB
12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Yes, we usually give part-time catchers some slack, but the 29-year-old Oregonian just didn’t have it compared to anyone else—in fact, no one else was close. He failed to reach in his dozen appearances at the plate and, worse, hit into two double plays. Hundley is certainly doing better than his disastrous 2012 campaign (when he .157 in 58 games), but he needs to do better than .229 to keep a starting job against young (and currently injured) Yasmani Grandal down the line.


BEST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Andrew Albers, Minnesota Twins

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 8.1 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2

It was a magnificent debut for the Saskatchewan-born lefty who split his last six years between the minors and the Tommy John recovery room. In the 50-plus years that the Twins have been in Minnesota, no pitcher threw as many shutout innings in his first major league start, as Albers played the ultimate stopper and silenced the Royals a day after the Twins got trounced in Kansas City, 13-0. The Twins have been looking for a true ace since Johan Santana’s departure; could this guy be it?


BEST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 16 9 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 19

Wins have come fleetingly for the 25-year-old fireballer thanks to tepid run support, so he redoubled his efforts and put on a supreme show on Sunday, blanking the Phillies on four hits for his first career shutout (and his first complete game). It followed a Monday start against Atlanta when, again, poor support doomed a solid effort. Strasburg’s six wins are the fewest among NL pitchers who rank in the top ten in ERA, but that’s hardly surprising.


WORST PITCHER, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
1-0 4 7 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 2

The ageless closer’s Farewell Tour hit a crater-sized pothole as he blew three straight games—the first time that’s ever happened to him over his 19-year Hall-of-Fame career. Especially troubling was Rivera’s penchant for giving up the long ball; three of them left the park, two alone by Miguel Cabrera. Put it all in perspective: Mo had allowed just two homers on the year coming into the week, and had allowed no more than three in 11 different seasons of his stellar career.


WORST PITCHER, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates

W-L
IP
H
R
ER
BB
IB
HB
WP
BK
SO
0-1 2.1 12 10 10 2 0 0 0 0 1

The 29-year-old southpaw once considered to be the second coming of Santana in Minnesota before injuries derailed his evolution has been a godsend for the Pirates, but he took a boulder-sized Coors Field pounding from the Rockies this past Friday, watching a 2.02 season ERA balloon by nearly a run through 2.1 innings of work. The ten runs allowed by Liriano are easily the most he’s ever conceded, and twice his previous high on the year.


BEST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Texas Rangers (6-0)

Exit the cross, enter the rivers. The Rangers’ week got out to an alarming start before they even took the field as Nelson Cruz was given the 50-game suspension for his bit in Biogenesis, but then they pulled off the trade few expected and snared Alex Rios, who lifted the team to weekend success at Houston and helped propel Texas back to the top of the AL West. If the Rangers sink back into second place in the near future, they’ll have themselves to blame; they don’t play a team with a winning record for the next three weeks.


BEST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Los Angeles Dodgers (6-1)

When we left to go on vacation, the Dodgers were taking it to two disappointing preseason contenders in Washington and Toronto; this past week, it easily took care of two much more relevant teams in St. Louis and Tampa Bay who have legitimate postseason aspirations. Let’s face it, folks: The Dodgers are for real. They’re hitting, pitching and winning almost every day. How hot has this team been? As of Sunday, they’ve won 37 of their last 45.


WORST TEAM, AMERICAN LEAGUE
Cleveland Indians (1-6)

This was the week that likely ended the Indians’ shot at the AL Central title, as the front-running Tigers came in and began things by administering a four-game smackdown. The Tribe had barely finished staggering back to its feet from the Detroit ten-count when the Angels came through and took two of three on the weekend—with the Indians only hitting the win column on Sunday thanks to a six-run comeback. The wild card is still a good possibility, but the Indians better wake up after this nightmare and return to playing overachieving ball.


WORST TEAM, NATIONAL LEAGUE
Miami Marlins (1-5)

The Fish swam through rough waters as they blew leads of 2-0, 3-0 and 4-0 (respectively) in three losses at Pittsburgh to start the week; they then had the misfortune of traveling to Atlanta, who’s been even hotter than the Pirates. Their only win came Saturday when a wild pitch helped them break a 0-0, ninth-inning tie against the Braves. There’s baby steps being made in Miami—under Jeffrey Loria, this always seems to be the case—but it doesn’t hide the fact that the Marlins are still the NL’s worst.


 

 

 

Best and Worst of the Week

Monday, August 5
On the day he’s suspended through 2014 for his connection to Biogenesis, Alex Rodriguez comes off the disabled list and makes his 2013 season debut with the New York Yankees after stalling his punishment via appeal. Visiting the White Sox, Rodriguez is booed at every turn by Chicago fans and responds with a bloop single in his first at-bat—but goes hitless over his next three times up, including a strikeout in his final appearance. Overall it’s a satisfying day for the White Sox, who wallop the Yankees 8-1 and end a ten-game losing streak.

The Los Angeles Dodgers extend a franchise record by defeating the Cardinals at St. Louis, 3-2, for their 15th consecutive road victory. Zack Greinke outduels Adam Wainwright for the Dodgers, who have now won 32 of their last 39 games; the Cardinals will win a day later and end the streak.

The Houston Astros—sporting the majors’ worst record—neuter the Boston Red Sox (with the AL’s best) 2-0 thanks to rookie southpaw pitcher Brett Oberholtzer, who in his second career start does what he did in his first: Toss seven shutout innings. Only three pitchers over the last 50 years have matched that over their first two starts, the last being Marty Bystrom in 1980.

In the first game of a crucial four-game series, the Cleveland Indians take a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning against first-place Detroit—but the Tigers’ Alex Avila shatters the Tribe’s bid for a win with a three-run homer off Indian starter Chris Perez to give Detroit a 4-2 victory and a four-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central.


Tuesday, August 6
The Atlanta Braves survive late-inning uprisings by the host Washington Nationals and eke out a 2-1 win for their 12th straight victory, but the game’s focal point takes place in the fifth when Bryce Harper—who had homered in his previous at-bat to give the Nats a 1-0 lead—is drilled by a Julio Teheran pitch, emptying the benches. The Nationals’ frustration is amplified with nine runners left on base; Atlanta’s lead in the NL East is now at a near-insurmountable 14.5 games.

Trailing 5-0 at the end of two innings a day after losing 2-0, the Red Sox break out with 15 runs over the next five frames to hand the Astros a 15-10 defeat. Jacoby Ellsbury reaches base four times via two walks and two homers, scoring each time.

A day after getting slammed 13-0 at Kansas City, Minnesota rebounds thanks to 27-year-old southpaw Andrew Albers, who tosses 8.1 shutout innings in his major league debut to give the Twins a 7-0 win over the Royals. No previous pitcher in Minnesota history had thrown more than seven scoreless innings in his debut.

Justin Verlander (eight innings, one run allowed on four hits and no walks) is sharp and Miguel Cabrera becomes the season’s second 100-RBI man (after Baltimore’s Chris Davis) as the Tigers roll to their tenth straight win, a 5-1 decision at Cleveland. Cabrera joins five other players who have gone ten straight years with 100-plus RBIs.


Wednesday, August 7
Matt Harvey is masterful in throwing his first career shutout (and complete game), four-hitter with six strikeouts and no walks as the Mets ease over Colorado 5-0 at New York. Harvey drops his ERA to 2.09 while increasing his league-leading strikeout total to 178; he’s walked only 29.

The Braves finish off a three-game sweep at Washington—and, 15.5 games up, probably finish off the Nationals’ postseason hopes—with a 6-3 win, breaking a 3-3 tie in the eighth with the help of a two-run double from Justin Upton. Brother B.J. Upton (.198) has his first four-hit game of the year, and only his second with at least three.

The White Sox sweep the Yankees in heart-stopping fashion, tying the game off Mariano Rivera in the ninth on an Adam Dunn single and, after falling behind once more in the 12th when Robinson Cano goes deep, revive themselves anew with a two-run double from Alejandro De Aza to win, 6-5.


Thursday, August 8
The Tigers finish off a four-game sweep of the second-place Tigers, extend their winning streak to 12, and watch as Max Scherzer improves to 17-1 on the year while recording his 1,000th career strikeout in a 10-3 romp. Only four other pitchers have started a season with at least 17 wins over their first 18 starts.

Pittsburgh’s Russell Martin collects his third walk-off hit of the year as his tenth-inning single gives the Pirates a 5-4 win over the Marlins, sweeping Miami despite trailing in each of the series’ three games by two or more runs at some point. The Bucs now own the majors’ best record at 70-44; they only need to win 12 of their remaining 48 games to record their first winning record since 1992.


Friday, August 9
For only the second time in his stellar career, Yankee closer Mariano Rivera is tagged with consecutive blown saves as the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera erases a 4-2 deficit with a two-run, game-tying homer in the ninth at Yankee Stadium—but Brett Gardner’s bases-loaded single in the tenth rescues New York with a 5-4 overtime win and puts an end to Detroit’s 12-gamne winning streak. Alex Rodriguez, in his first home game of the season, is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and receives a mix of cheers and (mostly) Bronx cheers.

Hitting just .203 with five homers after hitting 32 last season, Oakland’s Josh Reddick pounds three balls over the fence—including his first opposite-field shot since 2009—and knocks in five runs to help the A’s smash the Blue Jays at Toronto, 14-6.

Trailing David Price and the Rays after six innings by a 6-0 count, the Dodgers pick up one run in the seventh, two in the eighth—and four in the ninth when they gang up on closer Fernando Rodney, who aids the Dodgers’ effort when he throws wildly to first on a Jerry Hairston Jr. ground ball to allow the winning run to score at Los Angeles. It’s Rodney’s second straight blown save and seventh of the year; he blew two for all of last season.

In a day-night doubleheader sweep of the White Sox in Chicago, the Twins’ Brian Duensing pitches in both games, racks up a total of 1.1 innings—and gets credit for both wins by being in the right place at the right time. Duensing throws one inning and becomes the pitcher of record in the first game, a 3-2, ten-inning win for Minnesota; he then faces (and retires) just one batter in the sixth of the nightcap, just before the Twins take the lead for good in the seventh for a 7-5 victory. He’s the first pitcher to win both ends of a double-dip since Luis Vizcaino in 2007, and the first Twin/Senator since Walter Johnson in 1923.


Saturday, August 10
Atlanta’s 14-game winning streak—one shy of the modern franchise mark—comes to an end when the visiting Marlins break up a 0-0 tie in the ninth on Jordan Walden’s wild pitch that brings home Adeiny Hechavarria, who had tripled to lead off the inning.

It’s a bad day for the Cincinnati Reds—who lose 3-1 at home to San Diego—and an even worse day for Reds third baseman Jack Hannahan, who’s 0-for-3 at the plate with a strikeout and a double play grounder while committing three of the team’s four errors.

The A’s Josh Reddick picks up where he left off from Friday, bashing two more homers to give him five over two days—matching his entire total in the previous 85 games coming into the weekend series against Toronto. Reddick’s power isn’t enough for the A’s, who lose 5-4 to the Blue Jays and fall a game behind Texas (a 5-4 winner at Houston) for first place in the AL West.


Sunday, August 11
Alex Rodriguez hits his first homer of the 2013 campaign off Detroit’s Justin Verlander, and the Yankees build a 4-2 lead into the ninth—but Mariano Rivera blows it again when he surrenders solo homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez. Yet with the help once more of Brett Gardner (who goes deep in the bottom of the ninth), the Yankees overcome, taking a 5-4 decision at Yankee Stadium.

In his 68th career start, Stephen Strasburg goes the distance for the first time, firing a four-hit shutout while striking out ten to help give the Nationals a 6-0 win over the Phillies at Washington.


The Lone Dissenter
Major League Baseball dropped the Big One this past Monday, docking 13 players connected to the Florida steroid store Biogenesis with PED suspensions. All of them conceded and humbly accepted their penalties, except one: Alex Rodriguez.

While it handed out 50-game penalties to the other 12 players, MLB predictably (and deservedly, in our opinion) saved its most poisonous venom for Rodriguez—suspending him for the remainder of this season and all of 2014. Rodriguez immediately filed for an appeal, suggesting that either the ban was too harsh or that he’s living in total denial.

But to MLB, the punishment fits the crime. After all, here is a guy who, nailed with evidence of previous steroid use in the spring of 2009, humbly admitted to his wrongs—and still continued to shoot up in the years to follow. Worse, he allegedly played the Biogenesis Pied Piper by encouraging other players (presumably some of the other 12 nailed) to embrace the clinic and then “impeded” MLB’s investigation by denying his actions.

While the other 12 players own up to their offenses, Rodriguez fights on, saying he’ll defend himself because “no one else will”—an appropriate reflection of his general state of being within baseball. He did get help from the players’ union, which filed the appeal on his behalf and expects no arbitration hearing on the matter until after the end of the year, essentially allowing Rodriguez to play out the rest of the season. And in his defense, Rodriguez is suggesting a nuclear option by reportedly hiring private investigators to…what, tail Bud Selig around town?

Revolt of the Clean Players (Continued)
As with the suspension levied on Ryan Braun a few weeks back, the larger wave of Biogenesis suspensions ignited much public response from the clean players who legitimately carry on, continuing the trend we recently noted in which clubhouse solidarity can only go so far when the topic of steroids becomes front and center.

Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria initially tweeted that Black Biogenesis Monday was a “sad day for MLB, the fans of this great game, and all players who may have been negatively affected by others’ selfishness.” A few days later, Longoria said it was “unfair” for Rodriguez to continue to play while his appeal remained in place. Baltimore’s Nick Markakis was more blunt, telling reporters that steroid users are “stealing money” from owners and players who are “doing it the right way.” He also voiced frustration over MLB, stating that if it’s so tough on steroids, how come he’s gone the whole season without being asked to give a blood test?

Mark McGwire, who refused to talk about the past, had plenty to say about the present and future of baseball. The former slugger and current hitting coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers reflected: “It really doesn’t matter what I think, what matters is what the players think,” adding that “hopefully this will be the end of (the steroids era).”

Los Angeles of Anaheim pitcher C.J. Wilson, who didn’t hold back on Braun a few weeks back, kept up the tough-love tone this past week. “We need the greed to stop. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not a $300 million player. God didn’t bless me with that…You’re dealt a certain hand and you have to play that. Stop being a baby and move on.”

Johnny Damon, a member of the 2009 Yankees who won it all behind a then-remorseful Rodriguez, cast doubt on the championship’s legitimacy because of Rodriguez’s involvement. “I really haven’t sat down and thought that far, but if that’s how he was able to hit in the postseason, then yeah, absolutely,” he told MLB Network Radio.

Former players on the outside wishing they were still in gave a more pointed argument. Pitcher Dan Meyer, who last performed in the majors in 2010, angrily tweeted about what could have been in 2011: “Hey Antonio Bastardo, remember when we competed for a job in 2011. Thx a lot #ahole.”

Finally, we got this from former manager Ozzie Guillen, who tweeted: “It’s all Madonna’s fault. Every athlete she has been with has gone bad. See (Jose) Canseco, (Dennis) Rodman and now Rodriguez.”

Biogenesis: The Other Players
Beyond Rodriguez and Braun, the dozen other players suspended by MLB for their role in Biogenesis include Texas slugger Nelson Cruz, who was on pace for roughly 40 homers and 110 RBIs this season; San Diego speedster Everth Cabrera, the NL leader in steals with 37; veteran Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta, on target for his first .300-plus average in his 11-year career; Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli; Philadelphia set-up reliever Antonio Bastardo, with 14 holds and a 2.32 ERA; one-time hotshot catching prospect Jesus Montero, who was fighting to work his way back from Triple-A to the Seattle Mariners; Jordany Valdespin, who was hitting .188 for the New York Mets before being demoted to the minors last month; Houston minor league pitcher Sergio Escalona; Yankee minor leaguer (and former Astro) Fernando Martinez; and Mets minor leaguer Cesar Puello. Additionally, Fautino De Los Santos and Jordan Norberto—both currently unemployed—were also suspended, to be served if and when they make it back to the majors.

Get the Facts, Jack
Amid all the media frenzy that accompanied the Biogenesis suspensions, former major league slugger Jack Clark thought it would be somehow wise to get his sports talk career off to a blast by calling out Albert Pujols and Justin Verlander as steroid users. In his first week as a co-host for St. Louis station WGNU, Clark claimed that Pujols’ former trainer Chris Mihlfeld told him 12 years ago that Pujols, who was just getting his career started, was juicing up. As for Verlander, Clark accused him of steroids because of the Detroit ace’s decline in his numbers that he felt had to do with getting off PEDs.

Verlander laughed off the accusation, calling it “moronic.” Pujols, on the other hand, found little humor in Clark’s claims of him, releasing a defiant denial on Friday followed by the threat of litigation against Clark. Mihlfeld also waived off Clark, saying that he had never seen or helped Pujols take steroids and hadn’t talked to Clark in ten years.

All of this was too much for WGNU to bear, telling Clark that his first week on air would be his last.

One More Reason for A-Rod Haters to Hate A-Rod
With two RBIs on Sunday against Detroit, Rodriguez moved into sixth place on the all-time RBI list with 1,952. Backing into seventh is Stan Musial.

Out, But Not Outted
Ryan Madson could have taken the Biogenesis route, recently suggesting that steroids should be legal within MLB if one was hurt and under an authorized doctor’s care. But the 32-year-old pitcher, who only pitched one inning of Class-A ball this year as numerous setbacks to Tommy John surgery 14 months earlier dogged his comeback effort, took the straight, legal road to recovery and hit a dead end this past week when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim released him.

Madson emerged as an effective closer for Philadelphia, saving 32 games in 2011; he signed a one-year free-agent deal with the Reds in 2012, but tore a ligament in his right elbow in spring training that led to reconstructive surgery. The Angels brought him on this year, hoping he’d be ready by midseason. Between this year and last, Madson has been paid $12 million without having thrown a single pitch for either team.

Stay Well, Cobra
Dave Parker, arguably the National League’s best hitter in the late 1970s and a MVP winner in 1978, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this past week that he has Parkinson’s Disease. The condition, which gradually affects the nervous system, is in the beginning stages with Parker; he is not taking any medication and continues to live a full life. But there is currently no cure—and until there is one, the 62-year-old Parker will likely deteriorate as has other notable Parkinson’s sufferers including boxing legend Muhammad Ali and actor Michael J. Fox.

Un-American Graffiti
A Brooklyn statue featuring Pee Wee Reese putting his arm around Jackie Robinson—replicating a seminal moment in Robinson’s memorable, sometimes harrowing 1947 rookie season with the Dodgers—was defaced this past week by vandals who wrote racist epithets and pro-Nazi graffiti with a black marker. A $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone who comes forward with information that could lead to an arrest.

Hot Potato Treatment
Last week, Adam Rosales was picked up by the Texas Rangers after being placed on waivers by the Oakland A’s. Three days later, the Rangers let him go; the A’s picked him back up. As a tweet from MLB’s Jane Lee reported this past Friday: Rosales is with the A’s in Toronto, his wife is in Oakland, and all of their belongings are on a van headed for Texas. Guess a u-turn will have to be made somewhere around El Paso.

The Scoring Scrooge Strikes Again
A few weeks back, we applauded Miami’s Christian Yelich for becoming the first player since Jay Bruce in 2008 to collect hits in each of his first three major league at-bats in the same game. Well you can forget about that now. A belated scoring change has stripped away Yelich’s third hit from that game, charging Colorado second baseman D.J. LeMahieu with an error instead. Yelich looks ready to have more than a few three-hit games left in him; he’s already had two others (including one this past Thursday at Pittsburgh that included his first career homer) and is hitting .282 for the year.

Huh?
On Friday at Colorado, the Pirates’ first four hitters all singled in the first inning—but none of them scored. Starling Marte, the leadoff batter, was tagged out at second on a stolen base attempt, and after Jordy Mercer, Andrew McCutchen and Russell Martin all reached to load the bases, the next two batters were retired by the Rockies to end the threat. The Pirates left 11 men on base overall in a 10-1 loss at Coors Field.

Digging the Early Hole
Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte set a franchise record by allowing a first-inning run for the seventh straight time on Monday against the White Sox in Chicago. Over those seven games, Pettitte is 2-3 with a 5.72 ERA. (He made it eight straight on Sunday against Detroit.)

Looking for Dead Time
How bad has it gotten in Washington for the disappointing Nationals? A paying fan at a recent game was photographed reading the obituary section of the local paper while the game was going on. Perhaps he was looking for the Nationals’ season listed among the deceased.

League vs. League
The National League sure had enough games and time to make an effort to draw even with the American League in the interleague wars these last two weeks while we were on summer break—but the status quo remained as the AL won 22 of 40 games during our time off and maintained its arms-length edge over the NL at 130-116 for the year. The AL has won out over the NL in interleague play each year since 2003.

This Week’s Challenger to Joe DiMaggio
With rookie
Jose Iglesias shipped off to Detroit, Stephen Drew no longer has to look behind his shoulder to make sure he doesn’t lose the Boston shortstop job. Yet he’s been playing as if the competition is still fierce, as he ends this past week with the majors’ longest active hitting streak at 12 games. During his run, Drew is hitting .422 with two home runs and eight RBIs.

Wounded of the Week
wounded of the weekThe irony of Alex Rodriguez’s return to the lineup is that the man he replaces on the active Yankee roster is Derek Jeter, who officially went back on the disabled list with a bothersome calf that’s bedeviled him since his return a month ago. (He’s only played five games this season, batting .211.)

Elsewhere, there were strains and sprains of all shapes and sizes as the MLB Medical Ward flooded up with a new busload of patients. Sprained fingers got the best of Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber and Colorado All-Star Carlos Gonzalez; sprained obliques spelled DL time for Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Boston reliever Matt Thornton; a sprained knee benched Los Angeles of Anaheim second baseman Howie Kendrick, and a sprained hamstring stopped New York Mets star David Wright.

Additional injuries to impact players included a herniated disk for Mets closer Bobby Parnell, a broken finger for Tampa Bay outfielder Desmond Jennings, and hip and knee injuries for Arizona third baseman and frequent D-Lister Eric Chavez. There were also two season-ending injuries: A torn hamstring for Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks and a dislocated hip for Arizona outfielder Cody Ross.


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