Edward Mujica made it to the World Series with the Cardinals last season; in the winter, he switched to the winning side, the Red Sox, and the American League. So far, not a great start for the big righty (6’3”, 230) from Valencia, who did go 1.1 innings against mighty Detroit tonight without giving up a run. But that effort only lowered his ERA to 8.20. Until tonight, he’d given up 12 runs in 12 innings. This is a man who had 37 saves in 41 opportunities for the Redbirds last season (5th in the NL); suffice it to say the Red Sox are hoping for some improvement. Prior to last season, the 30-year-old had bounced around from Cleveland to Florida to San Diego before attaining All-Star status in St. Louis. Those Cardinals, they got pitching figured out.
In that game, by the way, Detroit scored just once to beat the Sox, and Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez each had a hit, staying at .295 and .333, respectively.
Sometimes we forget about the defense; how about a hand for Cleveland SS Asdrubal Cabrera, who turned three double plays for the Indians in their 11-1 one-sided loss to Oakland? It was Asdrubal’s remarkable glovework against the Yankees two seasons ago which renewed my interest in Venezuelan Major Leaguers and led to this blog. Alberto Callaspo got a single for the A’s to get his average to .252 but he hasn’t played as much as he did earlier in the season, when he was a tough(er) out. Carlos Carrasco got four innings of mop-up duty for the Tribe and struck out 5 while giving up 2 runs on Josh Reddick’s second home run of the evening.
Luis Avilan threw 18 pitches, 12 of them for strikes, in a scoreless inning of relief work in the Braves’ loss to St. Louis. He’s reduced his ERA from over 8 to just under 5 in the past 10 games; perhaps the Atlanta pitching mojo is rubbing off again on the lefty reliever.(speaking of teams who are great at identifying and keeping good hurlers).
The Royals were shut out on five hits by Chris Tillman at Kaufman Stadium; Salvador Pérez got one hit while Alcides Escobar took an 0-for 3 collar. Llikewise Texas was shut out by Toronto’s Drew Hutchinson and their SS Elvis Andrus was hitless in three at-bats.
And speaking of awesome pitching: Francisco Rodriguez continues to dominate for the incredible first-place Brew Crew, picking up his 17th save tonight after a slight rough patch earlier in the week. It took K-Rod just 11 pitches to close out the Cubs.
Wilson Ramos, currently hitting just .182 after his return from a broken bone in his hand, was honored with a Bobblehead Night at Nationals Stadium during the home team’s triumph over the Mets. Ramos is a Met-killer and got a hit, an RBI and a run scored; on the other side, 40-year-old Bobby Abreu got one of his occasional starts in the outfield and roped a single to bring his average to .240. Ramos led Washington in RBI after the All-Star break last season and the Nats hope he can stay healthy; Jose Lobaton is an able backup but not the player Wilson is—manager Matt Williams thinks enough of him to insert him in the cleanup spot after spending the first month of the season on the DL (posting his average is a bit unfair-it’s based on just 22 at-bats). Hopefully his trials of the past three seasons—he was kidnapped back home in 2011 and missed significant time with ACL and hamstring injuries the following two seasons—are far behind.
Tonight Yankee super rookie 3B Yangeris Solarte got to rest, because the Bronx was soggy with rain. Similarly I sit in my NY apartment and sip at a cup of Diplomatico Venezuelan rum, and feel the soothing burn in my throat as the rain beats on the window outside. Goodnight, baseball fans.