Most of the season our starters

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Most of the season our starters

Postby elaine95 » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:04 am

CLEVELAND — Victor Martinez’s first major league at bat came at age 23 as a member of the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 10 [url=http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-kent-tekulve-jersey]Kent Tekulve Jersey[/url] , 2002, in what was known as Jacobs Field.On Sunday, Martinez, 39, will take his last at-bat at what is known as Progressive Field in the final meeting of the season between the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians.Martinez, a five-time All-Star and runner-up to Mike Trout in the 2014 MVP voting, is retiring at the end of the season. Martinez spent the first eight years of his major league career as a catcher with the Indians. He was traded to Boston, where he played two years under manager Terry Francona, who is now the Indians’ manager.Article continues below ...“He’s one of the nicest guys in the game, one of the most professional hitters, and one of the best switch-hitters you’ll ever see,” Francona said.Martinez is a .295 career hitter and has amassed 2,148 hits in his 16-year major league career — 1,028 as a member of the Tigers.“He was the perfect batter to hit behind Miggy [url=http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-bill-mazeroski-jersey]http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-bill-mazeroski-jersey[/url] ,” said Francona of Martinez, who typically hit behind the now-injured Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. “Nobody wanted to face Miggy, but if you didn’t, then you had to face Victor.”Martinez was a .306 career hitter through the 2014 season, but age and injuries caught up to him in the last four years, during which he has hit .262. Before Saturday’s game, a 15-0 Indians victory that clinched their third consecutive American League Central title, the Indians presented Martinez with a plaque during a pregame ceremony.On Sunday, Martinez will face Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber (10-3, 4.32 ERA). Martinez is 0-for-3 versus the rookie. Bieber is second among AL rookies in wins and strikeouts.In Bieber’s last start, a 10-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday, he set a career high for strikeouts. He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, with 11 strikeouts and three walks.Bieber’s rookie season has had three distinct stages. In his first four starts [url=http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-dave-parker-jersey]Dave Parker Jersey[/url] , he was 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA. In his next five starts he was 2-2 with a 7.33 ERA, and in his last eight starts he is 5-1 with a 3.66 ERA.Bieber’s only career appearance against Detroit was a 10-0 victory June 22, in which he pitched seven scoreless innings on four hits, with nine strikeouts and one walk.Detroit’s Sunday starter will be 34-year-old left-hander Francisco Liriano (4-10, 4.58), who has only won one game since April 28. In 18 starts since, Liriano is 1-9 with a 4.97 ERA.His last start was a 3-2 loss to Houston on Monday in which he pitched six innings and allowed three runs (zero earned) and four hits, with seven strikeouts and four walks.Liriano’s last start against the Indians came June 23, a 4-1 loss in which he pitched four innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and four hits, with three strikeouts and three walks.In four appearances (three starts) against the Indians this year, Liriano is 0-2 with a 4.96 ERA. In his career, he has made 24 appearances (18 starts) against Cleveland and is 5-8 with a 4.31 ERA. HOUSTON — The Houston Astros fared decently the last time they faced Shohei Ohtani more than four months ago.The Astros will get another crack at Ohtani on Sunday afternoon when they conclude a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.Ohtani will make first start on the mound since June 6. He missed 22 games on the disabled list with a right UCL sprain but returned exclusively as a designated hitter on July 3.Article continues below ...When Houston’s hitters saw him April 24 in Houston, Ohtani allowed four runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 98 pitches and issued five walks in an 8-7 victory.To prepare for his 10th career start [url=http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-josh-harrison-jersey]Josh Harrison Jersey[/url] , Ohtani threw up to 50 pitches in bullpen sessions and will be on a pitch limit.“Very excited,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters on Thursday. “But obviously, I don’t know if we could put those expectations that we had for Shohei when he really hit stride, have those expectations what he’s going to come out and do for Sunday. Hopefully, he’s going to get back to that.”Ohtani will oppose Gerrit Cole, who is 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in his last three starts after a three-start losing streak. Cole is 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Angels (66-70) this season and 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts. With rosters expanding Saturday throughout the majors, the Astros added two pitchers with one, left-hander Cionel Perez, poised to join an already crowded bullpen.Astros manager A.J. Hinch had 10 relievers at his disposal on Saturday as the Astros (83-53) rallied for a 7-3 victory. With right-hander Charlie Morton set for reinstatement from the 10-day disabled list next weekend in Boston, left-hander Framber Valdez or right-hander Josh James, who made his debut against the Angels, is likely to be bumped from the rotation.Currently, Hinch has eight right-handers and two lefties in his bullpen heading into the finale of a four-game series with the Angels.“It depends on how our pitching staff goes,” Hinch said of predicting future bullpen usage. “Most of the season our starters have logged the majority of the innings as they should; they’ve gone deep into games. I know I’ve cut back a little bit of that in August [url=http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-gregory-polanco-jersey]http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-gregory-polanco-jersey[/url] , some of it out of performance, some of it out of trying to work the bullpen in there. I guess we have the weapons, but I’m still going to read the game.“I don’t think I need to aggressively change a ton. We’re trying to get to 27 outs, we’re trying to get to as many wins. If the starters get the bulk of those outs, great. If I’ve got to go to the pen early I have the reinforcements. Most of the time in September you don’t worry about running out of pitching.”The Angels on Saturday selected the contract of veteran right-hander Junichi Tazawa from Triple-A Salt Lake. Tazawa is the fifth Japanese native in club history, including Ohtani. He signed as a free agent with the Angels on July 13.Tazawa, 32, spent his first seven seasons in the majors with the Boston Red Sox, finishing 17-20 with a 3.58 ERA and four saves in 56 appearances (four starts) from 2009 to 2016. He subsequently made 16 appearances with the Miami Marlins in parts of two seasons before being released May 21 and went 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in seven games with Salt Lake.“He still has plenty of velocity, spins the ball really well, and he’s a veteran pitcher that can make pitches,” Scioscia said. “He threw the ball well down below and hopefully he’ll continue to bring it up here and throw the ball with the consistency that he has.”
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