Astros lose 15th straight to finish season 51-111 (Big League Stew)

Mercifully, time finally ran out for the Houston Astros, who lost their 15th straight game Sunday afternoon to close a franchise-worst 51-111 regular season. Hey, it could have been worse.
Like a punchy boxer saved by the bell, the Astros won’t have a chance to tie the infamous 1899 Cleveland Spiders for the worst losing streak to end a season – 16 games — in Major League Baseball history. The Astros tried to keep their season going with free baseball, but dropped their finale to the New York Yankees, falling 5-1 in 14 innings at Minute Maid Park .
The Yankees, too, probably felt relief that their season was over. Mariano Rivera didn’t play in the final series, preferring to end his spectacular career at Yankee Stadium on Thursday. Left-hander Andy Pettitte ended his career Saturday with a final solid outing in his hometown. Robinson Cano, a free agent reportedly looking for $305 million, sat out Sunday. And his future isn’t the only unsettled one in the Bronx.
The Astros are another kind of enigma entirely.

Posted under Mlb

The Juice: Andy Pettitte throws first complete game since 2006 in final career start (Big League Stew)

Season No. 6 of the Juice has entered the final weekend! Stop by in the final days of the regular season for news from the action, along with great photos, stats, video highlights and more..

The week of grand exits around baseball could not have ended on a higher note. Andy Pettitte, making his final career start in his hometown, against the only other team he played for, the Houston Astros, tossed his first complete game since 2006 to lead the New York Yankees to a 2-1 victory .
The 41-year-old left-hander wasn’t overpowering, but remained in firm command while holding Houston to one run on five hits. He struck out a modest five. The only damage came in the fourth inning when Jose Altuve singled leading off and then moved around to score on Chris Carter’s groundout. But the real drama was saved for the ninth inning when manager Joe Girardi had to decide if he was going let Pettitte go the distance.
After Chris Carter singled with two outs, Girardi made his way to the mound to look Pettitte in the eyes and see how much was left in the tank. It’s a walk Girardi has made a hundred times as Pettitte’s catcher and manager. After a quick conversation, the reassured skipper turned back around and headed to the dugout. There was probably never a doubt in Girardi’s mind anyway that Pettitte would continue, but there was definitely no doubt in Pettitte’s mind. In fact, when he learned Mariano Rivera wasn’t going to pitch this weekend , he almost made it his final mission to go the distance.
From the Associated Press:
”I told Mo I might finish the game off if you’re not in the bullpen,” Pettitte said.
And then he accomplished it, retiring J.D. Martinez on a ground ball to wrap up the win and end his phenomenal career with an absolute gem.
”I was pulling for him, knowing that he was there alone,” Rivera said. ”This was his game and we just had to cheer for him, and that’s what we did – that’s what I did.”
With the win, Pettitte finishes with 256 career wins and an 11-11 mark this season. The latter may not seem significant at first look, but according to Elias it makes Pettitte the first pitcher in MLB history to pitch 18 or more seasons without a losing season.
That’s an amazing stat that perfectly defines Pettitte’s amazing career.

Posted under Mlb

Baseball-Major League Baseball roundup (Reuters)

Aug 21 (Sports Xchange) – Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was hit on the right jaw by a pitch during Wednesday afternoon’s game against the New York Mets and was taken to a hospital for tests. Heyward was batting in the sixth inning when a 90 mph pitch from Mets left-hander Jonathan Niese came up and in and appeared to strike him below the ear flap on his helmet. He took a step and fell to the dirt at home plate. After remaining down for several minutes, Heyward was helped up and he left the field slowly. Mets doctors examined him at Citi Field before sending him for further …

Posted under Mlb

Jon Niese is two rehab starts away from rejoining the Mets (NBC Sports)

When left-hander Jon Niese was diagnosed with a partial tear of his rotator cuff last month, it looked like he could be headed for surgery or miss the rest of the season, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Mets’ rotation. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Niese said today that he will…

Posted under Mlb

Rockies recall LHP Francis from Triple-A (The Associated Press)

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies have recalled left-hander Jeff Francis from Triple-A and optioned righty Collin McHugh to Colorado Springs.

Posted under Mlb

Minor uses arm, bat to lead Braves past Cardinals (The SportsXchange)

ATLANTA – With Tim Hudson gone for the season, the Atlanta Braves need Mike Minor to pitch like an ace. On Friday night, the left-hander did just that.

Posted under Mlb

Braves 4, Cardinals 1 (The SportsXchange)

ATLANTA – With Tim Hudson gone for the season, the Atlanta Braves need Mike Minor to be an ace. On Friday night, the left-hander looked the part.

Posted under Mlb

Detwiler cleared to start Wednesday for Nats (The SportsXchange)

Left-hander Ross Detwiler of the Washington Nationals was cleared on Monday to start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday after coming out of a weekend throwing session without pain in his left side, according to Manager Davey Johnson.

Posted under Mlb

Braves 6, Diamondbacks 2 (The SportsXchange)

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves smacked three home runs and got a strong pitching effort from left-hander Paul Maholm in a 6-2 win on Sunday that gave them a three-game sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Posted under Mlb

Blue Jays 5, Rockies 2 (The SportsXchange)

TORONTO — Adam Lind hit a three-run homer and left-hander Mark Buehrle won his second straight start as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2 on Wednesday to extend their winning streak to a season-best eight games.

Posted under Mlb