Meanwhile, Martin Perez, the Rangers’ 22-year-old rookie who grew up idolizing Hernandez in Venezuela, stayed calm, collected and completely in charge.
“He had mound presence, poise and maturity,” manager Ron Washington said. “He’s growing every time out.”
The offense gave him an early lead on Leonys Martin’s three-run homer with two outs in the second and kept building on it, while Perez never changed his approach on the mound. It was 10-0 before he allowed a fifth-inning homer to Dustin Ackley. When he was done, Perez had allowed two runs in six innings, both on bases-empty homers, the result of continuing to attack the strike zone even with a big lead.
Let’s not sit here this morning and declare the Yankees (70-63) are officially out of the American League playoff race, because they aren’t. Far greater mathematical miracles have occurred in the wild-card era. But let’s assert that last night’s 7-2 defeat to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, which set them 5 1/2 games behind Oakland (75-57) — six in the loss column — is symptomatic of why the Yankees’ situation looks so bleak.
Matt Harvey has not gone to an actual doctor yet for a second opinion on his elbow, but he did consult with “Doc” Halladay.
Terry Collins brokered a sit-down between the two aces on Tuesday, in which Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay recounted a injury experience from earlier in his career “similar” to the one Harvey is facing.
Harvey, of course, is deciding whether to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The procedure likely would sideline him for most or all of the 2014 season.
The Rays are watching Chris Archer closely for any signs he might be overworked as he heads into his first significant September. The rookie right-hander has given them no cause for concern, as he showed again with seven solid innings in Wednesday’s much-needed 4-1 win over the Angels.
More impressive is how the 24-year-old has handled the mental aspects of pitching in a pennant race, relishing an opportunity that could be overwhelming to others.
Bill Dwyre from the LA Times discusses Yasiel Puig’s noticeable mistakes for the Dodgers…
On a day when Ricky Nolasco pitched his second straight gem, the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 4-0, Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier hit home runs, and 38,851 braved oppressive heat to watch and celebrate a team cruising toward the postseason, Puig was the story.
Sad it had to be that way. Sad that a 22-year-old Cuban defector with a $42-million contract and so much talent it defies description can turn a perfect Dodgers day into one with an asterisk.