AP Photo/Doug Mills
And yes, we might still get that chance • after all, Johnson's start was merely delayed a day by rain. He'll be on the mound in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday. But for Tom Glavine, there might not be any more chances. On Wednesday, lost in the excitement of the Braves' trade for Nate McLouth and the news that Tommy Hanson finally will be promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Saturday's game against the Brewers was this single line of text on the major league transaction wire: "Atlanta Braves released LHP Tom Glavine."
The move came as a surprise to Glavine. Only Tuesday, he had pitched six scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class A Rome. Glavine thought he was ready to return to the rotation. Instead, the Braves made way for the future. "Our view over the course of the last month was that he has not improved," general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Glavine didn't want to retire, so the team granted him his release. While left-handed pitchers never seem to be unable to find work, it's hard to imagine too many teams rushing out to throw money at a 43-year-old pitcher coming off shoulder and elbow surgery. So let's take a moment to recognize the great career of Tom Glavine: 22 seasons, 305 wins (fourth-most by a southpaw in baseball history), a 3.54 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. From 1990 to 2006, Glavine posted 100 or more strikeouts in 16 of those 17 seasons.
Sure, Hanson might be great. We can only hope he lives up to half the hype. And Saturday, we'll be watching. But, we might never see a fantasy pitcher with as much consistency and longevity as Glavine pass this way again. So for today, forgive us if we're a little down in the dumps.
• In addition to the Giants and Nationals, the Mets and Pirates were rained out Wednesday. The game will be rescheduled for later in the season. Wednesday's scheduled starters (Ross Ohlendorf and Mike Pelfrey) will go Thursday, pushing the Mets' Tim Redding back to Friday against his former team, the Nationals.
• Don't be fooled by the 10-5 final score. Josh Beckett was outstanding for the Red Sox, losing a no-hitter when Curtis Granderson singled with two outs in the seventh. All five Tigers runs in the eighth inning (including three charged to Beckett) were unearned. J.D. Drew hit his 200th career home run in the first inning for the Red Sox.
• Chad Billingsley outdueled Jon Garland and became just the fourth National League pitcher to win his seventh game of the season in a 1-0 nail-biter against the Diamondbacks. Billingsley struck out nine Arizona batters in six innings before that dreaded high pitch count (111) caused him to get the hook.
• What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-Happ-enning! Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ now is 4-0 after seven shutout innings of four-hit ball against the San Diego Padres. Ryan Howard's 16th home run was all the support Happ needed in the longest outing of his career.
• Ichiro Suzuki got a single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 27 games, but the real offensive star for Seattle was Adrian Beltre, who was 3-for-5 with a two-run home run and drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off single in the ninth. Beltre's average still is only .244, but considering it was .200 on May 20, he's headed in the right direction.
• Luke Scott didn't hit a home run Tuesday, but that's because he didn't play. He did get the start Wednesday and promptly deposited his 12th home run of the season into the seats. It was his seventh home run in his past eight games.
• Yes, Josh Outman beat the White Sox on Wednesday to improve to 3-0. Yes, his ERA is 3.02. However, we can't help but be a little concerned with the 12 fly balls in 6 2/3 innings. Outman got burned only by a Jermaine Dye first-inning blast this time around, but if the wind is blowing the wrong way, Outman could see a lot of balls going out of the park.
• Is Cliff Lee really much worse than he was last season, when he won the Cy Young Award? We don't think so. He held the Twins to only one run and seven hits (all singles) in eight innings to improve to 3-6 on the season. However, Lee legitimately could be 8-2, if his run support wasn't a dismal 2.7 runs per game entering Wednesday's action. But with all the Indians' injury woes, it's hard to know where the offense will come from going forward. Maybe Jhonny Peralta, who went 3-for-5 with his second home run of the season, will start to step up more frequently with Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore among the many bats out of action.
• CC Sabathia's scheduled start is being pushed back a day to Friday with the news that the Yankees are moving Phil Hughes to the bullpen and reinserting Chien-Ming Wang into the rotation. Wang will take the mound Thursday against the Josh Hamilton-less Rangers.
• Kyle Lohse still isn't feeling right. The Cardinals pitcher, who has been bothered since getting hit by a pitch two weeks ago, lasted only nine batters and 38 pitches Wednesday before aggravating the discomfort in his right forearm by diving for a ground ball. The right-hander told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he hoped to have an MRI taken late Wednesday night to determine the severity of the injury, but his frustration was apparent. "It would be one thing if it was an arm problem from actually throwing. But to get hit and have this kind of stuff happen afterward, that is what's really irritating," he said.
Brandon Phillips, Reds
To be fair, we considered giving this honor to Laynce Nix, who homered twice for Cincinnati on Wednesday, but Phillips not only went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and a home run of his own, but also stole his first two bases since April 28. That's the ingredient in Phillips' game that has been sorely missing, and hopefully it won't be another month before we see it again.
Jeff Niemann, Rays
"I've always felt that I can do that, and to come out here and do it, it was awesome," Niemann told the Tampa Tribune. The "that" he referred to was a two-hit shutout against the Royals that required only 100 pitches. It was the first time a rookie pitcher had thrown a complete game shutout against Kansas City since Melido Perez way back in 1988.
That's the combined batting average Atlanta Braves center fielders had posted so far in 2009 before play Wednesday. That's why the trade they made for Nate McLouth shouldn't have been so surprising. To read Nate Ravitz's excellent fantasy spin on all the details of the McLouth deal and the Pirates' call-up of Andrew McCutchen, click here.
• Indians infielder Asdrubal Cabrera went on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left shoulder. While the team called up Josh Barfield to take Cabrera's spot on the roster, expect Jamey Carroll and Luis Valbuena to get the increase in playing time in his absence. Outfielder Ben Francisco appears to be getting the first crack at hitting leadoff.
• Scott Hairston was leading the Padres with a .327 batting average but injured himself Tuesday while swinging the bat. "After each swing, I could feel it getting worse," Hairston told the team's Web site. San Diego placed Hairston on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained biceps and recalled Will Venable from Triple-A Portland.
• J.C. Romero returned to the Phillies on Wednesday night, finally eligible to be activated by the team after serving a 50-game suspension for a violation of the league's banned substance policy. He pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of J.A. Happ, throwing 14 of 25 pitches for strikes and allowing an unearned run. If you need holds in your league, Romero might be of value to you.
• That fickle finger of fate has sent another Mets shortstop, Ramon Martinez, to the disabled list with a dislocated pinkie. That means Alex Cora and Wilson Valdez will have to hold down the fort at short until Jose Reyes is ready to resume play. Emil Brown, just acquired in a trade last week, was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo.
Click here for all of the latest MLB transactions.
Tristan H. Cockcroft: Good pickup in AL-only and deep mixed. I was asked about Joyce by a colleague recently and said he deserves a shot at regular at-bats, or at the very least every single game against a right-handed starter. I also placed his basement expectation around what you've been getting from a Luke Scott or Jason Kubel the past year and two months. They're very much similar talents, at the least.
-- Full chat transcript
Eric Karabell: No, no, no. Porcello is still an emerging stud, despite some poor location in the Red Sox outing last night. And Hanson should be good, but still hasn't shown it. I'd rank these guys Porcello, Hanson and then Wells. What Wells is doing is very nice, but I need to see more.
-- Full chat transcript
Wednesday's fantasy chat schedule:
AJ Mass, 11 a.m. ET
Jason Grey, 3 p.m. ET
• Diamondbacks pitching prospect Cody Evans took a perfect game into the seventh for the Double-A Mobile BayBears on Wednesday before allowing a hit to the leadoff hitter in the inning. Evans, who earlier had helped himself at the plate with a two-run single, left the game after the seventh with a shutout still intact.
• With both Chris Iannetta and Yorvit Torrealba unavailable for some time, Paul Phillips is going to get a lot of action behind the plate for the Rockies, making him a pickup to consider in NL-only leagues.
• For more on Thursday's games, check out Daily Notes.