The baseball season is a 162-game grind, and this late in the year, players throughout the league are dealing with injuries. Three teams in particular stand out because of who is hurt.
First, the American League-leading Boston Red Sox were forced to put ace Chris Sale on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to August 15th, with inflammation in his left shoulder. Sale has been his normal dominant self this season, posting a 12-4 record with a 1.97 ERA and 219 strikeouts in 146 innings pitched, which is why a shoulder flare-up this late in the season is a bit concerning. This DL stint marks the second time in a month that Sale has been on the injured list with a shoulder problem.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, the Indians are missing a Cy Young contender of their own after Trevor Bauer was placed on the DL due to a stress fracture in his right fibula. Like Sale, Bauer has been impressive this season, with a 12-6 record, 2.22 ERA and 214 Ks across 166 innings of work. The good news, for both the Sox and Indians, is that both starters have a somewhat clear timetable for return, and the teams both have big leads in their divisions.
The Chicago Cubs, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of a big division lead, with the Brewers trailing them in the standings by just three games. The Cubs are missing starter Yu Darvish, who has been on the disabled list due to right triceps tendinitis and a right elbow impingement since May 23. Darvish had a rehab start over the weekend, but he lasted just one inning and threw 19 pitches before asking to be removed. That doesn’t seem to bode well for Darvish’s ability to contribute to the team this season, and the Cubs could use him in the rotation.
While those three teams are dealing with some injury woes, the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff has been on fire over the past two and a half games, running their scoreless-innings streak to 23 with last night’s shutout of the Royals. Tampa Bay has been experimenting with an “opener” all season, and it worked to perfection again last night, when reliever Hunter Wood pitched a scoreless inning and two-thirds to start things off, before starter Ryan Yarbrough entered the game and threw 5.1 innings of two-hit ball.
The Rays haven’t allowed a run since the third inning of their game against the Red Sox on Saturday. They get a chance to extend their streak tonight when Blake Snell gets the start.
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