Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie claimed his third consecutive victory on Thursday against one of his former teams (Baltimore). Guthrie scattered seven hits and three walks over six innings pitched, allowing a single earned run (two total) to reduce his season ERA to 2.28. He possesses a pedestrian strikeout rate (5.7 per nine innings pitched), but Guthrie’s made big pitches to keep the upstart Royals rolling. Remember, Guthrie found the mark in 14 starts upon joining the Royals in 2012 when he pitched to a strong 3.16 ERA.
Kyuji Fujikawa of the Cubs threw two scoreless during a Double-A rehabilitation appearance on Wednesday. As a result, he’s rejoining the Cubs as the setup man for the rejuvenated Kevin Gregg this weekend against the Nationals.
Arizona starter Patrick Corbin ran his record to 5-0 with another strong showing against the Phillies. Corbin allowed a single earned run in his 6 1/3 innings pitched, surrendering four hits and two walks against four strikeouts. Corbin has struck out three batters per walk issued this season and has two or fewer runs in each of his seven starts. He owns a 1.75 ERA this season.
Heath Bell earned his fourth save of the season. His hold on the closer role will be short-lived, however, as tests revealed that J.J. Putz’s injury did not require surgery.
Brian McCann quietly returned to the Atlanta lineup earlier this week, thereby shifting early-season hero Evan Gattis to the outfield. McCann went 1-for-8 in his first two starts, but did generate two RBI. He brought out the big stick on Thursday with a three-run home run as part of a 3-for-5 effort against the Giants.
Craig Kimbrel earned the 100th save of his career on Thursday against the Giants. He pitched a scoreless inning, allowing one hit with zero walks or strikeouts.
Jason Heyward of the Braves began his minor league reassignment on Thursday. Heyward went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts at Triple-A Gwinnett in his debut. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that, barring a setback, Heyward could be back with the Braves next week.
In case you missed it earlier this week, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports posted a fantastic column about the connection between Mariano Rivera and Metallica. It’s not quite “The Rainbow Connection,” but check out the history of Enter Sandman in Yankee lore, even if the members of the group cheer for the Giants.
Former first-round draft pick Scott Kazmir has resurrected his career in Cleveland. Kazmir pitched six brilliant innings against the A’s on Thursday, surrendering a single earned run on five hits with 10 strikeouts in six innings. Kazmir’s won back-to-back starts for the first time since June of 2010. He was roughed up in his first start of the season by the Astros. Kazmir’s generated a fantastic 2.65 ERA with 21 strikeouts against three walks in his past three starts.
Zack Greinke is on the comeback trail for the Dodgers following the infamous Carlos Quentin incident. Greinke is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment at Class-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday night, per The Los Angeles Times. Writer Dylan Hernandez theorizes that Greinke could be activated in time to pitch against the Nationals next Wednesday.
I took a minute to ponder non-sports for a bit on Thursday. I thought I might share it with you.
Staying in Los Angeles (kind of) for a moment, I turn my attention to Angels ace Jered Weaver. Weaver threw a bullpen session for the first time since breaking his left elbow in early April. Mike Scioscia advised reporters that Weaver is expected to throw four additional bullpen sessions before heading to the minors for a spell. The struggling Angels could use a jumpstart.
Boston reliever Joel Hanrahan was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on Thursday. Per The Boston Globe, Hanrahan will visit Dr. James Andrews on Friday. I had hoped to avoid using his name for a while.
I referenced Mariano Rivera earlier in the piece. Rivera has converted each of his 13 save opportunities this season.