LEADING OFF: Unbeaten Musgrove starts for Padres at Wrigley
A look at what’s happening around the majors on Thursday:
NO ORDINARY JOE
Padres right-hander Joe Musgrove takes a 47-47 career record over seven seasons into this start at Wrigley Field. But he’s been one of the best pitchers in the majors this year, going 7-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 11 starts.
The 29-year-old Musgrove has allowed just one earned run in 27 innings over his last four starts.
Rookie Matt Swarmer starts for the Cubs. In his last outing, he was hammered for six home runs in five innings at Yankee Stadium.
Angels star Shohei Ohtani is on the mound to begin a five-game series at Seattle.
Ohtani (4-4, 3.64 ERA) is coming off seven impressive innings in a win over Boston. He’s struck out 71 in 54 1/3 innings.
The reigning AL MVP has been doing better at the plate in the last 10 days, raising his batting average from .240 to .260.
Phillies closer Corey Knebel won’t be in that role in the near future.
After another shaky outing in Tuesday night’s 11-9 loss to the Marlins, interim manager Rob Thomson said Knebel will take a step back to focus on his mechanics.
Knebel signed a one-year, $10 million contract in the offseason to help solidify Philadelphia’s leaky bullpen. But he’s blown four saves and posted a 4.91 ERA since May 5, walking 13 in 14 2/3 innings in that stretch.
“For the near future, we’ll put him in a position where he can breathe a little because he’s not throwing the ball where he wants,” Thomson said. “And he knows that.”
Said Knebel: “The decision has been made. I’m going to go do my job.”
Thomson indicated that the Phillies will use a closer-by-committee approach for the time being, with Seranthony Dominiguez as the likely recipient of most save opportunities.
Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader has been put on the paternity list and is expected to miss three days.
The roster move on Wednesday came while Hader was tied with San Diego’s Taylor Rogers for the major league lead with 19 saves. The left-hander is 0-1 with a 0.92 ERA in 21 appearances this season.
The Brewers replaced Hader by activating newly acquired Chi Chi Gonzalez and adding him to their bullpen.
Rangers lefty Martín Pérez looks to improve on his previous performance when he pitches at Detroit.
Pérez led the AL with a 1.56 ERA when he started last weekend against the White Sox. He was tagged for season highs of seven runs and 12 hits in 5 innings.
Pérez (4-2, 2.18 ERA) faces a Tigers team that has outscored 33-6 during a four-game losing streak. Detroit lost 13-0 to the White Sox on Wednesday and held a players-only meeting after the rout.
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