Felix Hernandez may be the undisputed king of the Mariners rotation, but Hisashi Iwakuma is pretty good himself, and he proved it yesterday against the Braves as he went 7 strong innings for the Seattle Mariners. Mike Minor did the same, but the problem was that while the Mariners gave Iwakuma a little bit of run support, that was massive compared to the Braves production of zero run support, as they ended up losing 2-0.
Jordan Walden's return to the bullpen appears to be on the horizon, as the reliever has now been assigned to AAA Gwinnett in order to start getting some game work in as he prepares to get back on the regular roster. Walden has been on the 15-day DL due to a sore hamstring that he'd been dealing with since Spring Training.
So Tommy La Stella's first week or so in the Majors has gotten off to as good of a start as you could ask for; He's been productive at the plate (at levels considered cosmic compared to previous 2nd basemen this season), and he's also flashed the leather a little bit. He even made a spectacular defensive play during Wednesday's matinee against the Mariners. From TLS:
"It’s always easier going to the glove side, for everyone," La Stella said before Wednesday’s game. "I feel fine going to the right but for every infielder it’s easier going to that glove side when your momentum is going toward the bag. It is nice to make the plays and help the pitchers out a little bit."
Although there's no Drake or Johnny Manziel in sight, a major league sports draft is going on today, as MLB's Draft kicks off tonight. The Braves won't have a 1st round pick tonight, but they will make two picks: Pick #32 and pick #66, so if you're planning on watching the Braves make their choice live on MLB Network, you're gonna be sitting for a while.
Jonny Venters' elbow was acting up again during his last BP session, which meant that the former set-up man for the Braves had his return date pushed back even further. Now, Venters has resumed light throwing with the hopes of getting through that without incident. Here's hoping he does, because now it appears that we're beginning to see just how difficult it is to return from 2 Tommy John surgeries.
LEAGUE WIDE NEWS
Longtime baseball man Don Zimmer unfortunately passed away at the age of 83 yesterday, and nearly all of baseball immediately paid tribute to the man who had been involved with the game at a professional level for nearly 66 years. He played for 6 different teams (including a stint on Japan) and coached on 9, with his last stint coming as a coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. The ultimate proof that this was truly a "baseball man?" He was married at home plate. That's love for the game. It's highly recommended that you click the link above, as DRays Bay did an excellent job collecting all of the tributes that were paid to Zimmer in the wake of his passing.
Cleveland has now won 6 straight games and improved their record to 30-30, and did so in grand fashion as Asdrubal Cabrera hit a walk-off Grand Slam in the bottom of the 12th in order to give Cleveland a sweep over the Red Sox, who appear to have taken some of the issues they had against the Rays with them to Progressive Park.
The Athletics just keep on rolling, and even though the New York Yankees got on top by 4 early, this didn't deter Oakland from laying the smackdown on the Yanks, as another big night from Josh Donaldson and an even bigger night from Yoenis Cespedes (3-5 with 2 HRs) powered the Athletics to not only a comeback, but a comfortable 3-run victory in the Bronx. The A's are now 37-22, which is good for the best record in the AL and is only behind their Bay Area neighbor San Francisco Giants for the best record in all of baseball.