Apr 27, 2022
LEADING OFF: Mets rest after melee, Whitlock starts again
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A look at what’s happening around baseball Thursday:
Boiling mad after a spate of plunkings this season, the New York Mets have a day off to recover.
The Mets have been drilled 19 times in 20 games this season, leading the league by a wide margin. Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt says bad baseballs are to blame.The actual problem is probably multifaceted, ranging from cold weather to bad luck. MLB-wide hit-by-pitch rates were actually down slightly heading into Wednesday’s games.
Their frustration spilled over Wednesday in St. Louis after third baseman J.D. Davis was hit by a pitch on the ankle and had to leave the game. An inning later, Mets pitcher Yoan López threw high and tight to Cardinals star Nolan Arenado, who reacted angrily, sparking a benches-clearing brawl.
Mets manager Buck Showalter denied after the game that New York felt the need to send a message about the hit-by-pitches and said López’s pitch wasn’t intentional. López could still be punished by MLB.
Showalter also said X-rays on Davis’ ankle were negative, but he’ll need further evaluation.
Red Sox right-hander Garrett Whitlock tries to build on the success of his first major league start with an outing at Toronto.
A standout rookie reliever in 2021, Whitlock has stretched out to try his hand at starting this season and struck out seven over four shutout innings against Tampa Bay last week in his first turn in the rotation.
That earned him another look for Boston, which has manager Alex Cora back with the team after he missed six games because of COVID-19.
The Mariners are hoping for good news on left-hander Marco Gonzales, who was hit on his left wrist by a 109 mph line drive in the first inning at Tampa Bay on Wednesday. The team said X-rays were pending.
The 30-year-old Gonzales entered the day 1-1 with a 3.29 ERA through three starts this season.
FROM NASSAU TO THE NL
A pair of childhood friends, Lucius Fox and Jazz Chisholm Jr., became the first pair of Bahamas-born players to appear in the same MLB game since 1961 on Wednesday.
Chisholm, a second baseman, led off for the Marlins against the Nationals, who started Fox at shortstop. Both players are 24 years old and from Nassau, Bahamas. The country has a population of about 400,000 and nine Bahamian-born players have played in the majors.
According to the Nationals, who cited the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pair of Bahamians to play in the same game were Andre Rodgers and Tony Curry, who faced each other six times during the 1960 and 1961 seasons.
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Armstead, Jackson miss another Dolphins practice, but 49ers have injury concerns of their own
Despite Miami Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel’s encouraging Wednesday update on left tackle Terron Armstead, it’s looking less likely for him to play Sunday at the San Francisco 49ers.
Neither Armstead nor right tackle Austin Jackson participated in Thursday’s practice, marking a second consecutive day of work missed for each.
As daunting of a task as it may seem if the Miami offensive line has to go up against the NFL’s No. 1 run defense, top defense overall and defensive end Nick Bosa and his 11½ sacks, the Dolphins’ opponent is facing a slew of injury concerns, as well.
49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (quadriceps) missed Thursday drills in California after limited participation on Wednesday.
Running back Christian McCaffrey, however, returned to practice Thursday after he was held out of Wednesday’s session with knee irritation. His availability will be vital for San Francisco as they already now have fellow running back Elijah Mitchell set to miss six to eight weeks with a sprained MCL.
Also missing Thursday drills for Miami was running back Myles Gaskin, with shoulder and ankle ailments, per the team’s injury report.
Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (hip) and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (knee) were upgraded from limited participants to full on Thursday. Running back Raheem Mostert (knee) remained limited Friday.No Miller at Buffalo
Bills edge defender Von Miller ended up on injured reserve, the Bills announced Thursday ahead of their night game against the New England Patriots.
That puts the star pass rusher out for four weeks, meaning he will miss Buffalo’s Week 15 game against the Dolphins in Orchard Park.
Miller previously targeted a Dec. 11 return against the New York Jets before Thursday’s placement on IR for the knee injury sustained in the Bills’ Thanksgiving win over the Detroit Lions last week.Sanders on Sunday
McDaniel and Dolphins special teams coordinator Danny Crossman expressed confidence in kicker Jason Sanders after he missed short kicks against the Bears and Browns. It worked out coming back from the bye against the Texans as Sanders made all three of his field goals and extra-point attempts.
“It was big that he did it on Sunday,” Crossman said Thursday. “The reason that Mike and myself and the rest of the organization feel good about it is we see every kick he has on Wednesday and we see every kick he has on Friday.
“To be able to see what he’s been doing during the week to come up and come to fruition on Sunday, it was good to see.”
Crossman said there wasn’t necessarily anything in his mechanics he had to fix after missing the 29-yard attempt at Chicago or the two extra points at home against Cleveland, nor did it have to do with confidence.
“He knows his talent, he knows what he’s been doing and he trusts in it, and he believes in it, so a lot of that stuff doesn’t bother him, at least outwardly” Crossman said. “But I’m sure — make no mistake about it — anytime you are successful, success breeds confidence, and it’s always better to be confident.”Bridgewater not concerned
Dolphins backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater expressed little concern about his knee injury that has kept him inactive the past two games.
“I ain’t worried about nothing,” said Bridgewater, who was limited at Thursday’s practice. “I’m all good.”
He wouldn’t say, however, if he feels confident he will be able to be Tua Tagovailoa’s backup for Sunday’s game but did say doesn’t require surgery.
Without Bridgewater, Skylar Thompson entered late in blowouts against the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans.
“It’s always good when you can get those physical reps,” Bridgewater said of the rookie’s opportunities.Mahomes tops Tua
Despite Tagovailoa stringing together the best run of his career, it was not enough to earn AFC Player of the Month for November, which was won by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the NFL announced Thursday.
Mahomes led the NFL in completions (116), passing yards (1,426) and touchdown passes (nine) in helping Kansas City go 4-0 from Weeks 9-12.
What may have hurt Tagovailoa was the Dolphins’ bye week coming in November. He had one fewer game to collect stats, and the third-year quarterback was pulled early from wins over the Browns and Texans with a win secured.
The first in Tagovailoa’s run of three straight games with three touchdowns and no interceptions, at the Detroit Lions, also came on Oct. 30. In November, Tagovailoa had 886 passing yards, seven touchdowns with no interceptions over three games. Mahomes had three interceptions in November but also added 161 rushing yards and another score on the ground.