Nifty pitching was the theme of the day Friday as the Marlins' Tom Koehler, the Brewers' Wily Peralta and the Rays' David Price were all lights-out for their respective teams. With 22 innings pitched, 19 strikeouts and just two earned runs between the three of them, they all certainly pitched well enough for their teams to win.
Koehler and Peralta are building on what have been seasons somewhere between solid and spectacular, with Peralta's performance dropping his ERA to a paltry 2.04 and Koehler continuing what's been his best year as a major leaguer. Then there's Price, who has struggled a bit this season amid trade rumors and impending arbitration and is seeking to "right the ship" by stringing together a few solid starts like the eight-K performance from Friday night.
They weren't the only hurlers on point this Friday, however, as Tim Lincecum of the Giants, Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox and Ubaldo Jimenez of the Orioles managed to perk up disappointing seasons with quality starts against division rivals.
While one start doesn't make a season, being able to build on strong showings can be all a pitcher such as Price or Buchholz may need going forward. And while the Lincecum/Jimenez stories are well-tread, any signs off life from either of them are very welcome for their fans and front offices alike.
Ryu to DL
After managing to stay off the DL longer than any of the other prominent members of the Dodgers rotation this season, starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu will be placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his shoulder according to reports out of Los Angeles on Friday.
The injury, which seems to have happened during his rough start against the Rockies, doesn't appear to particularly serious, but with staff ace Clayton Kershaw coming back on Thursday, it appears as though the team felt it could afford to give Ryu some time to heal an aching shoulder. It's not the first time that the 27-year-old South Korean pitcher has been in pain this season -- he pitched through a torn toenail to open up the Dodgers season domestically just a month ago -- and his injury marks the latest in a long line for the Dodgers high-priced pitching staff.
Despite starting the season stateside without Kershaw -- as well as Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett -- the team has managed to stay in step with their long-time rivals, the San Francisco Giants, in the first leg of the race for the NL West crown.
Although there's no timetable beyond the 15 days for Ryu's return, given that manager Don Mattingly made it clear to reporters no further testing would be required, it seems likely that he'll be back in the rotation as soon as he's eligible.
Detroit signs reliever Hanrahan
After trying out for several teams earlier this season, former Pirates pitcher Joel Hanrahan found a spot on a major league roster this Friday, signing a one-year deal with the defending AL Central champion Detroit Tigers.
Hanrahan was a top-notch reliever for much of his tenure with the Pirates after being traded to Pittsburgh in 2009 -- a cumulative ERA under 3 in relief during his time there -- before last season's elbow injury as a member of the Boston Red Sox put him on the operating table for Tommy John surgery. And it's the genuine hope of the Tigers that the 32-year-old can regain his All-Star form from 2011-12. Which is something they need desperately need as their bullpen has been leaking like a sieve, allowing the second highest ERA in the majors.
With off-season acquisitions such as Joba Chamberlain offering middling success, the team had been actively looking for some way to shore up the weak link for the division-leading squad. Even with Detroit's needs, however, the signing still comes as a slight surprise given what appeared to be a great deal of hesitance from general manager Dave Dombroski to look outside the organization for help.
In fact, just Thursday Dombroksi told reporters, "You look internal, first of all," adding, "I think also you're in a spot that you look outside." So while it's unclear what made Dombroski change his mind, whatever answers the team was getting from within didn't look right to him.
Lee walks pitcher
In a story of the "dog bites man" variety of newsworthiness, former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee walked Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg on Friday. While this may not seem like news, it's only the fourth time in his entire career Lee has ever walked a pitcher.
He did so twice in 2005 -- walking Brian Lawrence of the Padres and Ramon Ortiz of the Reds -- in two interleague games as a member of the Cleveland Indians, and once as a member of the Phillies against Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves in 2011.
With 45 strikeouts against just six walks in 2014, and 6.15 strikeout-to-walk ratio since the beginning of 2008, Lee has long been one of the stingiest pitchers in baseball when it comes to free passes. He's lead the league in the stat three separate times.
So, while his walking a pitcher is newsworthy, quite frankly, Lee walking anyone is always a surprise.