Posted Date: April 14, 2014

Explaining the Brewers’ hot start, and why it’s not as big a surprise as you think

Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun, Brewers

Ryan Braun is hitting .295 with three home runs in the early going after missing the last 65 games of the 2013 season because of a PED suspension. (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)

The Brewers won just 74 games last year and finished fourth in the five-team National League Central, but two weeks into this season they are off to the best start in the game. They enter the new week at 10-2 and carrying a nine-game winning streak that began with three straight victories against the defending world champion Red Sox in Boston and includes a three-game sweep this past weekend of their division rivals from Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee is already three games up in the NL Central and a game and a half ahead of the next best team in the majors, the 9-4 Dodgers. With six of their wins coming against 2013 playoff teams, one can’t write off the Brewers’ early success as the product of an easy schedule, which means the question must be asked: Are the 2014 Milwaukee Brewers for real?

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Posted Date: April 14, 2014

Injuries shelve Dustin Pedroia, Derek Jeter for Yankees-Red Sox finale

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia
Derek Jeter hopes his final campaign with the Yankees will end in a championship. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Derek Jeter may be on a farewell tour for the Yankees, but New York won’t push his body. (Charlie Neibergall/AP)

Sunday night’s series finale between the Red Sox and Yankees will have two big names watching from the bench. A sore right quadriceps muscle has Derek Jeter out of the lineup for a second straight game, and a sore left wrist caused Dustin Pedroia to be scratched a couple of hours before game time.

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Posted Date: April 14, 2014

Ubaldo Jimenez roughed up again as Blue Jays trounce Orioles

Baltimore Orioles, Ubaldo Jimenez
Ubaldo Jimenez's bad beginning in Baltimore continued with a bad outing vs. Toronto. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Ubaldo Jimenez’s bad start in Baltimore continued with a terrible outing vs. Toronto. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

When the Baltimore Orioles gave Ubaldo Jimenez a four-year, $48 million deal this offseason, the hope was that Jimenez could be the consistent veteran the team needed to help prop up a young rotation, and maybe even be a top starter to provide a solid 1-2 punch with Chris Tillman. Through three starts in 2014, however, Jimenez has been anything but ace-caliber. His latest outing—five earned runs on 10 hits in just 5 1/3 innings—lifted Jimenez’s ERA to an unsightly 7.31 as Baltimore was walloped by Toronto, 11-3.

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Posted Date: April 13, 2014

Rays’ Alex Cobb lands on disabled list with strained oblique muscle

Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays continue to lose starters, as Alex Cobb is now headed to the disabled list. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Rays continue to lose starters, as Alex Cobb is now headed to the disabled list. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Tampa Bay’s rotation took another blow this week, as the team announced Sunday morning that Alex Cobb was headed to the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle. Cobb, who threw seven scoreless innings against Cincinnati on Saturday night, experienced discomfort in his side during the start, and was scheduled for an MRI on Sunday to determine how long he would be out.

“We sent him back for an MRI hoping that it’s going to be a minimum stay on the DL,” Rays manager Joe Maddon told MLB.com. “We thought by doing it this way and not prolonging it, we have a better chance of getting him back on the 15th or 16th day after the start.”

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Posted Date: April 13, 2014

Five Cuts: Nats lose Ryan Zimmerman, replay gaffe in Yankees-Red Sox

Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, instant replay, Jose Veras, Milwaukee Brewers, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals
Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman left Saturday’s game against Atlanta with a thumb injury (David Goldman/AP)

Ryan Zimmerman breaks thumb, out 4-6 weeks

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke his right thumb diving back into second base on a successful pickoff attempt by the Braves’ Alex Wood in the fifth inning of Washington’s 6-3 loss to Atlanta Saturday night. He is expected to miss four to six weeks, during which the Nationals will likely move sophomore Anthony Rendon to third base and restore Danny Espinosa to the second base job he lost last season.

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