News and notes from Citi Field
Here is a Dan Uggla-free smorgasbord of thoughts to digest before, during and after tonight’s series opener against the Mets at Citi Field:
Jair Jurrjens admits it will feel a little odd when he is warming up before Saturday night’s start against the Mets. This will mark the first time he has entered the visitor’s bullpen at Citi Field since Sept. 17, when he began feeling knee discomfort during a side session. He later learned he had a torn meniscus and was unable to to pitch in the playoffs last year.
Jurrjens has said the inability to participate in the postseason served as great motivation as he prepared for this season. So far, his efforts have made him a strong All-Star candidate and one of the very early favorites for a Cy Young Award.
When Jurrjens faces the Mets Saturday, he’ll be attempting to join Ubaldo Jimenez as the only pitchers in Major League history to allow two earned runs or fewer and last at least six innings in their first 10 starts of the season. Jimenez set the record when he did so in his first 12 starts last year.
Jurrjens, Randy Johnson (2000) and Lefty Gomez (1937) are the only pitchers to do this in their first nine starts of a season.
Catcher protection: With Giants general manager Brian Sabean taking time during his radio show to blast Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins, there is still plenty of debate about what MLB should do in the wake of Giants catcher Buster Posey breaking his leg courtesy of his collision with Cousins last week.
A’s general manager Billy Beane told his catcher Kurt Suzuki that he does not want him blocking the plate when there is a chance for a big collision. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he would never ask his Brian McCann to do this.
“You can’t worry that kind of stuff,” Gonzalez said. “People have gotten hurt coming down steps. You can’t worry about that kind of stuff. I don’t think you can tell an athlete or competitor, don’t do that because I don’t want you to hurt yourself.
“I want (McCann) to give us an opportunity to win a game. If that’s by blocking the plate, then I want him to block the plate. I think athletes understand that. I don’t think you can tell athletes to go 50 percent. He’s got to look at the other 24 guys in that locker room.”
Odds and ends: Center fielder Jordan Schafer said he was still feeling a little sore after running into the wall while ending Wednesday night’s win over the Padres. With the catch giving him his 16th save, Craig Kimbrel said he owes Schafer dinner…Trying to take advantage of Monday’s offday, Gonzalez plans to rest Chipper Jones Sunday night and McCann Tuesday. This would give both a chance to have two consecutive days of rest.