Stephen Strasburg looked almost human tonight, allowing two runs in six innings against the Astros to raise his ERA all the way up to 0.95 for the season. Strasburg still picked up the win in a 6-3 Nationals victory and, as a bonus, got a hilarious new nickname for his curveball, courtesy of MLB Network's Jerry Manuel.
Here are a few odds and ends from around the Majors…
- Matt Cain figures Cole Hamels' next contract (whether with the Phillies or on the free agent market) will earn the southpaw more than Cain's recent extension with the Giants, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki. "History-wise, lefties have always brought more than a righty," Cain said. "It's just the nature of the game." Cain said he was happy to sign his extension and remain in San Francisco for the long-term as free agency is "not always a beautiful thing."
- The Athletics' stadium issue and possible move to San Jose will not be on the agenda at the next owners meetings, tweets Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Earlier today, Slusser reported that the A's were pushing to have the issue subjected to a vote of other owners so they could have the issue settled once and for all.
- ESPN's Buster Olney (via Twitter) thinks the A's could explore a multiyear contract with Brandon McCarthy. The right-hander has pitched very well in his time in Oakland, posting a 3.24 ERA and a 4.59 K/BB ratio in 28 starts. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes considered McCarthy as an extension candidate in February.
- The Rockies' starting pitching woes could be solved by three southpaw prospects — Drew Pomeranz, Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek, writes Troy Renck of the Denver Post.
- Also from Renck, he notes that Troy Tulowitzki's six-year extension from the Rockies in 2010 drew criticism at the time, but now could be seen as a bargain in the wake of the mega-deals given to Albert Pujols and Joey Votto.
- The Reds are one of several preseason contenders off to a slow start, but Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News says it's far too early for fans to panic.