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BloggersErik Boland Marc Carig Cody Derespina Nick Klopsis Mark La Monica David Lennon Casey Musarra Anthony Rieber
Magic numbers: 54, 8.2, 7, 5, 2
54: Major-league starts for Stephen Strasburg, who Thursday reached the personal milestone of pitching eight innings for the first time in his overly protected career. Strasburg has made it through seven innings 10 times, including three this season. Slowly but surely, the training wheels seem to be coming off in D.C.
8.2: Percent increase in value of signing bonuses for next month’s MLB draft. That means the top pick, held again by the Astros, now will be worth $7,790,400. A year ago, Houston gave the No. 1 choice, shortstop Carlos Correa, a bonus of $4.8 million. Bud Norris, the highest-paid Astro, is earning $3 million this season. (See all team salaries at newsday.com/mlbsalary.)
7: Combined wins of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. Desperate for rotation help after Halladay’s shoulder surgery, the Phillies signed Carlos Zambrano to a minor-league contract. Zambrano has 132 career wins but is best known for his explosive temper, which should make him a fan favorite in Philly.
5: Strikeouts in eight at-bats for Jason Bay, now with the Mariners, in his first trip back to New York since a mutually agreed-upon split with the Mets last November. Bay admitted that his failure in Flushing was his fault. “I wish I’d done better,’’ he said.
2: Bases-loaded walks in one inning Thursday for Justin Verlander, and the 2 1/3-inning stint was his shortest outing since he lasted only two against the Mets in 2010. Verlander now has three bases-loaded walks in his last two starts after having only two in the first 239 starts of his career.