The second and final trade deadline came and went on Thursday, and the Detroit Tigers used the final 24 hours to make their "firesale" official. Numerous moves were headlined by the Tigers sending ace Justin Verlander to the Houston Astros for three prospects. Verlander currently sits at 10-8 with a 3.82 ERA and sent out a video on Instagram to thank Detroit for his 13 seasons there. The right-hander stated "I had 45 minutes to make the hardest decision of my life," that being to accept the trade to Houston. The former Cy Young and MVP winner received a five-year, $140 million deal in 2013, as he is owed $28 million per year through the 2019 season. He did not get an extension from Houston as part of the trade. Despite the Astros leading the AL West, they have struggled with their starting rotation, which is why Verlander is expected to take over as the ace of the staff. He will make his debut next week when the team goes back on the road. The Tigers also sent star outfielder Justin Upton to the Los Angeles Angels, as the slugger was reportedly expected to opt out at the end of the season. The 30-year-old, four-time All-Star is currently hitting .279 with 28 home runs and 94 RBI. If he does not opt out in November, Upton will be owed $88 million over the next four years. The Angels recently let Cameron Maybin go, as the speedster was picked up on waivers by the Astros. Other deals on Thursday saw the Yankees get Erik Kratz from the Indians, the Cubs acquire Leonys Martin from the Mariners, and the Phillies land veteran Juan Nicasio from the Pirates.
Diamondbacks Hand Dodgers First Sweep of Season
The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently in unfamiliar territory, and the Arizona Diamondbacks pushed them deeper into the uncharted waters on Thursday. Zack Greinke led the way with six impressive innings to earn his major league-leading 16th victory in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 8-1 win over the NL West leaders. Greinke allowed a run on four hits and struck out six to improve to 13-1 in 16 home starts this year, and hand the Dodgers their first sweep of the season and fifth straight loss overall. Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock went deep for Arizona, who has won a season-high seven straight games. Paul Goldschmidt chipped in with two doubles and Gregor Blanco had three hits, as the Dbacks handed Kenta Maeda his worst outing of the season. The Dodgers' starter lasted just three innings and surrendered seven runs on eight hits in his sixth defeat. Arizona has now won nine of 10 overall, as they scored 21 runs against baseball's best team over the three-game series. The Dodgers can turn back to their ace to snap them out of things, as Clayton Kershaw will return in San Diego on Friday night. The Diamondbacks now sit 3.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card race, as those two teams will do battle at Coors Field in Denver beginning Friday.
Ohio State Pulls Away to Avoid Upset
The Ohio State Buckeyes came out in a rare conference contest to kick off the season looking sluggish in the first half, leading to a surprising halftime deficit. Although, the Indiana Hoosiers were not enough to keep the second-ranked team down, as J.T. Barrett recorded four touchdowns, three of which were passing, in a 49-21 season-opening win for OSU. J.K. Dobbins had himself an impressive debut, setting a Buckeyes freshman record by running for 181 yards, breaking Maurice Clarett's previous mark of 175 set back in 2002. After falling behind early, Ohio State was able to roll with 28 unanswered points for their 23rd straight win over Indiana. The Hoosiers had themselves a red-hot first half behind quarterback Richard Lagow, who finished with 410 yards passing, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. OSU would pick things up after the half, and finished with 596 total yards of offense, 292 of which were on the ground, as their head coach Urban Meyer improved to 16-0 in season openers. The Buckeyes were also able to stop Indiana from producing anything, as they forced three turnovers in the second half. The Buckeyes' tough start to their schedule continues next week when they battle the Oklahoma Sooners.