The Tuesday Takeaway
The very first plate appearance of Tuesday night’s World Series rematch didn’t bode well for the Mets. Whit Merrifield led off with a comebacker to the mound that struck Bartolo Colon’s thumb, and after just four pitches, New York’s starter was out for the night.
Noah Syndergaard was the next scheduled starter in the Mets’ rotation, but there was apparently no serious consideration of anything but the bullpen to make it through the next 8 â…” innings. First up was Hansel Robles, whose recent performance had been less than inspiring, with four home runs in his last nine appearances. But in the longest relief outing of his career—65 pitches in 3 â…” innings—Robles struck out six while giving up one run on five hits.
Things got a bit uncomfortable for New York in the fifth, after Robles gave up his lone run and found himself with two on and none out. Kendrys Morales came in to pinch-hit and sent a flyball deep to right field… where it was safely caught by Curtis Granderson, just short of being a three-run home run that could have proved disastrous. Robles made it through the rest of the inning unscathed, and his fellow bullpenmates took it from there.
The Mets offense didn’t offer too much, just solo shots from Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes, but those two runs were all they needed. The rest of the bullpen shut Kansas City out after Robles was pulled, with Erik Goeddel, Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia each contributing a scoreless inning.
The Mets walked away with the win to snap their three-game losing streak, with the bonus good news of Colon’s X-rays coming back negative, though whether or not he’ll be available for his next start is unclear.
All things considered, the first three innings of Wilfredo Boscan’s first major-league start were pretty good—scoreless, just one baserunner, enough to make you wonder how Boscan managed to stay stuck in the minors and under everyone’s radar for nine years. In the fourth inning, though, he offered a helpful reminder on that point.
A single, a double, a walk. With the bases loaded, Brandon Crawford fought through an 11-pitch plate appearance to walk in the first run of the inning.
Still no outs, bases loaded, things only got uglier…
…and clearing the bases didn’t seem to do anything to clear Boscan’s head, as next up was a Gregor Blanco double followed by a two-run Connor Gillaspie shot. Boscan was finally put out of his misery and pulled without making a single out in the fourth, with a total line for the inning of five hits (two of which were homers) and two walks for seven runs.
Meanwhile, the Pirates’ bats couldn’t do much of anything with Johnny Cueto, who held them to one run on four hits. And Pittsburgh’s bullpen only let the Giants run up the score even more, putting it at 15-1 after the eighth. Those still watching in the ninth were rewarded by the second career pitching appearance of backup catcher Erik Kratz, which featured a strikeout of Brandon Belt—along with two more San Francisco hits, bringing the Giants’ total to a major-league season-high of 22 in the victory.
Blake Snell had the longest outing of his short career, pitching into the seventh in his third major-league start. But his three runs on seven hits were no match for Corey Kluber, who pitched a gem of a complete game shutout, with nine Ks and just three hits.
Breaking open the game for the Indians was a third inning RBI single from Jason Kipnis with a Desmond Jennings error that allowed Kipnis to make it all the way around and score himself. At least, that’s how it was scored—though Kipnis himself would disagree. It’s difficult to tell, but it looks as if the ball only just glances off the tip of Jennings’ glove. Either way, it had the speed and excitement of an inside-the-park shot, if not the official designation, and opened up a 6-0 Cleveland victory.
Clay Buchholz returned to the rotation after a few weeks in the bullpen, and with the very first pitch of the game, he made that promotion seem a poor choice.
For a moment, it looked like the Red Sox would be in for a long night of the mishaps that have grown frustratingly familiar for Buchholz this year—the Anderson home run (which was the first of his career) was followed by an Adam Eaton double, later knocked in for a run. But the damage in the first was held to just those two runs, and Buchholz straightened out from there, giving up just two more hits and walking one before being pulled after the fifth (though one of those hits was a Todd Frazier solo shot). Boston’s bullpen held the White Sox scoreless from there, but with Chris Sale on the mound for Chicago, the Red Sox didn’t have much margin for error and Buchholz’s early weakness was enough to make sure they took the loss. Sale struck out nine over seven to earn his 12th win, giving up just one run to give the White Sox the 3-1 victory.
The Astros clawed their way back to .500 for the first time since April in dramatic fashion. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Houston made it an unpleasant night for Huston Street, who didn’t manage a single out in the inning. After walking George Springer and Carlos Gonzalez, he loaded the bases by giving up a single to Jose Altuve—and Carlos Correa took full advantage of his chance to play the hero, singling to deep right field to give the Astros the walkoff win.
Defensive Play of the Day
Down 3-0 in the fourth inning, Kevin Pillar was not interested in giving the Diamondbacks anything more to work with, preventing extra bases for Peter O’Brien with this wall-crashing catch. Ultimately, though, Toronto fell to Arizona 4-2.
What to Watch on Wednesday
The Cubs have yet to be swept in a series this year, but the Cardinals are in a position to make it happen Wednesday. St. Louis is still 10 1/2 games back of the NL Central leaders after taking two in a row, but they’ll now have to go through Jake Arrieta if they want to close the gap any more (2:20 EST).
We’ll have a bit more time with the Julio Urias show, with Wednesday night reported as the first of two more big-league starts (for now) for the young Dodgers phenom. Los Angeles wraps up their series with the Nationals at 10:10 EST, with Joe Ross starting for Washington.