Tigers closer Rodney suspended three games

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This afternoon MLB slapped Tigers closer Fernando Rodney with a three-game suspension for throwing a ball into the Tropicana Field press box after the final out of Friday’s game.
Rodney is naturally appealing the suspension, but it likely would have made sense for him to just sit out the three-game series against the Royals that begins tonight.
Detroit can probably take at least two out of three games from Kansas City without him and then Rodney would definitely be available for the three-game series against second-place Minnesota this weekend.
Brandon Lyon will likely get the nod in the ninth inning if needed, but part of the Tigers’ success stems from going with Rodney rather than Lyon at closer. Lyon has emerged a strong setup man after some rough early outings and Rodney is 32-of-33 converting saves with a 3.41 ERA in 61 innings.
Among the 28 pitchers with at least 15 saves this year only Rodney, Huston Street, and Mariano Rivera have avoided multiple blown saves.

Yankees’ offense wakes up, leads way to 8-1 win vs. Astros in ALCS Game 3

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The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.

CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.

Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.

In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.

The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.