After the way the postseason has gone, everyone is watching the umpires closely, so it’s probably worth noting that they blew two calls last night.
First base ump Brian Gorman was wrong when
he called Chase Utley out at first on the double play that ended the top of
the eighth. It wasn’t Don Denkinger bad, but Utley was very clearly safe. Not sure why neither Utley nor first base coach Davey Lopes argued the call, but maybe they’re just wise old zen masters who realize that nothing would have come of it. Charlie Manuel wasn’t too pointed about it, but he did say the call was wrong after the game. So too did Gorman: “On the replay it looked like there was a little bit of ball outside
[Teixeira’s] glove. It’s what we call a whacker.”
The other one, which Matthew noted in his recap, was when the ump ruled that Ryan Howard caught Johnny Damon’s liner and then doubled up Posada in the seventh. it looked like a short hop on the replay. The umps did not admit that that one was wrong after the game.
Like I said, neither of these were egregious, but after what we’ve witnessed in the past month, we’re pretty much obligated to point this stuff out.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.