Brian McCann just got the Braves on the board first against the Giants, delivering a sacrifice fly for an early 1-0 lead as we head to the top of the fourth inning. The run was set up by back-to-back singles by Omar Infante and Matt Diaz to begin the inning.
Madison Bumgarner has thrown 50 pitches over the first three innings, allowing four hits and walking one, so he might not be long for this game. Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti visited him during the bottom of the third inning while right-hander Guillermo Mota was up in the bullpen.
While Bumgarner has labored in his first career playoff start, Derek Lowe has been perfect through the first three innings. The veteran right-hander has thrown 26 out of his first 41 pitches for strikes, fanning four.
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.
Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 14 and now we know why. He injured his right elbow and both hips falling in the shower three weeks ago, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He has had anti-inflammatory shots applied in both areas and he’ll be be shut down from pitching for a few more days.
Iglesias might not be ready for Opening Day, according to manager Bryan Price. Iglesias, however, thinks otherwise. He said, “I’m going to be OK. I’m probably going to throw one bullpen, and after that, mentally and physically, I’ll be ready to join the season and compete.”
Price said throughout the offseason that he intended to pick his closer according to the matchups rather than naming one official closer. As a result, this injury likely doesn’t change much except that Michael Lorenzen, Drew Storen, and Tony Cingrani may get a few more early season save chances if Iglesias doesn’t start the season on time.
Iglesias, 27, finished last season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings across five starts and 32 relief appearances.