Game 5 between the Rangers and Rays is underway.
The Rangers just scratched across a run in the top of the first inning against David Price. Elvis Andrus led off with a single and stole second base on a strikeout to Michael Young. Then, in a brilliant display of baserunning, Andrus scored all the way from second base on a groundout by Josh Hamilton.
Carlos Pena fielded the grounder and flipped it to Price for the out at first base, but the left-hander had his back turned to home plate. Andrus kept an eye on how the play developed and never stopped running, giving the Rangers the early 1-0 advantage.
Jason Bartlett led off with a single of his own in the bottom of the first, but Cliff Lee was able to escape from the inning unscathed.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.