It was painful to watch. And it was downright inspirational to see him do his best to make it to first base. But as he was crumbling towards the bag, I couldn’t help but feel for the guy. As soon as the trainers came out it seemed clear that Mark Teixeira’s game was over. As soon as he needed help to get back to the dugout it seemed like his season was over. And now we know for a fact that it is: Teixeira had an MRI last night and was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain that will keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.
It’s a shame to see his season end like that. Especially given how poorly he hit in the ALCS. Teixeira is so supremely talented a hitter than you just knew he was going to break out of his funk eventually. Maybe with him the daunting task facing the Yankees — coming back from a 3-1 deficit — wouldn’t seem quite as daunting. Even if he didn’t hit a lick the rest of the way, how valuable is that glove at first base?
I don’t believe in signs and portents, but when Teixeira got hurt last night, the air seemed to come out of the Yankees. And it definitely came out of the crowd. Even on TV I could hear an audible, collective gasp as he stayed on the ground following the play. I can only imagine how it felt to be there, watching it. It was probably the most depressing part of a supremely depressing night for Yankees fans.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.