After Friday’s benches-clearing incident in the game between the Indians and Yankees, umpire Dan Iassogna wasn’t going to tolerate any hijinks Saturday. Iassogna tossed Cleveland’s Mitch Talbot in the bottom of the sixth for hitting Alex Rodriguez in the thigh, even though it was the first HBP for either team on the day.
In Iassogna’s defense, there were some suspicious circumstances here. Curtis Granderson homered two batters before A-Rod stepped to the plate, and A-Rod himself had homered in his previous at-bat.
Still, it was just a 2-0 game at the time, with the solo homers accounting for the only scoring. Talbot was defnitely hoping for a win at the time, not revenge. It was raining in New York, and Tablot clearly slipped on the mound while delivering the pitch that his A-Rod. Yankees PBP guy Michael Kay suggested it might have been acting, but with the awkward delivery, Talbot didn’t throw the pitch at full speed and what’s the point of intentionally hitting someone if you’re not going to rush the ball up there as hard as you can?
With Iassogna quickly taking control, there wasn’t much action in the dugouts after this one. A-Rod dropped to his knees for a minute, but he was fine to continue. Bartolo Colon is currently working on another shutout bid and would be foolish to retaliate with the score as is. If there’s more to come, it probably won’t happen until Sunday or Monday.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.