As mentioned in the recaps, the Mets have been on an absolute offensive tear lately, scoring 16, 14, 8 and 14 runs in their last four games, respectively. Last night’s outburst was accompanied by 20 hits, and after Tigers’ middle reliever David Purcey was smacked around for four runs, Jim Leyland waved the white flag and put outfielder Don Kelly to pitch.
And he didn’t do half bad. He threw four pitches to Scott Hairston — ball, ball, a strike looking and a foul ball — before inducing a fly out to center field. His fastball was clocked at 86 MPH.
And hey: he’s the only Tigers pitcher wh who hasn’t given up a hit to Mets batters this series.
Viva la Don.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.