Something that lasts entirely too long and the Yankees and Red Sox are involved? This sounds familiar.
Robinson Cano was just crowned the winner of the Home Run Derby, topping Adrian Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals. Of course, Cano owes a big-time assist to his father and former Astros pitcher Jose Cano, who served up all of his 32 home runs for the evening. While this event has many, many faults, the final was actually a pretty cool showcase.
No surprise, the left-handed hitters had the edge in Chase Field tonight. None of the four right-handed batters made it through the first round. Matt Holliday had five homers (and was eliminated in a swing-off), MLB home run leader Jose Bautista slugged four, Rickie Weeks had three and Matt Kemp managed only a pair.
Prince Fielder, who received plenty of boos from the Arizona crowd for not including Justin Upton in the competition, was the only member of the National League squad to make it into the second round. And he needed a swing-off to get there. The American League outpaced the National League 76-19 on the evening. Yikes.
Cano and Gonzalez advanced to the finals by collecting 20 homers over the first two rounds. They beat out David Ortiz and Fielder, who had nine apiece over the first two rounds.
And with that, let’s never speak of this again.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.