The first-place Diamondbacks were dealt a scare on Tuesday night when star right fielder Justin Upton was forced from action after getting hit on the left elbow by a pitch. It turns out he’s just fine.
Upton was diagnosed with a mild left elbow contusion and is back in the Arizona starting lineup on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
Here’s what the 23-year-old National League MVP candidate told the media during a pregame chat (via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic):
“I’m just a little sore and I can play when I’m sore.”
Upton has posted a sparkling .298/.370/.544 slash line with 25 homers, 77 RBI and 19 steals through 548 plate appearances this season. He has also appeared in all 129 of the Diamondbacks’ games thus far.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.