DT Crymes, Shawn Darwin

We’ll be live-somethinging tonight’s Tigers-Yankees game, and we’re requesting some feedback

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Early round playoff baseball is fun, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not feeling a little bit of overload at the moment. Maybe it’d be different if I was just taking it all in from the couch with a beer in my hand, but since I have to actually think about the games a bit and be prepared to talk about them the next day, three or four big games in a day can get a bit overwhelming.  Yes, I realize this is a whine for which I should have no sympathy. Please, do not give me any.

The point is that, in light of all of that, I’m more excited than I can imagine for tonight’s Tigers-Yankees game, the only one on the schedule.  It feels like a special day. And I’d say that even if every Yankees and Tigers fan in my Twitter feed wasn’t already barfing from the nerves.

Anyway, I’ll be doing a live blog of it tonight.  Or a chat using the Cover It Live thing.  Not sure which.  Which one would you guys prefer?  I won’t put a up a formal poll or anything — and I reserve the right to change my mind and go against popular sentiment if I feel like it depending on how I feel at 8PM tonight — but I would like some feedback from you all on the live events we’ve been doing.

Sub-question that has some bearing here:  in the live chats, we moderate the comments so as to keep the proceedings from becoming chaotic.  Sometimes we do it more Q&A style, with us only putting up questions or observations to which we respond for all to see. Sometimes, even though we still don’t OK everything you submit, we let a zillion zingers go live in a more stream of consciousness thing.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on those two approaches.  Keep in mind that games ebb and flow and whoever is running a live event will do both things at various times, but any comments or criticisms you have of the way we handle those things are welcome. Also keep in mind that if reader back-and-forth is what you want, live blogs — and their comments sections — work much better for that.

Anyway: fire away.  And thank you for your support.

Cardinals snap Familia’s saves streak, rally past Mets 5-4

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NEW YORK — Yadier Molina and pinch-hitter Kolten Wong each stroked an RBI double in the ninth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals ended Jeurys Familia‘s streak of 52 straight saves in rallying past the New York Mets 5-4 on Wednesday night.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead homer off Adam Wainwright to cap a three-run comeback in the seventh that gave the Mets a 4-3 lead. But then Familia, who hadn’t blown a regular-season save opportunity since July 30 last year, finally faltered.

Jedd Gyorko drew a one-out walk in the ninth and was replaced by pinch-runner Randal Grichuk. Molina hit the next pitch to deep center field, and Grichuk scored standing up to tie it.

Molina was thrown out at third by Familia (2-2) on pinch-hitter Jeremy Hazelbaker’s comebacker, but Hazelbaker stole second and scored when Wong lined a double just inside the left-field line.

Familia’s franchise-record saves streak was the third-longest in major league history behind Tom Gordon (54) and Eric Gagne (84).

Jonathan Broxton (3-2) tossed a scoreless eighth and Seung Hwan Oh got three quick outs for his sixth save.

Including a split of Tuesday’s doubleheader, St. Louis took two of three from the Mets in a matchup of NL wild-card contenders. It was only the second time in the past decade that the Cardinals have won a road series against the Mets.

Logan Verrett pitched seven efficient innings and slumping Neil Walker went 3 for 3 with a base on balls for the third-place Mets, who have alternated wins and losses in their last 13 games. They dropped 5 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Washington.

New York did manage to keep Gyorko and the rest of St. Louis’ hitters in the ballpark after the Cardinals had homered in 17 consecutive games – their longest streak since a club-record run of 19 games in 2006.

Gyorko went deep in both ends of Tuesday’s doubleheader, giving him seven homers in nine games.

Matt Holliday hit a two-run double off Verrett with two outs in the third, and Matt Adams followed with an RBI double that made it 3-1.

Wainwright, who entered 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in July, nursed that lead until the seventh – repeatedly pitching out of trouble. He nearly did so again after striking out Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera with runners at the corners.

But then Travis d'Arnaud scored on a wild pitch and Cespedes socked a two-run homer off the facing of the second deck in left-center on the 117th and final pitch from the 34-year-old Wainwright.

 

 

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.