Yankees missed many scoring opportunities in Game 5 loss

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The fine folks at STATS Inc. shared this nugget of information shortly after Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher chased an outside pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday’s 3-2 Game 5 loss to the Tigers:

Swisher is 1 for 31 with 10 Ks with runners in scoring position over 38 career postseason games.

“Clutch” is a myth, but that’s a startling stat.

Swisher finished 1-for-4 in the Game 5 defeat and went just 4-for-19 (.211) in the series. But he’s not the only Bronx Bomber that missed major chances in the first-round departure. There’s plenty of blame to go around.

Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Thursday night’s loss, leaving three runners on base. He fanned at a pitch down the heart of the plate to end it and wound up 2-for-18 (.111) for the series.

Derek Jeter missed a go-ahead home run by about three feet in the bottom of the eighth. He went 1-for-5.

Russell Martin was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and left four runners on base. He batted .176 in the series.

The Yankees had a number of promising scoring opportunities Thursday and a lineup paid to convert those chances into runs, but — for whatever reason — they came up short. A-Rod is sure to get most of the blame because of his hefty contract and past failures, but those seeking a scapegoat will find a range of options.

The St. Louis Cardinals announce their first Pride Night

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The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they will hold their first Pride Night on August 25th.

A lot of teams have Pride Nights, but it’s worth noting that the Cardinals are holding one given some bad press — some fair, some unfair — they have received in recent years when it comes to matters of diversity and inclusion.

Earlier this month the club received criticism from the LGBT community due to Lance Berkman’s presence for the team’s annual Christian Day, given his past comments about transgender people and his participation in a Houston political campaign over access to public restrooms. Recently, a former Cardinals minor league player claimed he left baseball after enduring anti-gay comments from his coaches and teammates.

As club president Bill DeWitt III noted in the official announcement however, the Cardinals have hosted LGBT groups in the past. He says that the club is eager to “remind fans that everyone is welcome at Busch Stadium.” He notes that the event will raise money for the PrideSTL Scholarship Fund which, in DeWitt’s words, “help courageous students in our community.”

Nice move, Cardinals.

Johnny Cueto expected to opt-out of his deal after the season

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Johnny Cueto signed a six-year $130 million deal with the Giants prior to the 2016 season. In his first season he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 219.2 innings, helping lead the Giants to the playoffs. This season has been rocky for Cueto — he’s got a a 4.42 ERA in 15 starts and has battled blisters — but they’ve been far rockier for the Giants overall, as they sit in last place in the NL West and have the second worst record in baseball.

Many suspect that the Giants will either rebuild or, at the very least, restructure some in response to this nightmare year. If so, they’re likely going to be doing it with Cueto, who Jon Heyman reports is going to opt-out of his deal:

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto is planning to opt out of his contract at the end of the year, but he would listen to any extension offer . . . Cueto has $84 million to go over four years. It would probably take an injury or major slump for Cueto not to opt out. But it makes sense that he will.

Heyman says the Giants are not inclined to give him an extension, so expect to see Cueto on the free agent market three days after the World Series ends, which is the deadline for him to exercise his opt-out rights.