The Rangers won’t have the benefit of the designated hitter for Games 1 and 2 of the World Series against the Cardinals, which means Michael Young will almost certainly get the nod at first base in St. Louis.
The only other realistic option is Mitch Moreland, but he is hitting just .105 (2-for-19) during the postseason. The 26-year-old has struck out in five out of his last six at-bats.
Rangers manager Ron Washington told Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com earlier today that Young will play, so even though he declined to name his starting first baseman, it’s fairly obvious where he’s leaning.
“In Moreland’s case, yes, he’s struggling a little bit now,” Washington said. “It comes down to just trying to get the best nine out there I possibly can on that day. I’ve made a decision, but I’m not ready to talk about it.”
Young is batting .209 (9-for-43) with eight strikeouts during the postseason, but finally busted out in the Game 6 clincher against the Tigers on Saturday night, going 3-for-6 with a home run, two doubles and five RBI. The 34-year-old started 36 games at first base during the regular season and four during the ALDS and ALCS.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.