The Yankees and Rangers, No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in runs per game so far this season, will meet for the first time this season tonight. So, of course, they’ve both brought out the big guns, right?
Well, certainly, the top six for each lineup is incredibly strong. The designated hitters won’t be found there, though. They’re both batting eighth tonight. And for good reason.
The Yankees have their backup shortstop, Eduardo Nunez, DHing for the first time in his career. The usual strategy has been to play him at shortstop or third in order to give Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez a half-day off as a DH. However, after Sunday’s rainout, neither veteran needs that half-day off right now. Nunez has six homers and 40 RBI in 381 career major league at-bats.
The Rangers’ designated hitter is Brandon Snyder, a former first-round pick of the Orioles who was cast off by the team over the winter. But while he couldn’t help Baltimore, the two-time defending AL champs have given him an early look against lefties, starting him twice at first base. He’s gone 3-for-9 so far. Overall, he has no homers and four RBI in 42 major league at-bats.
It’s safe to say neither player will be reminding anyone of Jose Canseco, Chili Davis, Don Baylor, Sammy Sosa or any of the other muscle-bound sluggers of DH days past.
UPDATE: Play has resumed after a 48-minute rain delay. Chris Young has replaced Ventura for the Royals.
8:30 p.m. ET: And now we’re officially in a rain delay in Kansas City. It will be interesting to see how long this lasts and how it might impact Ventura and McHugh.
8:29 p.m. ET: The Royals are on the board in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Astros.
After the Astros tacked on another run against Yordano Ventura in the top of the second inning on an RBI single from Jose Altuve, Kendrys Morales connected for a solo homer against Collin McHugh to lead off the bottom of the inning. The ball traveled an estimated 369 feet near the right-field foul pole.
With rain falling at Kauffman Stadium, the Astros lead 3-1 as we move into the top of the third inning.
Pirates utility man Sean Rodriguez made headlines for all the wrong reasons after Wednesday’s Wild Card Game against the Cubs. After being ejected for his role in a benches-clearing scuffle, he took his frustrations out on the cooler in the Pirates’ dugout. If you haven’t seen it already, watch the video below…
That poor cooler never had a chance.
With the benefit of a few hours to decompress, Rodriguez issued the following apology on his Twitter account this afternoon:
It’s nice to see that Rodriguez has a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Adrian Beltre was in serious pain when he exited Game 1 of the ALDS against the Blue Jays and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the veteran third baseman was diagnosed with a back strain following an MRI.
Beltre suffered the injury when he tried to break up a double play with a slide in the first inning. He stayed in the game initially and even received an anti-inflammatory injection, but his back locked up on him again after he hit an RBI single in the third. He was replaced by Hanser Alberto, who finished the game at third base.
The Rangers haven’t ruled out Beltre for Game 2 on Friday, but Joey Gallo and Ed Lucas are traveling to Toronto just in case a move needs to be made. They are obviously hoping that won’t be necessary.