Before you say anything, yes, it is a slow news day. Believe me, if there were three-team trades and actual baseball drama going on at the moment, I’d be writing about it. But there isn’t, so you get more stuff like this:
Bobby Wilson spent his off day Thursday lamenting all the guff he’s taken as the Angels’ backup catcher. He got so tired of it he quit Twitter.
This is what he tweeted from his account, @BW46, at 10:57 a.m.:
“I’m done with twitter. Try to be fan friendly and all I get is criticism. I wasn’t blessed with 5 tools. I worked hard to get here.”
He meant it, too. His account has been deleted.
On one level it’s pretty sad that a professional athlete felt like he was being picked on by fans badly enough to warrant this. But it’s way, way sadder than anyone on the planet was motivated enough to hate on someone like Bobby Wilson.
What on Earth has he ever done to anyone? He’s an otherwise unremarkable backup catcher who makes near-minimum money and isn’t blocking playing time from anyone else that I know of. Getting angry at him is like getting angry at bread. Or a mostly reliable late model used car. What possible reason would anyone have for actually hating on him?
Oh well. The Internet.
The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.