The Pirates have lost six of their last eight, falling to six games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. And here’s even more bad news.
From beat writer Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes word that second baseman Neil Walker was lifted in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers after suffering a dislocated finger on his right hand in a nasty collision with Dodgers baserunner Mark Ellis.
Josh Harrison slid over from third base and Pedro Alvarez entered to play the hot corner.
Walker, 26, is batting .290/.353/.452 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 114 games played this season. The Pirates will reevaluate him Thursday morning before deciding whether a disabled list stint is necessary.
Perhaps there are a few who still miss the slope of Tal’s Hill rising from center field, but George Springer isn’t one of them. He lassoed a 403-foot fly ball from Todd Frazier in the seventh inning of Game 6, reaching nearly to the top of the wall to prevent the Yankees from gaining on the Astros’ 3-0 lead.
According to Statcast, a fly ball with an exit velocity of 103.6 MPH and a launch angle of 29 degrees lands for a home run 72% of the time. That wasn’t going to fly with the Astros, who were facing runners on first and second with one out and saw Justin Verlander‘s pitch count rapidly approaching 100.
It wasn’t long before the Yankees tried for another home run, however, and this one sailed far above the heads of all of the Astros’ outfielders. Aaron Judge lofted a 425-foot shot to left field in the eighth inning, destroying a first-pitch fastball from Brad Peacock and finally getting New York on the board.
The Yankees currently trail the Astros 4-1 in the bottom of the eighth.