The Mets are playing out the string at this point, but at least they’re keeping things interesting.
Matt Harvey limited the Reds to one run in 7 2/3 innings and struck out eight in the Mets’ 8-4 win on Thursday. He also had a two-run double off Homer Bailey in the contest.
Frank Francisco put a seemingly finished game into doubt in the ninth for the second time this week. On Sunday, he allowed two walks and a double to the only three Braves he faced. He entered with the bases loaded, so the end result was four runs scored in a game the Mets held on to win 6-5.
Tonight, Francisco entered an 8-1 game after gave up three runs before Jon Rauch again bailed him out. Thanks to Francisco, Rauch has picked up a pair of one-out saves this week.
Francisco also engaged in some odd behavior after the game, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Brian Costa:
Anyway, back to Harvey. He had a remarkable seventh inning tonight, throwing just five pitches in the frame, yet giving up two hits and a run. Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick, Jay Bruce, Todd Frazier and Xavier Paul all put the first pitch into play, with Phillips and Bruce coming away with doubles. The other three batters made outs.
Finally given ample run support for the first time in five major league starts, Harvey improved to 2-3 with a 3.00 ERA. He’s up to 34 strikeouts in 30 innings.
The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.
Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.
Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.
The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.
Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:
Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:
In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.
The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.