It was just the fifth, but Brett Anderson was looking really good tonight.
With one out in the fifth inning in Monday’s game between the A’s and Indians, Michael Brantley hit a little roller to the left of first base. Chris Carter came off the bag to get the ball and flipped to the bag, which both Anderson and second baseman Cliff Pennington were trying to cover. Pennington made the catch with his foot on the bag just before Brantley got there. First-base ump Jerry Meals had a very good look at it, but he still called the runner safe in the confusion.
Here’s the video.
Anderson quickly got an inning-ending double play to finish the frame. He ended up allowing just two hits in seven innings in his second start back from Tommy John surgery. The bullpen finished the two-hit shutout from there.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.