Following in the Marlins’ footsteps, the Astros have decided to go to a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season.
Houston made the change in order to get rookie Dallas Keuchel regular starts down the stretch alongside Jordan Lyles, Fernando Abad, Lucas Harrell, Bud Norris, and Edgar Gonzalez.
Interim manager Tony DeFrancesco told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that the six-man rotation is a way to limit the workloads of young pitchers and also gives the Astros a chance to evaluate more starters for a potential role in 2013 and beyond.
Houston starters rank second-worst in the NL with a 4.70 ERA, ahead of only Colorado, and that mark includes some good pitching from Wandy Rodriguez before he was traded.
ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.
A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.
Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.