If you missed the end of this one, don’t feel bad. This was one for the die-hards.
After the start of last night’s game was delayed two hours and 20 minutes due to rain, the Brewers and Cardinals ended up playing a four-hour and 30-minute marathon which didn’t end until 3:05 AM ET.
The Brewers grabbed a two-run lead going into the bottom of the eighth, but Yadier Molina tied it up with a two-run shot off Jim Henderson. The bullpens then matched zeros all the way until Ryan Braun launched a solo homer off Lance Lynn in the top of the 13th to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead. John Axford worked around a walk to Lance Berkman to secure the save.
Braun’s solo shot gave him 38 homers for the year, surpassing his previous career-high of 37 from last year. As for the Brewers, well, they aren’t dead yet. Winners of 14 out of their last 18 games, they now sit at 68-70 on the year, six games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. They’ll try to keep chipping away over the next two days.
Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.
Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.
Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.
Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).
Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.