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.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.