When the White Sox bumped Francisco Liriano from his start tonight in favor of Gavin Floyd, it was supposed to be a two-day move, with Liriano possibly pitching out of the pen against the Tigers and then starting Friday against the Twins.
That plan is out the window now. The White Sox announced that they’d go with Hector Santiago, Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy as their starters this weekend.
Liriano gave up hits to the only two batters he faced last night in his first relief appearance for the White Sox and was charged with two runs. He’s 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in his eight starts since coming over from the Twins in July. He did pitch six strong innings against the Twins on July 31, allowing two runs and striking out eight in a no-decision, but the White Sox are obviously focusing more in on his recent struggles.
Santiago, who opened the season as the White Sox’s closer, will be making his third start of the year in Liriano’s place Friday. He beat the Twins on Sept. 3 by allowing one run in five innings, and he pitched four scoreless innings against the Royals on Sunday.
As for Liriano, he appears to have run out of time to impress potential suitors as he heads into free agency. There will certainly be teams willing to give him a shot this winter, but after back-to-back seasons with ERAs over 5.00, he’ll likely have to accept a modest one-year deal.
The Yankees guaranteed their place in the postseason with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Sonny Gray led the charge against their division rivals, clinching his 10th win of the season with six innings of four-hit, one-run, four-strikeout ball.
Gray worked into a little trouble in the first inning, putting runners in scoring position after Josh Donaldson drew a four-pitch walk and Justin Smoak advanced him with a single. The Yankees’ ace induced two quick outs to end the threat, but was overpowered by a Teoscar Hernandez home run in the third inning, the rookie’s fourth blast of the season:
Thankfully for the Yankees, that was the only run that slipped through the cracks. Gray finished the remainder of his outing with two hits and two walks and was backed by another three scoreless innings from the bullpen. Greg Bird supplied the go-ahead run with a three-RBI shot in the fifth inning, plating Chase Headley and Starlin Castro to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.
Todd Frazier tacked on another solo homer in the eighth, while Starlin Castro returned in the ninth to cap the win with an RBI single. Aroldis Chapman did the rest, wielding just 10 pitches to get three straight outs from Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar and Rob Refsnyder.
Following Saturday’s win, the Yankees have at least secured one wild card berth, though they’re not out of the division race just yet. They still sit a full four games back of first place in the AL East, with eight games left to play.
Brian Dozier had a bonafide Little League moment during Saturday’s contest against the Tigers. In the first inning, the Twins’ second baseman squared up a bunt against Detroit left-hander Matt Boyd, which was scooped by Jeimer Candelario halfway up the third base line. The throw to first skirted the bag, allowing Dozier to touch all the bases and slide home to score the Twins’ first run of the game.
In other words, it was just your run-of-the-mill bunt home run:
Officially, the play was scored as a single and run scored on a throwing error. Still, if this is a sampling of the kind of plays we can expect to see from the Twins this October, it’s shaping up to be one wacky postseason.