With the way the Pirates season has ended, this is like adding injury to insult: Andrew McCutchen left Thursday’s game against the Mets with left knee pain. He hurt it, apparently, while trying to make a diving catch. The severity of the injury is unknown at the moment.
McCutchen was 0 for 4 today, but is hitting .332/.403/.558 on the year. Because of the Melky Rule, he stands to be the NL batting champion and should finish pretty high in the MVP voting.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.