MLB wasn’t going to leave the Nationals’ twisting in the wind while debating the Braves’ protest of Friday’s loss to the Cardinals. The league denied the protest within 20 minutes of the game ending.
The decision is hardly surprising, and while the Braves will always feel ripped off by Sam Holbrook’s infield-fly call, their protest didn’t hold a lot of water. Holbrook made a judgment call. It was bad judgment, but that can’t be protested. The Braves’ best argument was that the infield fly call is supposed to come “immediately” after its apparent. And it’s a legitimate argument, but it wasn’t going to get the end of the game replayed.
If you want to see it again, here’s the video of the play:
With the protest denied, the Nationals are now free to travel to St. Louis to begin the NLDS on Sunday.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.
Mark Buehrle hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in professional baseball since last October. Still, the Blue Jays wouldn’t mind having some insurance, so manager John Gibbons recently texted Buehrle, “You know, rosters expand in September,” Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports.
Buehrle’s response? He texted back a picture of a lake. Sounds like he’s not interested in making a return, at least this year.
Last year, at the age of 36, Buehrle went 15-8 with a 3.81 ERA with a 91/33 K/BB ratio in 198 2/3 innings while leading the league with four complete games. He fell 1 1/3 innings shy of a 15th consecutive 200-inning season. There are many worse ways to end a career.