Orioles utilityman Ryan Flaherty registered a weak .216/.258/.359 batting line over a total of 167 plate appearances during the regular season. But with these O’s, we’ve come to expect the unexpected.
Flaherty launched a solo shot to the right field porch at Yankee Stadium in the third inning of this ALDS Game 3, providing Baltimore with a sudden 1-0 advantage. It was the first home run of the series for the Orioles, and the first postseason dinger for the franchise since Eric Davis went yard in October ’97.
The Yankees battled back in the bottom of the third inning, with Derek Jeter launching an RBI triple over the head of Orioles center fielder Adam Jones following a Russell Martin double. Jones took a bad — and somewhat lackadaisical — route to the ball while blowing a bubble with his chewing gum.
The big crowd in The Bronx was quiet in the early going but has now come alive. This series is tied 1-1.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.