UPDATE: And now Ryan Ludwick hits a big blast in the bottom of the sixth, making it 6-3 Giants. It may just be a ballgame yet.
2:54 PM: The Reds get two back in the bottom half of the inning on a Brandon Phillips double, so it’s now 6-2 Giants.
2: 36 PM: Mat Latos and Matt Cain dueled for four innings, but someone has finally broken through: the Giants. They have busted it wide open, thanks to a Mat Latos meltdown and then a Buster Posey grand slam. San Francisco leads it 6-0 in top of the fifth. And they’re still batting as this post goes live.
Gregor Blanco led off the inning with a single and scored when Brandon Crawford tripled to right. That was followed up with a Matt Cain grounder to the mound. Then Angel Pagan hit a bounder to Zach Cozart at short, who bobbled it, allowing Crawford to score on the error. A four pitch walk to Marco Scutaro followed, bringing Pablo Sandoval to the plate, who singled to left. Based loaded, one out.
Buster Posey then came up to the plate, took the count to 2-2 and then launched titanic blast to right field. 6-0 and a stone cold silent crowd in Cincinnati. MVP anyone?
Dusty Baker has gone in to make a pitching change. It is probably too little too late. Wow.
If the Giants hold on here, we’ll have some history. No NL team has ever lost a division series after winning the first two games and no team in either league has ever taken a 2-0 lead in a five-game series and lost the next three all at home.
But the Reds just might.
Wild Card teams get to set their roster for the one-and-done game and then reset it for the Division Series if they advance. As such, you sometimes see some weirdness with the wild card roster. The Yankees, who just set theirs for tonight’s game, are no exception.
Masahiro Tanaka will be tonight’s starter, but Luis Severino, also a starter, will be around as well in case Tanaka gets knocked out early and they need more innings. In all, the Yankees are carrying nine pitchers and three catchers. In addition, they have Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and pinch-runner Rico Noel as bench players. In case you forgot, pinch running can matter a lot in a Wild Card Game.
Either way, it beats having a regular season-type roster with 13 pitchers or something. I mean, if you’re using more than nine pitchers, you ain’t winning anyway.
Here’s the whole roster:
It was inevitable that someone would report on what, specifically, was going on with CC Sabathia in the run up to his decision to go into rehab yesterday. And today we have that story, at least in the broad strokes, from the New York Post.
Speaking to an anonymous source close to Sabathia, the Post reports that the Yankees’ starter more or less went on a bender from Thursday into Friday and continued on to Saturday, which resulted in his Sunday afternoon phone call to Brian Cashman in which he said he needed help.
Notable detail: Sabathia is referred to as “not a big drinker” in the story. Which is something worth thinking about when you think of others who have trouble with alcohol. It’s not always about massive or constant consumption. It’s about the person’s relationship with substances that is the real problem. Many who drink a good deal are totally fine. Many who don’t drink much do so in problematic ways and patterns. For this reason, and many others, it’s useful to avoid engaging in cliches and stereotypes of addicts.