After playing hero in Game 3 of the ALDS on Wednesday night, Raul Ibanez is being a thorn in the Orioles’ side again today.
Thanks to an RBI single by Ibanez in the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees have jumped out to a 1-0 lead over the Orioles in Game 5.
Mark Teixeira singled to lead off to the bottom of the fifth inning for the first hit of the day off Jason Hammel. After realizing that he wasn’t being held on by Mark Reynolds at first base, Teixeira then successfully stole second base, bum calf and all. Ibanez followed with a slow roller through the middle to bring him around to score. The interesting part is that if Teixeira was held on, the Ibanez grounder likely would have resulted in a double-play.
Sabathia is looking pretty tough thus far, holding the Orioles to just one hit and a walk while striking out four. If he’s at the top of his game, one run might be enough.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.