Incredible. Just incredible.
Drew Storen took the mound in the top of the ninth with a 7-5 lead and needed just three outs for the Nationals to advance to the NLCS. But the Cardinals fought back by scoring four runs to take a 9-7 lead. Nationals Park was completely juiced going into the inning, but it is now in stunned silence.
Storen gave up a leadoff double to Carlos Beltran before Matt Holliday grounded out and Allen Craig struck out swinging. However, Yadier Molina and David Freese walked to load the bases before Daniel Descalso singled off the glove off shortstop Ian Desmond to drive in two runs. After Descalso stole second base, Pete Kozma then doubled into right field to score two more. The Cardinals were down to their last strike twice during the incredible rally. Sound familiar?
After being down 6-0 through three innings, the Cardinals are now just three outs away from advancing to the NLCS.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.