UPDATE: Make it 6-0. Delmon Young singled and Johnny Peralta homered. Then Andy Dirks doubled and Joe Girardi came and got Sabathia. There are still many innings to play here, but, it looks the Tigers are World Series bound.
5:41 PM: Make it 4-0: Miguel Cabrera just hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the fourth.
5:33 PM: Like so many games this series a small lead in terms of runs feels like a bigger lead in terms of momentum. The Tigers are up 2-0 after three and a half innings, but the vibe of the game has them up by half a dozen.
Detroit scored their runs via a Delmon Young single in the first and a rally — if you can call one run a rally — in the third that could have easily led to more runs.
Prince Fielder singled, Delmon Young walked — like, he really walked — and then with two outs the Yankees put on the clownshoes: Mark Teixeira made a rather theatrical looking error on a bounding ball which loaded the bases for Andy Dirks. Dirks hit a chopper up the middle which CC Sabathia just missed. Eduardo Nunez fielded it deep behind the second base bag, but was twisting as he fielded it and ended up firing the throw into the dirt. He was lucky it didn’t get past Teixeira at first. Fielder scored.
We’re now in the top of the fourth. CC Sabathia has already thrown 73 pitches and doesn’t look like he has his best stuff at all. Max Scherzer, in contrast, has seven strikeouts while facing 14 batters through four innings of work. And not a one of them was A-Rod.
It’s not dark yet for the Yankees. But it’s getting there.
MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.
Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.
The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.
Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.
The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.
He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.