Sergio Romo threw 26 pitches for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic yesterday and he’s eligible to make an appearance again tonight because the tournament’s “can’t pitch in back-to-back games” limit is 30 pitches.
As you might expect, none of that pleases the Giants. According to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, manager Bruce Bochy met with his coaching staff to discuss the situation this morning and “the staff is also trying to phone Romo to see how he feels a day after the game.”
Schulman notes that Romo threw as many as 26 pitches just once all of last season and it was in his very first appearance of the year. And if he were in Giants camp right now there’s no way Romo would be allowed to throw 26 pitches, let alone throw 26 pitches and then potentially throw again the next day.
Not necessarily a big deal, but Romo’s history of arm issues magnifies things a bit and it’s also an interesting data point for why teams aren’t exactly pushing their players to participate in the WBC.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.