Last night featured round one of what should be a compelling NL East battle between the Braves and Nationals. While the Nationals had the early advantage behind an excellent effort from Ross Detwiler, the Braves came roaring back in the late innings for an eventual 6-4 win in 10 innings.
After scoring one run in the seventh and eighth innings, the Braves evened things up in the ninth against Drew Storen, who was being asked to close with Rafael Soriano unavailable. The big blow of the inning was a wild throw by Ryan Zimmerman which sailed past second base and allowed two runs to score. The Braves pulled ahead in the 10th inning with a two-run homer by utility infielder Ramiro Pena. How’s that for unlikely heroes?
The Braves have now won seven straight games and currently own the best record in the majors at 9-1. Stephen Strasburg will try to get the Nationals back in the win column this afternoon while Tim Hudson is on the mound for Atlanta.
Your Friday box scores:
Giants 3, Cubs 4
White Sox 0, Indians 1
Reds 5, Pirates 6
Orioles 2, Yankees 5
Phillies 3, Marlins 1 (10 innings)
Blue Jays 8, Royals 4
Brewers 0, Cardinals 2
Astros 5, Angels 0
Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 3
Tigers 3, Athletics 4 (12 innings)
Rockies 7, Padres 5
Mets 16, Twins 5
Rangers 1, Mariners 3
Rays/Red Sox – postponed
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.