Starling Marte has been a major part of the Pirates’ impressive first half, batting .287/.355/.422 with 19 extra-base hits (six home runs), 19 RBI, and 20 stolen bases in 64 games coming into play tonight. But as this nifty diving catch in the third inning of tonight’s Pirates-Reds game demonstrates, he’s not too bad with the glove, either.
Brandon Phillips is used to making this type of robbery at second base, not being the victim. But he can surely appreciate some excellent glovework.
No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.
Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.
Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.