Robot umps now?
The Braves and Mets entered extra innings tied 1-1. The Mets got two quick outs before Andrelton Simmons reached base on a single. That brought Freddie Freeman up. He hit it back to the pitcher who tossed it to first base. Freeman was called safe by umpire Jerry Layne but replays showed that he was just short of the bag by the time it hit the fielder’s glove. He should have been out number three but instead the Braves had new life with runners on first and second.
Next up was Chris Johnson who launched a homer to left field giving the Braves a 4-1 lead which ended up being the game’s final score.
Terry Collins came out and argued the call on Freeman as Johnson was circling the bases and he was tossed, as was first baseman Daniel Murphy. This time next year, I guess, Collins could’ve challenged that call rather than just argued about it after the fact.
Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.
Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.
The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.
Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.
Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.
There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.
Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.
The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.