The Cardinals have themselves a little breathing room in the National League Central.
Though closer Edward Mujica struggled again and put the Brewers in position to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Cardinals eventually won 7-6 in 10 innings. Carlos Beltran drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly while John Axford was victorious in his return to Milwaukee. Aramis Ramirez drove in five runs in a losing effort.
The Pirates imploded and lost to the Reds in 10 innings last night, so the Cardinals are now two games up in the division with eight to play. Their magic number sits at seven.
Your Friday box scores:
Braves 9, Cubs 5
Astros 1, Indians 2 (7 innings)
Reds 6, Pirates 5 (10 innings)
White Sox 5, Tigers 12
Marlins 0, Nationals 8
Orioles 4, Rays 5 (18 innings)
Mets 6, Phillies 4
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 6
Giants 1, Yankees 5
Rangers 1, Royals 2
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 9
Mariners 2, Angels 3 (11 innings)
Twins 0, Athletics 11
Dodgers 0, Padres 2
Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.
With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.
The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:
Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab of Andrew Knapp‘s face mask when the catcher tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:
The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.
First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:
The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.
Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.