Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez needed 26 pitches to escape a first-inning jam in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Red Sox. The right-hander had allowed two runners on a strikeout wild pitch and a walk, but used an array of fastballs, change-ups, and sliders to work his way out of trouble.
In fact, Sanchez recorded four strikeouts in the inning, getting Jacoby Ellsbury to lead off the frame. He then got Shane Victorino to wave at strike three, but the ball skipped past catcher Alex Avila, allowing Victorino to reach safely. With runners on first and second, Sanchez got David Ortiz to strike out on consecutive check-swing strikes, then Mike Napoli to end the inning.
Sanchez is the second pitcher in baseball history to record four strikeouts in an inning during post-season play, joining Orval Overall who accomplished the feat with the Cubs in 1908.
ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.
A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.
Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.
Losses by the Cardinals to the Pirates and the Brewers to the Cubs on Sunday clinched an NL Wild Card berth for the Diamondbacks. Their walk-off, 3-2 win over the Marlins earned them hosting rights for the Wild Card game.
The D-Backs, now 90-66, trailed the Marlins 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. Daniel Descalso tied the game at two apiece with an RBI single off of Brad Ziegler. Second half hero J.D. Martinez secured the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth against Javy Guerra.
The Rockies beat the Padres on Sunday to increase their lead over the Brewers (+2) and Cardinals (+2.5) for the second Wild Card slot. One of these three teams will visit Arizona for the Wild Card game.
The Diamondbacks are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they lost the Division Series in five games to the Brewers.