Cardinals starter Joe Kelly hit 98 MPH with his fourth pitch of the game, striking out Jacoby Ellsbury looking. It might have been a harbinger of things to come. Kelly retired the first nine Red Sox he faced, using a hard, tailing two-seam fastball to induce six ground outs and three strikeouts.
Ellsbury got his team’s first hit when he snuck a grounder past a diving Matt Carpenter into right field to lead off the fourth inning against Kelly. David Ortiz drew a two-out walk, but Daniel Nava struck out to end the inning, failing to capitalize on his team’s first opportunity to get on the board.
Kelly has needed just 51 pitches to get through the first four innings. It’s quite the development as the Red Sox have succeeded throughout the 2013 post-season by taking pitches and driving the opposing starter’s pitch count up early.
Mets starter Jon Niese left his start Tuesday night against the Cardinals due to left knee pain.
Niese walked two and gave up an RBI single before leaving with a trainer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. He was eventually charged with three earned runs. Robert Gsellman, just up from Las Vegas, took over, making his major league debut under unexpected circumstances.
Niese, who has not pitched well at all since coming over in a trade with the Pirates, is likely to be placed on the disabled list after the game or before tomorrow’s game.
Mark Trumbo still has many chances to hit a home run tonight — it’s only been an inning or so in the Nats-Orioles game — but his weird home run streak is over.
Coming into tonight’s game, Trumbo’s last seven hits had been homers. The all-time record had been 11, set by Mark McGwire back in 2001. The last time Trumbo got a hit that wasn’t a dong was back on August 11. Later in that game, however, he hit a grand slam. After that he went 6 for his next 34, with all those safeties dingers.
But that’s over now. In the first inning tonight he drove in a run with a two-out single. Then he was thrown out trying to stretch it to two. Good job on the RBIs, Mark. Bad job on the base running. Judgment withheld on the homer streak because, really, that’s just kind of weird and cool.