BOSTON — The last time there was a World Series Game 6 at Fenway Park, this happened:
That man is back again. As is Luis Tiant, who went 2-0 in the 1975 World Series. Tonight they will throw out ceremonial first pitches. Very cool. And, for Boston fans anyway, maybe a Game 6 good luck charm. The less we talk about Game 7 of 1975 the better they’ll like it.
In news of somewhat less-historic stature: Quincy, Massachusetts’ own Dropkick Murphys will perform the National Anthem. They will also play “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” as part of the pre-game ceremonies. I’ve found people’s mileage varies wildly on the merits of the Murphys, but you can’t say they aren’t a part of recent Boston Red Sox lore.
Still: the Pixies are from Boston too. Just sayin’.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.