If you’re not a big fan of replay you wanted no part of the first inning in yesterday’s Rangers-Nationals game. That’s when Ron Washington and Matt Williams came out to challenge two different calls on the same play.
With two outs and runners on the corners, the Rangers’ Alex Rios broke to steal second base. He was initially called safe, but then appeared to come off the bag and was tagged. Meanwhile, the runner on third — Elvis Andrus — came home and, initially anyway, was ruled to have crossed home plate before Rios was tagged out at second. So it’s 1-0 Rangers, yes? Well, no.
Matt Williams came out and asked for a replay as to whether or not Andrus crossed home before or after Rios was tagged. Ron Washington came out and asked for a replay as to whether Rios was actually out at second. It was the first time since the replay system started this season that two calls on the same play were challenged.
Williams won his, Washington lost his. Rios was out and Andrus was late. They went into the bottom of the first still tied 0-0. It ended up not mattering, of course, as the Nats couldn’t do anything off Yu Darvish and the Rangers won 2-0.
You can watch the thrilling, scintillating excitement of a double replay challenge here.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.