Ricky Nolasco has been a bust after joining the Twins on a big-money contract over the winter and it turns out that he’s been pitching through an injured elbow.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Nolasco is dealing with elbow soreness and will go for an MRI tomorrow. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire suggested that he’s been pitching with discomfort for quite some time, though assistant general manager Rob Antony said the veteran right-hander didn’t mention anything until today. It doesn’t sound promising, as Nolasco said it feels similar to the issue he had in 2007 when he missed most of the year.
The Twins were hoping that Nolasco would help lead their rotation when they gave him a four-year, $49 million contract, but his 5.90 ERA is worst among qualified pitchers (93 out of 93) and no pitcher has allowed more hits (140 in 103 2/3 innings). The injury helps explain the struggles, but this contract could soon look a lot worse.
The Yankees’ offense finally woke up, scoring eight runs in Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday night while the pitching kept the Astros’ offense at bay. That came after scoring a total of two runs against Astros pitching in the first two games. For a recap of the Yankees’ scoring in Game 3, click here.
CC Sabathia wasn’t dominant, but he executed pitches when he needed to most, preventing the Astros from capitalizing on their opportunities. Overall, he gave up three hits and four walks while striking out five on 99 pitches. He’s the first pitcher, age 37 or older, to throw six shutout innings in the postseason since Pedro Martinez for the Phillies against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the 2009 NLCS. Monday’s start also marked Sabathia’s first career scoreless outing in the postseason — it was his 22nd postseason appearance.
Astros starter Charlie Morton couldn’t escape the fourth inning, when he allowed a run and loaded the bases before departing. Will Harris allowed all three inherited runners to score on Aaron Judge‘s three-run home run to left field. Morton was ultimately charged with seven runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batsman with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.
The Yankees’ bullpen held the fort after the sixth. Adam Warren worked a scoreless seventh. Warren returned in the eighth and retired the side in order, despite yielding a pair of well-struck balls to deep center field.
In the ninth, Dellin Betances walked both hitters he faced to start the frame. Unsurprisingly, manager Joe Girardi had a short leash and brought in Tommy Kahnle. Kahnle gave up a single to Cameron Maybin then struck out George Springer, but walked Alex Bregman to force in a run. Kahnle got Jose Altuve to ground into a 4-3 double play to end the game in an 8-1 victory, giving the Yankees their first win of the series.
The ALCS continues on Tuesday at 5 PM ET. The Astros will start Lance McCullers and the Yankees will send Sonny Gray to the hill.