Thanks to a walk-off RBI double from Nolan Reimold, the Blue Jays secured a thrilling 3-2 victory in 10 innings this afternoon at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
This afternoon featured quite the pitchers’ duel between Blue Jays rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman and Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer. Stroman allowed two runs over a career-high nine innings while Scherzer struck out 11 batters over eight innings. Scherzer left in line for his 14th victory of the season, but Joe Nathan allowed a leadoff single to Jose Reyes to begin the bottom of the ninth inning. Reyes then stole second base before Nathan got Melky Cabrera to fly out. After an intentional walk was issued to Jose Bautista, Nathan gave up a game-tying single to Dioner Navarro to blow his sixth save of the season.
Nathan got himself into further trouble when he walked Colby Rasmus to load the bases, but Joakim Soria replaced him and managed to get the final two outs to wiggle out of the jam. After Aaron Loup sat down the Tigers with a scoreless tenth inning, Soria was unable to continue due to an injury. Joba Chamberlain then gave up an infield single to Danny Valencia and the game-winning double to Reimold to end it. Disastrous afternoon complete.
This series has already seen quite a bit of late-inning drama, as the Tigers rallied for three runs in the ninth inning last night against Casey Janssen to secure a comeback victory. The two teams will wrap up the series tomorrow, with David Price making his second start for Detroit while Toronto counters with veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.