Team Dominican Republic might have had to play a tiebreaker for the right to advance from Pool C in the World Baseball Classic if not for Jose Bautista‘s game-saving throw home in the bottom of the ninth inning against Team Colombia.
With the game tied 3-3, Colombia threatened by putting its first two runners on base against reliever Hansel Robles, as Jhonatan Solano singled and Tito Polo was hit by a pitch. Donovan Solano hit a ground ball which allowed pinch-runner Oscar Mercado to advance to third base, though Polo was forced out at second. Solano reached safely as well. The next batter, Reynaldo Rodriguez, lined a 1-2 fastball to Bautista in left field. Bautista fired home to catcher Welington Castillo, who scooped up the two-hop throw and applied the tag to Mercado for the final out of the inning.
Team Colombia was understandably upset about the results, but video shows home plate umpire Tripp Gibson made the right call. He ejected Polo and Rodriguez, who argued the call. Gibson had what many reasonable people would describe as a quick hook, given the weight of the moment.
The D.R. would go on to win 10-3 in 11 innings. The team went undefeated in all three games and now has moved on to Pool F in the next round.
At the end of January, the Nationals signed relievers Joe Nathan and Matt Albers. Today the Nationals have released Joe Nathan and Matt Albers.
Nathan, 42, pitched in just ten games last year, totaling only six and a third innings, between the Giants and the Cubs. He missed the entire 2015 season except for one third of an inning on Opening Day. Albers pitched in 58 games for the White Sox last year, posting an unsightly 6.31 ERA He pitched wonderfully in 30 games in 2015 however.
This spring Nathan and Albers pitched in more games than any other Nats relievers. Twelve for Nathan, ten for Albers. And they pitched well, with Nathan giving up five earned runs and Albers none. Apparently, however, there just isn’t room on the roster for those two.
This could be the end of the line for Nathan, a 16-year veteran with 377 career saves.
The substance of the report is not shocking. Francisco Lindor is one of baseball’s brightest young stars and the Cleveland Indians would, no doubt, wish to lock him up for an extended period of time. The surprising part is the guy who reported that, yes, the Indians are working to get Lindor a seven-year extension.
That guy: six-year-old Brody Chernoff, son of Indians general manager Mike Chernoff. Brody was invited into the team’s broadcast booth during the ninth inning of their game against the Chicago White Sox. Indians announcer Tom Hamilton asked, no doubt jokingly, if his working on anything interesting. Brody:
“He’s trying to get, um, Lindor to play for seven more years,”
Again, not shocking. It would’ve been way worse if Brody had said “Dad’s working on a three-way deal that’ll send Naquin to an NL team in order to affect a three-way trade that’ll land us Verlander without having to deal directly with a divisional rival.” But I imagine Dad still would’ve preferred he not mention that.