The Cubs got blown out by the Brewers on Thursday afternoon, falling behind 9-0 after three innings. As a result, manager Joe Maddon had outfielder Jon Jay take the mound in the top of the ninth.
Jay had never pitched before as a professional baseball player and it showed. His first pitch to Stephen Vogt registered at 57 MPH. His next pitch was even slower, 55 MPH, but he got Vogt to fly out to right field. Jay peaked at 66 MPH but managed to get Jonathan Villar to pop out in foul territory, then worked around a Domingo Santana single by getting Yadiel Rivera to line out to left field to end the inning.
Jay threw 16 pitches in total, averaging 57.2 MPH. Only four of those pitches were measured in excess of 60 MPH.
After Thursday’s 11-2 loss, the defending champion Cubs fell to 4.5 games behind the first-place Brewers. There’s a sentence I knew, before the season, that I’d be writing.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.