CSN Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic reports that Giants starter Johnny Cueto won’t make his next scheduled start, which would have been on Sunday against the Padres. Manager Bruce Bochy said Cueto could rejoin the rotation after Monday’s off day. The Giants will host the Rockies for a three-game set before closing up the regular season with three against the Dodgers at home.
Cueto suffered a Grade 1 strain of his groin during Tuesday’s start against the Dodgers. To that point, he had tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
Cueto, 30, inked a six-year, $130 million contract with the Giants this past offseason and has certainly delivered. He’s carrying a 17-5 record, a 2.79 ERA, and a 187/44 K/BB ratio in 212 2/3 innings. If the Giants are able to sneak into the NLDS somehow, their rotation will be worrisome for whomever their opponent might be.
Another day, another two home runs and five RBI for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Sanchez tagged Rays starter Alex Cobb for a three-run home run in the top of the second inning and belted one off of Justin Marks, a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday night’s 11-5 win by New York. This on the heels of an RBI single in the first inning. Following his at-bats against the Rays, Sanchez is sitting on a .337/.410/.747 triple-slash line with 19 home runs and 38 RBI in 166 at-bats. He’s homered in four consecutive games now.
As a result, Sanchez made some Major League Baseball history in the process:
Sanchez was brought up for one start on May 13, going 0-for-4, then was sent back down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees brought him back up on August 3 and the rest is history.
Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin seemed to be the favorite for the American League Rookie of the Year Award before Sanchez burst onto the scene. FanGraphs lists him at 2.1 Wins Above Replacement, while Baseball Reference has him at 0.6. Sanchez, in roughly half the plate appearances, has respective WARs of 2.9 and 2.7.
Tigers starter Michael Fulmer and Astros reliever Chris Devenski also deserve mention. Fulmer has a 3.03 ERA and a 120/39 K/BB ratio in 148 2/3 innings, helping stabilize — with Justin Verlander, of course — what has otherwise been a shaky starting rotation. Devenski, in five starts and 41 relief appearances, has a 1.98 ERA and a 97/19 K/BB ratio in 104 2/3 innings.
But it’s Sanchez’s award to lose now. And it doesn’t look like he’s going to be cooling off anytime soon.
“Clutch” isn’t a thing, but Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is close to making me a believer. Bautista hit a game-tying solo home run with one out in the ninth inning off of Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz. The game is still tied at one apiece in the 12th inning as of this writing.
The homer was Bautista’s first hit of the afternoon. He’s currently batting .230/.358/.437 (.795 OPS) with 19 home runs and 60 RBI in 475 plate appearances.
As for those clutch numbers, Bautista hits best when the two teams are within one run of each other (.889 OPS) and in tie games (.963 OPS). He’s also terrific when there are two outs and runners in scoring position (1.020 OPS), though he’s only had 41 plate appearances in those situations.