With the Braves getting blown out by the Yankees last night, outfielder Jonny Gomes got an opportunity to pitch the top of the ninth inning. As you might expect, it was pretty entertaining.
The reaction to the Chris Young homer was classic. And as you might have noticed on the strikeout of Bryan Mitchell, he had shades of Luis Tiant in his delivery. Fantastic stuff.
Not only was it Gomes’ first pitching appearance in the majors, but he told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that it was his first pitching appearance at any level. Throwing mostly around 70 mph, he ended up giving up two runs on three hits. But he worked fast and didn’t walk a batter. Perhaps most importantly, he saved the bullpen and gave Braves fans something to smile about on an otherwise lousy evening.
By the way, this appearance was Craig Calcaterra-approved.
Cole Hamels had his best start as a member of the Rangers last night, tossing eight innings of one-run ball as part of a 4-1 victory over the Orioles. That’s the sort of ace performance they had in mind when they acquired him from the Phillies last month.
Hamels walked four batters, including one with the bases loaded, but he held the Orioles to just two hits while notching 10 strikeouts. The southpaw retired 14 batters in a row at one point. Shawn Tolleson tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his 27th save of the season while Shin-Soo Choo and Chris Gimenez each hit solo home runs.
Hamels owns a 3.69 ERA and 33/15 K/BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings over five starts since joining Texas.
At 66-61, the Rangers are currently a half-game (one up in the loss column) over the Twins for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Orioles have lost eight out of nine to fall 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.
Your Friday box scores and AP recaps:
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 5
Marlins 4, Nationals 3
Angels 1, Indians 3
Padres 1, Phillies 7
Red Sox 6, Mets 4 (10 innings)
Yankees 15, Braves 4
Royals 3, Rays 2
Rockies 3, Pirates 5
Orioles 1, Rangers 4
Reds 0, Brewers 5
Athletics 4, Diamondbacks 6
Mariners 2, White Sox 0
Cubs 1, Dodgers 4
Astros 0, Twins 3
Cardinals 4, Giants 5
As far as 1-3-1 putouts go, this one from the Mets tonight might be the best of all-time. Then again, when was the last time you saw a 1-3-1 putout? Check it out.
The flip from Murphy was on point, which was pretty impressive given that he barely looked toward first base or Torres. But there wouldn’t have been a play unless Torres booked it to first base as soon as he deflected the ball with his foot. Just an amazing play all around. Everything seems to be coming up Mets right now, no?