Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said earlier this week that he “definitely” expects to be ready for the postseason, but the hope is that he’ll be able to test himself this weekend.
Tulowitzki, who suffered a small crack his left shoulder blade on September 12, resumed taking batting practice this week. Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that he’s scheduled to face live pitching “in a simulated environment” on Friday, which could clear him to make his return Saturday against the Rays.
Acquired from the Rockies before July’s trade deadline, Tulowitzki was batting .232 with five home runs and a .682 OPS over 39 games with the Blue Jays prior to the injury.
MLB announced this afternoon that Mets reliever Hansel Robles has been suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount for “intentionally throwing a pitch in the head area” of Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp on Wednesday night.
Intent was suspected, as three players were hit by pitches before Robles threw at Rupp. It all started when Yoenis Cespedes was forced to exit when he was hit in the hand by Justin De Fratus in the third inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was hit in the back by Adam Loewen two innings later, which led to Logan Verrett hitting Odubel Herrera in the back in the top of the sixth. Warnings were issued to both sides after that, so Robles and Mets manager Terry Collins were both ejected after the incident with Rupp. For what it’s worth, Robles told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com that the pitch simply got away from him.
It’s unclear whether Robles will appeal the suspension, but either way, it won’t have any impact on his availability during the postseason. If he doesn’t serve the suspension this season, it would roll over to the start of 2016. Odds are he’ll just take the punishment and sit out the Mets’ weekend series against the Nationals.
The Pirates had a chance to make things interesting in the NL Central with their series against the first-place Cardinals this week, but now it’s increasingly likely that they are looking at a Wild Card game matchup against Jake Arrieta and the Cubs.
On the strength of a ninth-inning rally, the Cardinals beat the Pirates 3-0 tonight at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The game remained scoreless until the Cardinals took advantage of some leaky defense on the part of the Pirates. Matt Carpenter reached on a out-out single against Mark Melancon before Jon Jay singled up the middle. Neither Gregory Polanco nor Andrew McCutchen could field the ball cleanly, so Carpenter came all the way around to score on the play. Mark Reynolds then followed with a two-run homer to provide some insurance.
Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal had a monster meltdown on Sunday and it looked like we were in for some more drama after he walked Andrew McCutchen and gave up a single to Starling Marte to begin the bottom of the ninth. However, Rosenthal struck out Neil Walker swinging after a long at-bat before getting Francisco Cervelli to fly out and Aramis Ramirez to line out to first base to end it. Rosenthal now has a franchise record 48 saves. Jason Isringhausen (2004) and Lee Smith (1991) previously shared the record.
It was a frustrating night for the Pirates. J.A. Happ was excellent yet again, allowing just one hit over six scoreless innings. Pittsburgh’s offense had plenty of chances against Lance Lynn and the St. Louis bullpen, but they failed to capitalize, ultimately standing 16 base runners.
The Pirates are now four games back of the Cardinals with five games remaining. The Cardinals’ magic number is down to two to clinch the division, so they could wrap things up with another win tomorrow.