Just ahead of Game 2 of the World Series, Major League Baseball has announced that Yankees closer Andrew Miller and Pirates closer Mark Melancon are the recipients of this year’s Reliever of the Year awards.
It’s called the Mariano Rivera Award in the American League and the Trevor Hoffman Award in the National League.
Miller, a 30-year-old left-hander, posted a 2.04 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 61 2/3 innings this season for New York while tallying 36 saves. He signed a four-year, $36 million free agent contract with the Yankees last winter and is living up to that lofty price tag thus far.
Melancon had a 2.23 ERA and a league-leading 51 saves in 76 2/3 innings with the Pirates. The 30-year-old right-hander is eligible for arbitration for the final time this winter.
The two pitchers were present Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium to receive their awards.
Julianna Zobrist has followed her husband Ben Zobrist from Tampa Bay to Oakland to Kansas City and all of the road cities in between. She has sung the National Anthem at multiple major sporting events. She knows what comes along with the life of a baseball wife.
And so Julianna will not be summoning her husband home if she goes into labor while the Royals are in New York over the weekend playing in World Series Games 3, 4, and (possibly) 5 …
Julianna isn’t due until November 10, so this might be a non-story anyway.
The couple already has two kids together.
If Game 1 on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium was any indication, this is going to be one highly-memorable World Series.
Alcides Escobar got the Royals on the board first, launching Matt Harvey‘s opening delivery to the warning track in center field and racing all the way around the bases on a Yoenis Cespedes misplay for a leadoff inside-the-park home run. It was the first inside-the-parker in a World Series game since Mule Haas rounded the bags for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1929 Fall Classic.
Travis d'Arnaud answered Escobar’s first-inning tally in the top of the fourth with an RBI infield single that bounced in and out of the glove of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Curtis Granderson then added a solo shot in the top of the fifth and Michael Conforto plated the Mets’ third run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the sixth.
Kansas City would rally to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but the Mets took the lead again in the eighth when Wilmer Flores‘ bouncing ground ball got past Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, allowing Juan Lagares to race home from second base. It was the first go-ahead run scored on an error in a World Series game since the Bill Buckner incident in 1986, when the Mets beat the Red Sox to claim their second World Series title.
They’re now trying to claim their third, but it will be an uphill climb of sorts.
Alex Gordon gave Kansas City new life with a game-tying solo shot to center field in the bottom of the ninth — the first game-tying or go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later of a World Series Game 1 since Kirk Gibson’s famous shot off Dennis Eckersley in 1988. And then Hosmer claimed redemption for his eighth-inning error with a walkoff sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 14th that secured a 5-4 victory for the home team.
At over five hours, it was the longest opening game in World Series history.
This recap didn’t even mention Royals starter Edinson Volquez, who lost his father to heart disease on Tuesday morning and turned in six solid innings against the Mets on Tuesday night. Chris Young was scheduled to start Game 4 but had to be used in relief in Game 1, so Volquez will probably get the call again on Saturday night in New York.
Game 1 of the World Series was delayed for a couple of minutes in the bottom of the fourth inning after the FOX broadcast of the game went dark.
That sort of thing wouldn’t cause a delay in years past, but the umpires stationed at MLB headquarters need access to FOX cameras to perform replay reviews. Both teams also use the FOX cameras for their own internal replay systems.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says the Royals and Mets have agreed to go without replay for now.
MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre was spotted on the field talking to the umps and both managers, presumably to sort out the issue of replay. Mets starter Matt Harvey was standing idle on the mound while all this was going on.
The international feed — with Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz on the call — is currently running on FOX instead.
UPDATE, 9:40 p.m. ET: Major League Baseball says replay access is back up for both teams. FOX lost power to its broadcast truck, but that has now been sorted out too.
Included in the latest Inside Baseball column from Jon Heyman at CBS Sports is this little nugget …
The Rangers are expected to sit down with Rougned Odor after the World Series to see if something long-term can be worked out.
Odor isn’t even eligible for salary arbitration yet — and probably won’t become eligible until 2018 — so there’s no real rush on either side to get a deal done this winter.
The 21-year-old second baseman got off to a poor start in 2015, but he turned it on in a major way after returning in mid-June from a demotion to Triple-A Round Rock and finished this season with a cool .781 OPS in 120 total games.
Odor then went 5-for-18 with a homer, a double, and seven runs scored in the Rangers’ five-game loss to the Blue Jays in the ALDS.