As far as the big names go, the focus of the second half of the Winter Meetings was definitely on Jason Bay and Roy Halladay. In fact, no one really had anything on Matt Holliday or John Lackey yesterday or most of Wednesday. As of this morning, however, FOX’s Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Seattle Mariners are looking at Lackey.
This is a bit surprising given that it had previously been reported that they were looking more at “high-upside, medium-risk” pitchers like Rich Harden and maybe even Ben Sheets, each of whom would command less money than Lackey (and in fact, Harden did command quite a reasonable contract).
Not that such an approach has been discarded. Indeed, Morosi spends more time in his report talking about the possibility of a Jarrod Washburn return to Seattle than he does on Lackey. Though I suppose Washburn is more of a “meh-upside, medium risk” type than a “high-upside, medium risk” type.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.