Lyle Overbay is 36 years old and has played 1,375 games in the big leagues spread over 13 seasons for six different teams. He’s never played a position other than first base or designated hitter.
Until tonight, because Overbay is starting in right field for the Yankees.
Overbay did a decent job filling in for the injured Mark Teixeira at first base, so with Teixeira back and Travis Hafner entrenched at designated hitter manager Joe Girardi is apparently willing to take the hit defensively.
Overbay has eight homers and a .461 slugging percentage in 51 games, but his .289 on-base percentage is terrible. Of course, the outfielder he’s replacing in the lineup tonight is Vernon Wells and he’s been really awful lately.
I’ll go out on a limb and predict the Overbay-in-the-outfield experiment doesn’t last the week.
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.