Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick hitless in 22 plate appearances dating back to July 29. Blue Jays pitching must have been just what the doctor ordered because Reddick has exploded in a big way tonight.
In the top of the third, Reddick smoked a solo home run to left off of Jays starter Esmil Rogers. He hit another solo shot in the top of the fifth against reliever Neil Wagner. The third came in the top of the sixth, a three-run shot off of reliever Juan Perez. As of this writing, the A’s lead the Jays 12-3 entering the seventh.
After hitting 32 long balls last year, Reddick entered tonight with just five in 315 trips to the plate. He will have at least one more opportunity to go for his fourth homer of the night, a feat accomplished by just 16 players in baseball history. Josh Hamilton, now with the Angels, did it last year as a member of the Rangers on May 8 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Update: Reddick grounded out to second in the eighth. Unless the Athletics put together a heck of an offensive rally in the ninth, he won’t get another shot to go for #4. Nevertheless, Reddick has had a great night.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.