The Pirates still have a long way to go in order to make a game out of this, but they are on the board against the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLDS.
Pedro Alvarez, who tied for the NL lead with 36 homers in the regular season, led off the top of the fifth inning with a long solo home run against Adam Wainwright. Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News notes that the ball traveled an estimated 437 feet into the right field bleachers.
Wainwright sat down the next three batters he faced, including strikeouts of Clint Barmes and Jeanmar Gomez, so it’s 7-1 as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning. The Pirates have 12 more outs to chip away, but it’s not looking good right now.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.