So this happened last night:
At first I assumed it was either an impromptu dental exam or Torii Hunter and umpire Paul Nauert reenacting the famous “My sister” [slap] “My daughter” [slap] scene from “Chinatown,” but that apparently was not the case. Rather, Hunter was jawing at Orioles pitcher Bud Norris after Norris hit him n the ribs and Nauert was trying to calm Hunter down. Hunter reacted negatively when it happened, but he’s cool about it now though:
“That’s my guy,” Hunter told The Detroit News of Nauert. “He was trying to cover my mouth. I’ve known him too long [to be upset]. He was just saying to me, ‘C’mon, T. You’re way better than that.’ And he’s right.
“I apologize to the fans for my reaction.”
MLB is investigating because it sorta has to given that it has rules about players touching umpires, but I’d expect nothing to come of this given the nature of the situation and Hunter not having any objections.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.