There’s been some controversy about this, but the Cardinals will go ahead with their plan …
Oscar Taveras died last October when he crashed his sports car into a tree while driving drunk in the Dominican Republic. His 18-year-old girlfriend Edilia Arvelo was also killed. If Taveras had survived, he would have been charged with vehicular homicide, but the Cardinals haven’t shied away from that and what they’re honoring here is the entire life of someone they loved. Taveras, ranked the game’s No. 3 prospect by Baseball America before the 2014 season, was supposed to take over as the Cards’ starting right fielder in 2015.
You don’t see a No. 18 on the patch because Taveras’ best friend on the Cardinals, Dominican right-hander Carlos Martinez, will wear the number in Oscar’s honor. Martinez urged Taveras to live with him over the winter at a private resort in the Dominican, away from the parties and crazy drivers and bad roads.
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.