From Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News …
Hunter Pence wasn’t sure if he’d need to go back on the disabled list. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is willing to wait a day.
This much is clear: Pence’s left wrist remained too sore to return to the Giants lineup Tuesday night as the club opens a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Pence felt more discomfort in his wrist when he tried to swing off a tee and take soft-toss batting practice.
This is going to be the seventh consecutive day off for Pence. San Francisco could backdate a 15-day disabled list stint to June 3, and that’s probably what the club will do Wednesday considering Pence isn’t making significant progress. Gregor Blanco is in right field for the Giants on Tuesday night against the Mets. Justin Maxwell has also been drawing some starts in right.
Pence was batting .282/.329/.451 with two home runs, four doubles, and 13 RBI through his first 18 games this season. The 32-year-old missed all of April and half of May because of a fractured left forearm.
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.