Calling Friday night’s game between the Cubs and Cardinals, MLB Network broadcaster Bob Costas laid the criticism on heavy when reliever Pedro Strop was exiting the game in the eighth inning. Strop had allowed a game-tying home run to Greg Garcia, then hit Kolten Wong, got Matt Carpenter to fly out, and walked Jhonny Peralta before manager Joe Maddon pulled him in favor of Jason Motte.
Costas said of Strop’s performance, “Motte is on his way in, Strop is on his way out, pointing toward the heavens. We can only ask, or wonder that he is asking some departed relative for forgiveness for this atrocious performance.” Deadspin has video which includes the comment.
As expected, the comment didn’t go over well. The New York Daily News reports that Costas has reached out to the Cubs’ PR department to apologize personally to Strop. The two will meet on Sunday in Chicago.
“I intended it as a kind of sarcastic comment about this overall thing where everybody seems to be pointing toward the heavens for every accomplishment, large and small,” Costas said. “That wasn’t my intention. And so I owe him an apology. And I will apologize to him tomorrow.”
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.