UPDATE: The Royals plated one run in the top of the third inning on an Eric Hosmer fielder’s choice, so the Blue Jays lead 3-2 going into the bottom of the third inning.
8:56 p.m. ET: After being shut down in the bottom of the first inning, the Blue Jays got to Johnny Cueto in the bottom of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead in Game 3 of the ALCS at Rogers Centre in Toronto.
Troy Tulowitzki got the rally started with a one-out single. It snapped Cueto’s streak of 24 straight batters without a hit. Russell Martin was then hit in the left elbow by a pitch before Kevin Pillar grounded into a fielder’s choice for an out at second base. Pillar stole second base without a throw before Ryan Goins singled into left field to plate two runs. Pillar got a face-full of dirt on his slide into home plate, which was just ahead of the tag from Salvador Perez.
The Blue Jays weren’t done there, as Ben Revere drew a walk before Josh Donaldson singled to left to drive in the third run of the inning. Cueto managed to get Jose Bautista to fly out to right field to escape further damage.
Cueto has already thrown 50 pitches through his first two innings of work tonight.
Phillies manager Joe Girardi told reporters today that Andrew McCutchen will not be ready to play to start the season. McCutchen is still recovering from the ACL tear he suffered last year. Girardi said that McCutchen hasn’t suffered a setback, but is simply not on a timetable that would allow him to play on Opening Day.
Obviously, this is a bit of a blow for the Phillies. McCutchen isn’t the MVP-level player he once ways, but he’s still a difference-maker and can be a spark plug for an offense. He was off to a .256/.378/.457 start in his 262 plate appearances before the injury struck. His continued stint on the injured list opens up everyday at-bats for Jay Bruce, whom the Phillies traded for during the 2019 season to help fill the hole caused by McCutchen’s injury. Bruce moving up the depth chart opens up a roster spot for someone like Neil Walker, Nick Martini or Kyle Garlick to make the team.
Girardi said that the Phillies expect McCutchen back at some point in April, so he hopefully won’t be on the shelf too much longer. Still, it stinks that we’re going to have wait longer for one of the more fun players in baseball to suit up again.