I don’t know if any of you have heard this, but the Blue Jays and Rangers don’t really like each other. It all started in the ALDS last year when Jose Bautista hit a series-clinching three-run home run and flipped his bat in celebration. In May earlier this year, the Rangers exacted revenge as second baseman Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the face.
Thursday afternoon’s ALDS opener was the first meeting between the Jays and Rangers since Odor landed the infamous punch. Thankfully, neither side got ornery but the Blue Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the third inning and would go on to win 10-1. Bautista tacked on the final three of the Jays’ 10 runs in the top of the ninth inning against reliever Jake Diekman, launching a homer to left field. Bautista did not flip his bat in celebration. As theScore put it, he “quietly [dropped] the bat” after the homer.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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