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Playoff Reset: Blue Jays vs. Rangers ALDS Game 2

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The Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers, ALDS Game 2
The Time: 1:00 PM EDT
The Place: Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: J.A. Happ (Blue Jays) vs.Yu Darvish (Rangers)

The Upshot:

Well, Game 1 was a butt-kicking, eh? An ineffective Cole Hamels and multiple mistakes, all capitalized on by the Blue Jays, led to their shellacking of the Texas Rangers. Now the clubs get an early wakeup call for a noon local time Game 2.

The somewhat good news for Texas is that they “only” used three relievers in that blood bath yesterday, and only one of them — Alex Claudio — went long, burning him for today. Still, Jeff Bannister is going to want as long an outing as possible from starter Yu Darvish (7-5, 3.41 ERA) to make up for yesterday’s disaster. Darvish is on six days’ rest. In his last two starts of the regular season, he allowed one earned run in 13 innings, allowing five hits and striking out 21. Cole Hamels may be the Rangers’ ace, but Darvish needs to be their horse this afternoon.

For Toronto, it’s J.A. Happ, (20-4, 3.18), making his first postseason appearance since losing to the Yankees in the 2009 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. Happ faced the Rangers once this year, giving up one run on six hits in seven inning and getting the W. That was back in May, though, so it may as well have been a billion years ago.

Another bit of good news? The Blue Jays lost Game 1 in last year’s ALDS matchup between these two clubs but went on to win the series. It’s not what you really want, but hold all of your “pivotals” and “crucials” for a few more hours.

But really, if the Rangers play in the same kind of fog they played in yesterday, this one is going to be over before it even really begins.

 

A’s players, staff support coach after gesture, no penalty

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Major League Baseball has been in touch with the Oakland Athletics about their bench coach making a gesture that appeared to be a Nazi salute following a win over the Texas Rangers.

No discipline has been announced against coach Ryan Christenson, who has apologized for the gesture.

“Ryan Christenson is fully supported by everybody in our clubhouse and they know who he is. So do I. Obviously it didn’t look great but that was not his intent at all. I know that for a fact,” manager Bob Melvin said Friday before a game against Houston.

“He’s just not that guy. I’d say he’s progressive, very progressive as a person. Everybody feels bad for him right now `cause they know who he is,” Melvin added.

A short team meeting was all that the A’s needed because Christenson had full support, Melvin said.

Christenson apologized late Thursday for raising his arm during the postgame celebration. He made the gesture while greeting closer Liam Hendriks following a 6-4 win over the Rangers.

Hendriks immediately pushed Christenson’s arm down. Cameras showed Christenson laughing and briefly raising his arm a second time.

Christenson faced criticism after video of the gesture circulated on social media.

“I made a mistake and will not deny it,” Christenson said in a statement issued through the team. “Today in the dugout I greeted players with a gesture that was offensive. In the world today of COVID, I adapted our elbow bump, which we do after wins, to create some distance with the players. My gesture unintentionally resulted in a racist and horrible salute that I do not believe in. What I did is unacceptable and I deeply apologize.”

The A’s called the gesture “offensive” and apologized for it.

“We do not support or condone this gesture or the racist sentiment behind it,” the team said in a statement. “This is incredibly offensive, especially in these times when we as a club and so many others are working to expose and address racial inequities in our country. We are deeply sorry that this happened on our playing field.”

The 46-year-old Christenson played six years in the majors from 1998-2003. He later spent several years coaching in the minors before becoming bench coach for the A’s in 2018.