As we mentioned in this morning’s recaps, the Angels came back from a 5-0 deficit against the Rangers in Anaheim. The winning run came on a walkoff squeeze bunt, with Jeremy Jeffress getting the loss in the 10th. Texas wouldn’t have even been playing in the 10th, however, if their closer had taken care of business in the ninth.
That closer — for the moment anyway — is Sam Dyson, who gave up three runs on four hits while trying to convert what, on paper anyway, is the easiest of saves. He allowed a leadoff homer to Danny Espinosa, a double to Yunel Escobar, an RBI double to Mike Trout and an RBI single to Albert Pujols. Just like that the game was tied at five, setting the stage for Carlos Perez’s bunty heroics in the final frame.
Dyson has come in to two save situations this season and has blown them both. He likewise lost the Rangers’ Opening Day game, entering it with things tied up only to allow three runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Last night, after the Angels win, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said “we can’t continue to lose games like this.” I’d read “like this” to mean “with Sam Dyson pitching in the ninth.” Matt Bush? Jeremy Jeffress? Time to get ready for your closeup.
UPDATE: OK, maybe not Matt Bush.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.