Update (10:14 PM ET): Per CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, the MRI revealed a Grade 1 hamstring strain.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon believes starter Jake Arrieta will likely miss his next start as a result of a right hamstring injury, MLB.com’s Bob Cohn and Carrie Muskat report. Arrieta left Monday’s start against the Pirates with the injury. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday but the results aren’t back yet.
Maddon said, “We’re probably gonna push him back, regardless of what the news is. It’s hard to imagine he’ll start his next time out.”
Arrieta, 31, is carrying a 3.48 ERA with a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings over 28 starts this season. While the Cubs still have a lot of fighting left to do to secure their spot atop the NL Central, the club will likely be cautious with their prized right-hander.
If Arrieta is indeed skipped in the rotation, Mike Montgomery will start in his place against the Brewers over the weekend.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.