Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff will miss the next six to eight weeks with a strained right lat. Manager Gabe Kapler said the right-hander suffered the injury with one of his final pitches during his most recent Grapefruit League start.
Eickhoff, who suffered a similar injury last year, went 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA and a 118/53 K/BB ratio in 128 innings during the 2017 season.
Salisbury notes that the Phillies are likely to fill Eickhoff’s spot in the rotation internally. With free agent Alex Cobb still available, GM Matt Klentak said on Monday that the Phillies’ moves were likely complete. Following news of Eickhoff’s injury, Klentak said on Friday that the young pitchers — almost certainly referring to Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter, who are fighting for rotation spots — are stretched out and worthy of a look.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.