Well, this isn’t good. Diamondbacks right-hander Taijuan Walker lasted just two innings into Saturday’s start agains the Dodgers, and it looks like right forearm tightness is to blame. The 25-year-old righty appeared to sustain the injury sometime during the second inning, prompting a mound visit from manager Torey Lovullo and an athletic trainer in the middle of Joc Pederson‘s at-bat, but he was allowed to finish out the inning before making his exit prior to the third. It’s not yet clear how severe the injury is or how long he’ll be sidelined.
This is Walker’s second season with the Diamondbacks. He’s coming off of a career year with the club, during which he went 9-9 in 28 starts with a 3.49 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. So far this spring, he’s helped string together two wins for the club, including his first quality start (three hits, a run and two walks in six innings) against the Cardinals last week.
Left-hander T.J. McFarland replaced Walker to start the third inning. The Diamondbacks currently lead the Dodgers 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth.
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.