Phillies reliever Victor Arano retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth innings of Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Braves. That included a three-pitch eighth inning in which Ryan Flaherty, Lane Adams, and Ender Inciarte each swung at the first pitch they saw from Arano for an out.
Arano has retired all 22 batters he has faced thus far in the 2018 season and retired consecutively the final five batters he faced in the 2017 season, giving him a streak of 27 consecutive batters sent back to the dugout, as Crashburn Alley’s Matt Winkelman points out. Of those 27 outs, 13 have come on strikeouts.
Arano, 23, is a bit of a hidden gem in the Phillies’ bullpen. The club acquired him as the player to be named later in the Roberto Hernandez deal with the Dodgers back in August 2014. Across 18 innings in the majors thus far, Arano has yielded just two runs on six hits and four walks with 22 strikeouts.
What is modern postseason baseball without controversy involving replay review? In the bottom of the first inning of ALCS Game 4, with the Astros trailing the Red Sox 2-0, José Altuve slapped a Rick Porcello fastball to deep right field. Deep enough for a game-tying two-run home run, in fact. Right fielder Mookie Betts tracked the ball and leaped at the last minute to try to snag the ball, but came up a little short. The ball at first glance appeared to bounce off of a fan’s hand and back onto the field. Right field umpire Joe West initially ruled fan interference, meaning Altuve was out. The Astros challenged and the ruling was upheld, controversially.
Major League Baseball offered clarification on the ruling. Per Joel Sherman of the New York Post:
That was a huge swing for both teams as the game would have been tied otherwise. The Astros did push across a run later, in the bottom of the second, and the Red Sox added a run in the third, so the game is 3-1 as of this writing.