We entered the bottom of the eighth with the Americans leading the Nationals 5-2, and Charlie Morton on the hill. He got Joe Votto to ground out to second but he wasn’t so lucky when the Brewers’ Christian Yelich came to the plate: Yelich homered, again to left field, to bring the National League one run closer, 5-3.
After that Morton got both Charlie Blackmon and Lorenzo Cain to strike out, ending the inning.
We head to the top of the ninth, the American League still in the lead.
When the Astros acquired suspended reliever Roberto Osuna it was viewed as a low-price move to bolster their bullpen. Now, it turns out, it was a move to get a closer. Manager A.J. Hinch said as much today, anyway, telling MLB Network Radio that Osuna is going to get most of Houston’s save chances going forward.
This comes the morning after a late innings loss to the Mariners. The closer who Osuna is going to take over for — Hector Rondon — didn’t even pitch in that game, with the damage coming on a three-run Robinson Cano homer off of Collin McHugh. Rondon has blown saves in two of his last three appearances, however, coughing up runs against the Mariners at home on August 12 and against the A’s this past Friday.
Osuna has made five appearances since joining the Astros, allowing one run, striking out three and walking one in five innings of work. Before that he saved nine games for the Blue Jays prior to his domestic violence suspension.