Next week, MLB owners are expected to vote and unanimously approve a five-year extension for commissioner Rob Manfred, Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports.
Manfred, 60, was elected to succeed Bud Selig in August 2014 and officially took over in January 2015. Major League Baseball has achieved record revenues during his tenure. He has also made noteworthy changes to pace of play rules. A new collective bargaining agreement was also ratified which has thus far worked out well for ownership. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Manfred will be unanimously approved to spend at least another five years at the helm.
Nightengale notes that additional rules are expected to be discussed between Manfred and the owners including more pace of play improvements such as a pitch clock, as well as potentially limiting shifts and pitching changes. The league could also make a rule to discourage the use of “openers,” a strategy popularized by the Rays this past season in which a traditional reliever starts a game but quickly yields to a starting pitcher once he has gotten through a certain portion of the opposing lineup.
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.