Blue Jays closer Ken Giles is day-to-day after developing some nerve inflammation in his right arm, club manager Charlie Montoyo revealed Saturday.
“During the break, he felt great and then he went [and] got a massage, and from that he got nerve inflammation and that’s why he didn’t pitch today,” Montoyo said in a quote captured by MLB.com’s Alexis Brudnicki. It’s not yet clear when Giles might return to the mound, as he was ruled out for Sunday’s series finale against the Yankees.
Giles, 28, has been spectacular when healthy. Prior to his recent setback, he racked up 13 saves with a 1.45 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 15.4 SO/9, and 1.4 fWAR through 31 innings in 2019. While it seems unlikely that he’ll be sidelined for long, there’s increasing pressure to make a quick recovery as the Blue Jays have been fielding recent trade offers from the Yankees and Twins.
For now, however, the team may turn to rookie right-hander Justin Shafer in Giles’ place. Shafer, now in his second season with the club, has pitched just 10 1/3 innings in the majors this season. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi notes that while they could also utilize Daniel Hudson in the closer role, they’d rather give him a break after he tossed 35 pitches in Saturday’s 2-1 win.
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.