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Astros become ninth team to announce extended protective netting

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The White Sox, Nationals, Tigers, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Pirates, Rangers, and Royals have all announced that they plan to extend the protective netting at their ballparks. Add another team to that list: the Astros will be doing so at Minute Maid Park.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that all of the current netting will be replaced with “knotless netting,” which will allow for an improved viewing experience. The netting will also be extended further down lines.

Just as the first push for expanded netting came as the result of a follow-the-leader approach, at which point critical mass was reached and all 30 teams did it, I suspect that, by Opening Day 2020, all 30 teams will have once again expanded their netting by virtue of the leaders on the matter setting a new defacto standard of care in the industry.

Video: Kurt Suzuki breaks World Series Game 2 tie with long solo homer

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The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.

Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.

The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.

Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.