Friday’s game ended in impressive and terrible fashion for Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin, who was carted off the field with a knee sprain just moments after making a last-second grab at the wall. Naquin’s moment arrived in the fifth inning when, with two outs and a runner on first, Joey Wendle skied a ball out to the left field corner. The fleet-footed left fielder sprinted over to the corner to make the play and crashed into the wall at full speed, tumbling backwards onto the warning track as the catch was confirmed.
It was immediately clear that something was wrong. Naquin grimaced and clutched his leg, writhing in obvious pain until the Indians’ staff reached him with a medical cart. Unable to put any weight on his leg, he was carted off the field and replaced by Greg Allen for the remaining four innings.
Following the conclusion of the Indians’ 4-0 loss to the Rays, the club confirmed that Naquin had sustained a right knee sprain in the collision. How much time he’ll miss is still unknown, though it’s of some relief that the injury doesn’t appear to be more severe.
After exiting Friday’s game, Naquin holds a .288/.325/.467 batting line with 10 home runs and 34 RBI through 294 plate appearances in 2019. He went 1-for-2 with a double against the Rays.
Update: On Saturday, the Indians revealed Naquin suffered a torn ACL while making the play. He won’t play again in 2019, and it’s unclear what his timetable will look like in 2020.
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.