Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Thursday.
In 3 years of college baseball and 12 behind the microphone for minor league baseball, I broadcast a total of 3 tripple plays. The White Sox have turned two just this season-and we’re only in Mid-May. This one didn’t help them win, as the Astros won the game 5-3 but everybody at the second Comiskey Park can say they were there to see a tripple play go down. Runners Tony Kemp and Jose Altuve were on the bags for Houston. Both had walked, normally a recipe for disaster with a good hitter in George Springer stepping to the dish. As it happened, Springer hit a sharp grounder to Todd Frazier at third who stepped on third, fired to second and on to first for the tripple play. The last time a team turned two tripple plays this early in the season was 1978 when the Astros induced a pair in April alone. Tripple play or not, the Sox still lost their fourth in a row after a blazing start to the season. When they face Houston again tonight, Chris Sale tries to keep his record-breaking season going. He won his 8th game in as many decisions his last time out, starting the season 8-0 with an ERA under 2.0. That had only been twice before-by Pedro Martinez in 1997 and Fernando Valenzuela in 1981. Nobody has started 9-0 with an ERA under 2.0. Sale’s ERA is at 1.67.
The Sox’ crosstown rivals, the Cubs still haven’t lost on back-to-back days. They could have last night in Milwaukee, but reliever Travis Wood worked a bases-loaded walk for the winning RBI in the Cubs’ 2-1 victory over the Brewers. Up until the 9th yesterday, Brewers’ closer Jeremy Jeffress hadn’t blown a save. He went into the inning with a 1-0 lead to protect. This he didn’t do, plunking Anthony Rizzo, allowing a single to Ben Zobrist and giving up an RBI grounder to tie it. Wood was already a hero in the making when he stepped to the plate in the 13th. Half an inning before the Brewers had filled the bases with nobody out. But Wood retired the next 3 men he saw. When he stepped into the box, Brewers’ pitcher Carlos Torres had intentionally walked Miguel Montero to get to Wood, considering the Cubs had no bench players left. After a swinging strike he took 4 bad ones in a row for the go-ahead run. The foes will meet again this afternoon to end the series. When they do, Jason Hammel goes for his 8th quality start in as many outings. By that yardstick he’s their second-best starter after Jake Arrieta. He faces Junior Guerra, a rookie at 31 who is making the best of an improbable trip to the show. His career has gone from a suspension in 2008 to a stint in Italy, to being cut loose by the White Sox and miraculously finding a place in the sun with the Brewers. The MLB network’s Thursday night matchup should be a good one. Stephen Strasburg faces Matt Harvey, who looked like the Matt Harvey Met fans have come to know and love before struggling in Colorado-but who doesn’t struggle there. The Yankees’ bats got well for a night against Shelby Miller in a 4-2 win at Arizona. They move up the coast to the East Bay to play Oakland late tonight.