Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Monday, May 8.
Unlike Matt Harvey, I’m not pulling a no-show after the theatrical drama that was last night’s 18-inning Yankee win over the Cubs, 5-4 at Wrigley Field. The game didn’t even give me a migraine, though Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi’s tactics gave me heartburn. With a 4-1 lead through 7 and starter Luis Severino on cruise control, Girardi removed him. When Dellin Betances got the Yanks through the 8th that seemed like an OK move. But Aroldis Chapman, who certainly is no Mariano Rivera gave up 3 9th-inning runs. It took the Yankees another 9 innings to recover from this uncharacteristic event. The game featured a record 48 strikeouts, breaking a 1971 record held by the A’s and Angels. In that 20-inning contest 43 men went down on strikes. No ESPN Sunday night game had ever gone so long. This one ended after 2 AM Eastern Time. No interleague game had gone so long since interleague play began in the 1990’s. As the 10th inning began the next 10 men struck out. 3 Cubs’ pitchers had to pinch-hit when manager Joe Madden ran out of bench players. Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks all struck out in their pinch-hitting appearances. As badly as he pitched, giving up 3 hits, 3 runs, walking two and hitting a man even Chapman struck out two batters, the only two men he got out. Normally a closer never gets pulled like Chapman did in favor of Tyler Clippard. Chasten Shreve, an unheralded lefty finally got the win. He was the 7th Yankee pitcher. Home plate umpire Cowboy Joe West had never called a longer game. He called an 18-inning affair back in 1986, at an unlighted Wrigley. His performance sparked a lengthy debate on Facebook as to who should join Cowboy Joe on the “Umpiring Crew From Hell.” My votes went to Don Denkinger, Angel Hernandez and others whose names escape me now. The entire thread has been removed from Facebook so I can’t check who jumped into my mind and has since slipped out. The winning Yankees struck out 22 times. 4 Yankees had no hits. One of these was Starlin Castro who drove in the first run and then the final run in the 18th on RBI grounders.
With all the drama surrounding Matt Harvey’s Saturday no-show and his 3-day suspension that cost him a turn yesterday, the Mets’ troubles aren’t just on the mound. With Asdrubal Cabrera’s hurt thumb the Mets needed another shortstop. They have top prospect Amed (pronounced AhMed) Rosario tearing it up at AAA Vegas with an average hovering around .370. So what did they do? Did they make The move any team with more sense than a sack of cement would make? Bring up Rosario? No, they brought up light-hitting Brandon Cecchini. Nothing against the 23-year-old who’s been toiling his butt off in the minors since 2012, but Rosario’s bat would deflect a lot of the hostility Matt Harvey is receiving on social media at this point. Rosario is 2 years younger and has an infinitely higher ceiling than Cecchini whose only real asset is his comical name that sounds like zucchini. The Mets keep making the same mistake. It’s hard to believe Adam Wilk was their best option at AAA when Harvey was suspended, but Wilk got the call and the pounding that was pretty much expected. The sad fact is he and Rafael Montero probably both have further starts in their future for the Mets who have gone from World Series contender to a team that will be lucky to stay out of last place even in the pathetic NL East. They have a major league ready first baseman in Domenic Smith going stale at AAA while Lucas Duda is hurt and showing no signs of returning. Why the Mets keep Smith and Rosario in AAA is beyond comprehension. They wouldn’t help the team’s pitching but at least the Mets would be fun to watch with the younger players in the lineup.
There are no daylight games today. Gio Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman are a fine matchup as the Nationals face the Orioles in Baltimore, though Gausman is off to a more rocky start. After their 18-inning marathon last night the Yankees should get a breather against the Reds. Masahiro Tanaka should be able to go the distance if needed considering the state of their bull pen. He’s won his last 4 starts. He faces Rookie Davis who will need a name change once he loses rookie status. The Mets, the drama kings of Queens face the Giants who were recently swept 3 straight by the Reds only to have their bus break down on the way to the airport. The Cubs face the Rockies in Denver after losing last night’s marathon. One of their pinch-hitters, Jake Arrieta faces the Rockies. He was slammed for 9 runs the only time he pitched at Coors Canaveral. The A’s and Angels meet in one of tonight’s late games. The Pirates face the Dodgers in another. The Pirates’ Trevor Williams makes just his second MLB start.
Coming off an unheard-of rainout in San Diego the Dodgers haven’t said just who will go tonight. The final late game features the Rangers in San Diego against the Padres.0