START: Yanks’ Cole takes on Jays with wild card in sight
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2021 | 22h54
Updated 30 minutes ago
A look at what’s going on around the majors today:
WILD, IS WILD
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is making what could be his last regular season start in a critical showdown against Toronto.
New York won the first game of a three-game series Tuesday night to beat the Blue Jays by three games for AL’s top wild card. Cole (16-8, 3.08) will look to strengthen the Yanks’ grip on a playoff berth while solidifying his candidacy for the Cy Young Award. The quadruple All-Star has never won the award for top baseball pitchers.
Cole could find himself pitching again on Sunday against the AL East champions Rays on a short rest if that’s critical to the Yankees’ playoff chances. Otherwise, he would be available on regular rest for a possible 163 match on Monday or for the Joker AL match on Tuesday.
First, he will face Jose Berrios of Toronto, who struck out eight and threw the ball two runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Yankees on September 9.
Boston lost to Baltimore on Tuesday night to be two games behind the Yankees and will continue a three-game streak against the Orioles in last place.
ON THE FAVORITE
The Braves can get closer to the NL East with a win over Philadelphia. Atlanta won the first game of its three-game set Tuesday night to take 3-1 / 2 games ahead of the second-placed Phillies, reducing their magic number to secure a fourth straight division title to three.
Atlanta southpaw Max Fried (13-7, 3.12) will face right-hander Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.64) for the Phillies, who were eliminated from the NL wildcard race on Tuesday when St. Louis beat Milwaukee and cannot make the playoffs by winning the division.
The Mariners won 10 of 12 to enter the AL wildcard race and enter their series final against Oakland, behind the Red Sox by a half-game for last place in the playoffs.
Right-hander Logan Gilbert (6-5, 4.83) is set to face A right-hander Frankie Montas (13-9, 3.48), with Seattle seeking a critical sweep. The Mariners are also still in pursuit of AL West, but Houston can take either a win over Tampa Bay or a loss to Seattle.
The Giants will end their quest for a title in the NL West without hitter Brandon Belt, who was entered on the injured list on Tuesday with a broken left thumb.
Belt won a 6-2 victory at Colorado Sunday in the seventh inning after being hit in the left hand with a pitch as he lined up for cushioning. Monday’s x-rays revealed the fracture.
The injury is a huge blow to the NL West executives, who started a home series with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night still looking to shut down their Premier League title since 2012. It’s unclear if Belt would be able to come back before the end of the playoffs. .
The 33-year-old belt hits .274 with a career-high 29 home runs and 59 RBIs.
San Francisco and the Dodgers both won on Tuesday, keeping the Giants two games ahead of the eight reigning champions NL West with five games left for each team.
NL Cy Young competitor Max Scherzer (15-4, 2.28) is trying to recover from his first tough start since a midseason trade with the Dodgers in a showdown with San Diego.
Scherzer gave the Rockies five runs in five innings at Coors Field last Thursday, letting his ERA increase to 1.43 in 10 starts after being acquired from Washington. The Dodgers rallied and won that game in Colorado, preserving Scherzer’s perfect 7-0 record with Los Angeles.
The Dodgers also plan to reassess slugger Albert Pujols a day after he was put on the COVID-19 injured list. The 41-year-old received his second dose of the vaccine and felt ill on Tuesday.
ON THE CALL
Melanie Newman and Jessica Mendoza will team up for an all-female broadcast when ESPN airs a game between the Padres and Dodgers.
Newman is in her second year playing radio and television play-by-play for the Baltimore Orioles and became the second woman to play play-by-play for a nationally broadcast game on June 22 when the Oakland Athletics took on the Texas Rangers on YouTube. MLB Game of the Week. Longtime New York Yankees announcer Suzyn Waldman was the first to appear in games on The Baseball Network in 1994-95.
On July 20, Newman joined Sarah Langs, Alanna Rizzo, Heidi Watney and Lauren Gardner for the first all-female nationwide show.
ESPN have tried to look for opportunities for Newman to call up some games earlier in the season, but have been unable to make it work so far. Newman also appeared in the September 22 game between San Diego and San Francisco on ESPN with Doug Glanville. Mendoza is in his seventh season as an MLB analyst on ESPN.
ALWAYS HAS HIS WINGS
Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said Shohei Ohtani’s comments last weekend about his will to win don’t mean the two-way star wants to leave the organization when he becomes a free agent after the season 2023.
Ohtani, an AL MVP favorite with 45 homers and a 3.18 entering ERA on Tuesday, said on Sunday that while he loves the team, the fans and the atmosphere, his top priority is winning.
“We all feel the same way, we all want to win,” Maddon said ahead of the Angels game in Texas on Tuesday night. “If someone misinterprets this as if they want to leave, they try to connect some dots that weren’t necessarily what they said, not what they said at all.
“He also mentioned how much he liked it here. The inner sanctum of the clubhouse, the guys, the coaching staff, all about it. The area. The fans. He loves them all. We all want to take it to the next level and we see it as an absolute possibility that it will happen here in the very near future. “
The Angels have had a losing record in six straight seasons and have missed the playoffs for seven straight years, the last four with Ohtani, who is under contract for two more seasons after this one.
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