Wieters walks off against Orioles
The Orioles were three outs away — two outs away, really — from their seventh straight win and ninth win in their last 11 games Wednesday night. Then the Nationals mounted a big three-run rally in the ninth inning against fill-in closer Brad Brach — Zach Britton is on the disabled list, remember — to earn a walk-off win.
Washington was down 6-2 going into the eighth inning before scoring two in the eighth and three in the ninth. Jayson Werth started that ninth inning rally with a solo home run. Former Orioles catcher Matt Wieters ended it with a two-run walk-off single to right. Here’s the video.
The win halted a three-game losing streak for the Nationals. They’d dropped the first two of this four-game home-and-home series with the Orioles at Camden Yards earlier this week. The Nats currently have the best record (22-12) and run differential (plus-51) in the National League thanks largely to their offense. Their 209 runs are 29 more than any other team.
When you have an offense like that — an offense led by Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and a resurgent Ryan Zimmerman — no game is ever truly over until the final out is recorded. The Nationals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the O’s on Wednesday.
Giants mount rare ninth-inning comeback
To call the start to this season a disappointment for the Giants would be a massive understatement. They went into Wednesday’s series finale with the Mets with baseball’s worst record at 11-23. A few hours later, they were 12-23, thanks to a dramatic ninth-inning comeback against Jeurys Familia. San Francisco scored four runs in the ninth to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 lead. They eventually won by the score of 6-5 .
Here’s video of the ninth inning rally. Christian Arroyo had the big blow, a bases-clearing double.
The Giants are used to being on the wrong end of ninth inning rallies like that. They’ve lost eight games this season (eight!) when they were leading or tied after eight innings. The bullpen was a major issue last year, and the offseason overhaul that included signing Mark Melancon has yet to improve things significantly.
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That said, Wednesday’s win was about the offense, not the bullpen. (Derek Law allowed two runs in the ninth before getting the final out.) This was the first time in exactly two years the Giants won a game they trailed going into the ninth inning. Two years! Andrew Baggarly of the Bay Area News Group has more:
The Giants, amazingly, had had lost 133 consecutive games in which they trailed entering the ninth. Their last comeback win in their final at-bat had come on May 10, 2015, when Matt Duffy walked off the Miami Marlins.
“I did not know that,” said Arroyo, following a stunned look with a stammer. “That’s news to me.”
Goodness, that’s a long time between ninth-inning comeback wins.
Cardinals win sixth straight
At one point this season the Cardinals were 3-9 with 22 run differential. They are now 19-14 with a +13 run differential, and in first place in the NL Central. St. Louis spent zero days in first place in 2016.
The Cardinals won their sixth straight game Wednesday night, and they did it after Lance Lynn gave up four runs to the Marlins in the first inning. St. Louis rallied for three runs in the third, three runs in the sixth, and one run in the seventh. Dexter Fowler had the big blow with a two-run triple.
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Since that dreadful 3-9 start — the Cardinals looked every bit as bad as that 3-9 record suggested too — the Cardinals have turned things around in a big way. They’re still a flawed team, especially defensively, but with the Cubs looking less and less like a powerhouse with each passing series, St. Louis might not have to be perfect to take the NL Central.
Miley walks the tight rope again
Before the bullpen blew the lead in the ninth inning, O’s starter Wade Miley pitched around trouble in his five innings of work, and ultimately allowed two runs on five hits (all singles) and four walks. He struck out five. Miley has been doing that all season cheap mlb discount sports jerseys. A ton of baserunners, but not many runs.
Add in double plays and caught stealings and all that, and Miley has an 87.9 percent strand rate so far this season. That is sixth highest among the 101 pitchers with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title. Miley’s career strand rate is 72.7 percent, for reference. The league average is 72.9 percent.
This isn’t rocket science cheap baseball jerseys. Miley has a 2.45 ERA following Wednesday’s start, but there’s basically no chance that lasts if he continues to allow baserunners at this pace. A 1.42 WHIP is no recipe for a sub-3.00 ERA long-term, especially since Miley is not going to blow hitters away. He needs his defense to make plays behind him, and when you allow the other team to put the ball in play, eventually some balls will find holes. That’s baseball. For now though, Miley’s high-wire act is working.
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Cano is still good at baseball
When the Mariners in December of 2013 signed wholesale authentic jerseys mlb second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million mega-deal, the decision from the club standpoint was widely panned. Yes, Cano was a great player, but he was also played the high-attrition position of second base and was going into his age-31 season. That’s a lot of money and years devoted to what figured to be a player’s decline phase. Well, it’s 2017, and we’re still waiting for Cano’s decline phase.
Cano entered the 2017 season with a line of .299/.355/.479 (133 OPS+) as a Mariner. He’s also continued to be one of the most durable and steady players in all of baseball. He’s produced at a very high level, especially by positional standards, while also answering the bell pretty much every day — vintage Cano, in other words.
How’s 2017, his age-34 campaign, going? Against the Phillies on Wednesday, Cano treated us to some opposite-field pop