Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Runners on toes for wild pitches

By the bay in San Francisco to Motown's Comerica Park and Busch Stadium in the Midwest, pitchers are flinging balls to the backstop with a regularity rarely seen in October.

Jitters? Adrenalin? Just plain overthrowing? It's something, all right.

"Perhaps some of the guys might be trying too hard and they're bouncing the balls way in front of the plate," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "The ones I've seen didn't give the catchers much chance to catch it. I just hope we don't have any."

Reds closer Aroldis Chapman threw a pair of wild pitches Saturday night, including one that scored a run in his team's 5-2 victory at San Francisco.

There were two more in the eighth inning at Detroit on Sunday that brought home runs, one for each team in the Tigers' 5-4 win against the A's. That's the first time in postseason history in which both teams scored a tying run on a wild pitch in the same inning, according to STATS LLC.

"Man, that Oakland game was wild, wasn't it?" Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a little different time. Pitchers are trying to put a little bit more on it, trying to make that great pitch."

Then, Nationals 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez had one of his own. The wild pitch scored a run after he walked four of the first five batters in a 3-2 Game 1 win against the Cardinals.

"If you see that, you have to be ready on the bases," the Giants' Pablo Sandoval said. "All the teams have been doing that. A situation like this, you have the pressure on you to try to do too much. That's the situation with the pitchers. They try too much and that's the time they throw wild."

A's: The team is hopeful that LHP Brett Anderson will be ready to make his first start since getting hurt Sept. 19 against the Tigers. After missing the last couple of weeks during the regular season with a strained right oblique, the team put Anderson on its postseason roster. He was 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in a season limited to six starts by elbow surgery and the side strain. Manager Bob Melvin said Anderson feels good, but he wants to wait until today to announce whether he will start Tuesday.

Giants: Bochy named RHP Ryan Vogelsong his Game 3 starter for Tuesday. Though Bochy said he already has picked a pitcher for a potential Game 4, he wouldn't say whether he would turn to RHP Matt Cain on three days' rest.

Nationals: As expected, the team did not place RHP Stephen Strasburg, who was shut down late in the season after reaching a team-imposed innings limit, on the roster for the NL Division Series against St. Louis.

Yankees: Even though manager Joe Girardi doesn't like to start his lefties back to back, he will send Andy Pettitte, the winningest pitcher in postseason history, to the mound tonight in Game 2 against the Orioles. Pettitte follows CC Sabathia, so RHP Hiroki Kuroda will start Game 3. Pettitte came out of retirement in May, then missed three months with a broken lower left leg. Now he's, pitching in the playoffs, where he has a 19-10 record and a 3.83 ERA. "A lot of ups and downs. A roller coaster for sure," he said. "When I came back, this is what I was hoping to get the opportunity to do."

Rockies' Tracy resigns

DENVER — Colorado manager Jim Tracy resigned, stepping down after the team set a franchise record for losses in finishing 64-98. Tracy, promoted from bench coach to manager in May 2009, was voted the NL manager of the year that season and Colorado went 294-308 under him.

"I was surprised," said Bill Geivett, the team's director of major-league operations. "Tracy called me and told me his intentions, and we talked about a lot of different things, but he had already made up his mind."

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