MLB Friday scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Yankees lose wildest game of 2018


A nine-game Friday slate became an eight-game slate because of this somewhat unusual weather event … 

The Dodgers and Giants will make up that game as part of an April 28 doubleheader. Now let’s dig into those games left standing … 

Friday’s games

Indians 3, Royals 2 (box score)
Braves 8, Rockies 3 (box score)
Pirates 14, Reds 3 (box score)
Orioles 7, Yankees 3 in 14 innings (box score)
Blue Jays 8, Rangers 5 (box score)
Brewers 5, Cubs 4 (box score)
Padres 4, Astros 1 (box score)
Angels 13, Athletics 9 (box score)
Dodgers at Giants, POSTPONED

Yankees lose more than just a game

The Orioles-Yankees tilt in the Bronx spanned 14 innings and 5 hours, 20 minutes. As you would imagine with such a sprawling contest, there was plenty of back-and-forth. Consider, for instance, the win-probability chart … 

As you can see, the Yankees at one point had an 81.2 percent chance to win. That’s when Didi Gregorius stole second base after a leadoff walk in the 11th. He made it to third with two outs. Then this happened … 

That’s some expert plate-blocking on the part of Baltimore reliever Mychal Givens. In fact, you can argue that it was against the rules. Upon review, though, the call stood, and we were spared the awkwardness of an on-review walk-off. 

To the 13th! That’s when Aaron Judge robbed Caleb Joseph of what should’ve been a go-ahead home run … 

Memories of the 2017 postseason, no? Speaking of Joseph, he was involved in some weirdness back in the sixth inning (yes, we’re going back in time, which after a 14-inning game becomes a flat circle). Basically, it probably should’ve been a double play turned by a heady Joseph, and because of that Buck Showalter declared his intention to play the game under protest … 

For the sake of simplicity, Ronald Torreyes agreeably grounded out to end the inning. OK, now let’s flash forward to the 14th. Here’s 31-year-old Pedro Alvarez, who spent almost all of 2017 in the minors … 

Brad Brach retired the Yanks in order in the bottom of the 14th, which meant that the Baltimore bullpen worked nine innings of two-hit, one-run ball. The O’s have also now taken the first two games of this four-game set. 

That’s not all the bad news for the Yankees. CC Sabathia left the game after the fourth inning with a sore right hip and underwent an MRI. Brandon Drury had to exit the game with a migraine and blurred vision. Tyler Wade left with flu-like symptoms, and Gary Sanchez departed with what Aaron Boone says he hopes is just a cramp in his calf (Sanchez caught almost the entire game). Sabathia’s seems to be the most concerning injury, but the Yankees will know more on Saturday. Cue tabloid angst … 

Speaking of Saturday, these same two teams get together at 1:05 p.m. ET. That’s not much rest, especially for a couple of exhausted bullpens. 

Ohtani homers in third straight game

In the second inning of Friday night’s Athletics-Angels tilt, Halos DH/two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani did this at the expense of Daniel Gossett … 

Some digits on that booming homer to center … 

Yep, nothing cheap about 112 mph off the bat and 449 feet. That makes for the hardest-hit and longest Angel home run thus far in 2018. With that, Ohtani has homered in three straight games, and he’s now slashing .467/.467/1.067 in 15 plate appearances on the young season. Remember when people were wondering whether the Angels would dispatch Ohtani (who also logged a quality start in his first outing) to the minors at the outset of the 2018 season? Somehow, that seems like a long time ago. 

Milwauk-off

The Brewers prevailed over the Cubs on Friday night in a back-and-forth affair. The Cubs went up 2-0 in the first, and that held until the fifth, when this Travis Shaw bomb off Kyle Hendricks — part of a four-run frame — put the hosts on top … 

Then in the sixth, Javy Baez tied it up with a two-run “Little League” home run (i.e., triple plus an error). That brings us to the bottom of the ninth, when Manny Pina walked and then advanced to third on an infield single followed by a Kris Bryant error. That brought Orlando Arcia to the plate with one out … 

That’s the Brewers’ second walk-off win by the exact score of 5-4 in the last four days. 

Pirates win again

As you see above, the Pirates on Friday night at PNC pretty well throttled the Reds. Colin Moran paced the attack with four hits, three RBI, and three runs scored. Early on, the Pirates set the right tone with the rarely glimpsed 7-4-3 double play … 

And with that we present to you the up-to-date NL Central standings … 

NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
TEAM W L PCT. GB RS RA DIFF HOME ROAD EAST CENT WEST L10 STRK
Pittsburgh 6 1 .857 49 32 17 3-1 3-0 0-0 2-0 0-0 6-1 W 2
Milwaukee 5 3 .625 31 40 -9 2-3 3-0 0-0 2-3 3-0 5-3 W 1
Chi. Cubs 3 4 .500 3 31 24 7 0-0 3-4 2-2 1-2 0-0 3-4 L 1
St. Louis 3 4 .429 3 30 28 2 0-1 3-3 1-2 2-1 0-1 3-4 L 1
Cincinnati 1 5 .167 18 40 -22 1-3 0-2 0-3 1-2 0-0 1-5 L 2

Yes, the Pirates are playing .857 ball, and that scales to a 139-win pace. It’s all backed up by a plus-17 run differential, which is a figure right now bested by just the Astros and Braves. To be sure, the Pirates have fattened up on a schedule that’s thus far seen them play five of seven games against the Tigers and Reds (the Twins handed them their only loss). Still, it’s an encouraging start to the season for a team that spent the offseason trading away core vets such as Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole

Will it last? Almost certainly not — the schedule toughens up on Monday, when they visit the Cubs for three. But the Pirates and their otherwise disgruntled rooters will enjoy it while it lasts. 

Brantley returns to Indians

Outfielder Michael Brantley has of course been waylaid by injuries in recent years. In 2016 and 2017, Brantley was limited to just 101 total games first because of major shoulder problems and then because of ankle surgery. Some observers were even surprised when the Indians picked up his $11.5 million option for 2018. Brantley’s now in his age-31 season, and it feels like a long time since he finished third in the AL MVP balloting in 2014. 

Prior to Friday’s home opener against the Royals, though, the Tribe activated Brantley, put him in left, and batted him fifth in the lineup. The last time Brantley attempted a comeback, his ability to hit was still compromised by shoulder and biceps issues, but this time he had no such concerns at the plate — at least outside of rust and age. In the second inning, Brantley came up with the bases loaded, no outs, and the Indians trailing 2-1. He promptly took care of a first-pitch fastball from Danny Duffy … 

Not exactly a blast, but Brantley will take a two-RBI single of any kind given recent circumstances — especially one that provides the eventual margin of victory. He struck out looking in the third, grounded out sharply to third in the sixth, and grounded out to second in the eighth.

In all, it was a promising return to action for Brantley. Potentially, he’ll be a key piece for the AL Central favorites. They have some outfield depth, what with Bradley Zimmer, Lonnie Chisenhall, Tyler Naquin, and Brandon Guyer all in the fold. Brantley, though, has an offensive ceiling that said outfield mix really needs.  

Freeman keeps raking

The Braves have a tremendous amount of young talent in place or on the way, but let’s not forget they also have a veteran batsman whose numbers are among the best hitters in all of baseball. We speak, of course, of first baseman Freddie Freeman, who’s toe-deep into his age-28 season. 

Speaking of Mr. Freeman, on Friday night in Denver he went 1-for-3 with a pair of walks. Believe it or not, that actually dropped his 2018 slash line to .409/.618/.818. On the year, he now has 12 walks against just three strikeouts. In this high-K era, that’s notable even in such a minuscule sample. Anyhow, as the lofty .618 OBP suggests, Freeman is getting on base quite often this season. On that point … 

Freeman actually went hitless in the second game of the season, but he drew three walks. Speaking of reaching base at least twice in a game, Hall of Famers Rickey Henderson (1981) and Eddie Mathews (1963) share the all-time record with streaks of 14 games each to start the season. So Freeman is halfway to history. The overall record — i.e., longest streak of reaching base multiple times regardless of whether it’s to start the season — belongs to Ted Williams with 23 straight games in 1957 (his absurdly brilliant age-38 campaign). Second on the list is Williams again with 21 straight games in 1948, and then comes another active NL first baseman –Joey Votto — with 20 straight games last season. 

As for Freeman, he’s truly been on another level since the start of the 2016 season. Over that span, he’s put up an OPS+ of 162. Last season’s wrist fracture ate up some of his value, but on a rate basis he’s been one of the very best hitters in baseball of late. He’s at it again in 2018, and he’s the biggest reason that the Braves at this writing lead the majors in runs scored. 

Quick hits

  • The Brewers already said they were going to do this, but Friday made it official that All-Star closer Corey Knebel was placed on the disabled list due to a strained left hamstring. As a corresponding move, right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser was recalled from Double-A. Knebel is expected to miss around six weeks
  • Yankees LHP CC Sabathia left his Friday night start with right hip soreness. He’ll undergo an MRI. 
  • Red Sox top prospect Michael Chavis has been suspended 80 games after testing positive for a banned PED. He was on the roster at Double-A Portland. 
  • The Diamondbacks claimed reliever Troy Scribner off waivers from the Angels and designated outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker for assignment as a corresponding move. 



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