September 20, 2019
Chicago Cubs — The Cubs activated Craig Kimbrel Thursday and immediately thrust him into action in a tie game in the 10th inning. He took the loss after allowing a go-ahead home run to Matt Carpenter, who hadn’t homered since Aug. 25. While he might see off days here and there, possibly including today, Kimbrel (0-3. 1.53 WHIP, 5.95 ERA) will return to closer duties for the stretch run. Meanwhile, Brandon Kintzler, who originally targeted today for a return, is now more likely to be back early next week.
Updated hierarchy: Kimbrel | Wick | Kintzler.
St. Louis Cardinals — After a gem by Jack Flaherty, the Cardinals were up 4-1 and brought in Carlos Martinez, who coughed up two runs and recorded just one out before being pulled. Andrew Miller allowed an RBI groundout to tie the game, but managed to stop the bleeding and send the game into extras. After Matt Carpenter’s homer in the top half of the tenth, Giovanny Gallegos came out for the bottom half to record his first save. Gallegos likely rewarded a significant number of patient owners who rostered him for his excellent contributions to the ratios (0.73 WHIP, 2.07 ERA, 92/15 K/BB ratio in 69.2 IP).
Hierarchy remains: Martinez | Miller | Gallegos.
Seattle Mariners — Rookie Erik Swanson worked around a walk to strike out the side in the 11th in getting his first career save. Anthony Bass had pitched earlier in the game and Matt Magill, who recently dealt with a sore back, was perhaps getting some rest during Thursday’s matinee after earning his fifth save on Wednesday night.
Hierarchy remains: *Magill | Bass | Tuivailala.
* = closer-by-committee
New York Yankees – Dellin Betances is expected to be ready for spring training after he partially tore his Achilles tendon on Sunday. Doctors said Betances should not need surgery and should make a full recovery, but he is obviously out for the season. He pitched in just one game this year, striking out the only two batters he faced on Sept. 15.
Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Britton | Ottavino.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Matt Barnes – Brandon Workman threw 29 pitches Thursday and has pitched in four of his last six.
2. Andrew Miller – Carlos Martinez has pitched in two straight and three of four.
3. Rowan Wick/Steve Cishek – Though the Cubs are fighting for their playoff lives, Craig Kimbrel probably won’t pitch back-to-back so soon after returning from the IL.
4. Sergio Romo – Taylor Rogers has gone in three of four. Sergio Romo has had the same workload, but threw only 29 pitches over that span (including just five on Thursday).
5. Nick Goody – Brad Hand (arm fatigue) pitched in a side session Wednesday and “looked like himself,” but it’s not known when he will return.
1. Nick Goody — See above.
2. Michael Lorenzen — Raisel Iglesias pitched in three of four before the Reds were off on Thursday, so a Friday outing would bring his recent workload to three of four (again) and four of six.
3. Jose Alvarez/Blake Parker — A Friday outing would be three of four for Hector Neris.