Here is an unexpected plot twist as a season full of surprises narrows to its final days. If the Athletics make it to the postseason in the mad scramble that is the American League Wild Card chase, they will be armed and dangerous. And Jeff Samardzija is a big reason.
After Adam Wainwright picked up his 20th victory on Monday night, manager Mike Matheny said all you really need to know about why the Cardinals are as dangerous as any team in the National League. "He's right where we need him to be,'' Matheny said.
Royals starter Danny Duffy, just back from an injury, was finished after six shutout innings. There was a 2-0 lead over the Indians on Monday night, and the seventh inning usually belongs to reliever Kelvin Herrera, who had been worked hard of late. So what's a manager to do? Why, call in rookie left-hander Brandon Finnegan, with all of 4 1/3 innings on his Major League resume.
Jose Pirela set a Yankees franchise record just by stepping into the batter's box on Monday, and he then made his Major League debut in style by ripping a run-scoring triple in his first at-bat.