The Marlins are in town to face the Red Sox, and you know what that means:
It’s a bittersweet sight to see the Florida Marlins arrive in
Boston. On one hand, seeing those turquoise and black uniforms trotting
out onto the Fenway grass is a reminder of the talent the Marlins’
organization has fed into Boston in the past — the Red Sox’ staff ace
and their third baseman are living proof of that. On the other hand,
there’s the tantalizing sight of one of baseball’s brightest young
stars returning to Fenway, a Red Sox prospect that was. That, of
course, would be Hanley Ramirez.
To this day, the debate rages on — what would you have done? With
the future of two franchises in your hands, with the chance to
drastically alter the careers of two of the game’s superstars, present
and future, would you pull the trigger? It’s not an easy call.
How is this not an easy call, even in hindsight? As the article itself
notes, if the Sox didn’t trade Ramirez, they wouldn’t have had Josh
Beckett or Mike Lowell, and without Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, it’s
almost a certainty that they would not have won the 2007 World Series.
I know Boston has recently become the city of champions and all of
that, but I’m guessing that about 95% of the fan base would prefer a
title in the bag to even an All-Star shortstop. The other 5% are either
crazy or have an unhealthy fetish for potential and shiny numbers.
To the extent there remains any “debate” about the Hanley Ramirez
deal, it’s borne of either (a) a latent desire by Sox fans for their
team to possess every player worth a damn; and (b) the need for the
media to fill the void the morning after almost every team had the day
The magic number to clinch a wild card spot is still 1, but the Mets have at least secured a wild card tie after defeating the Phillies 5-1 on Friday night.
Jay Bruce powered the offensive drive, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and his 33rd home run of the season, ripped from an Alec Asher fastball in the seventh inning. On the mound, right-hander Robert Gsellman limited the Phillies to seven hits and one run over six frames, striking out seven batters in his eighth appearance of the year. Behind him, a cadre of Mets relievers turned out three scoreless innings to preserve the lead and anchor the Mets in the wild card standings.
The Cardinals aren’t out of the race quite yet, and can still force a tiebreaker with the Mets if they manage to win the remainder of their games this weekend and the Mets lose the rest of theirs. Any other scenario will ensure the Mets’ exclusive rights to a wild card spot next week. While a wild card clinch is unlikely to happen tonight, with St. Louis leading Pittsburgh 7-0 through 7.5 innings and just entering a rain delay, it remains a distinct possibility over these next two days.
In a season that boasts the likes of Max Scherzer (he of the 20-strikeout masterpiece) and Clayton Kershaw (he of nine separate games with at least 10 strikeouts), there hasn’t been anyone who’s done exactly what Carlos Rodon did this week.
During Friday’s series opener against the Twins, Rodon retired seven consecutive batters via strikeout. His streak — and the beginnings of a perfect game, if you can call it that after just 2 ⅓ frames — ended on a Logan Schafer double that found right field well before Rodon managed to put up two strikes. With seven consecutive strikeouts, Rodon became the first American League pitcher to strike out seven batters to start a game since right-hander Joe Cowley did it for the Sox back in 1986. Had Schafer whiffed on a couple more fastballs, Rodon would have tied Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom for most strikeouts to start a game in major league history.
Not only did Rodon manage to quell the first seven batters in Minnesota’s lineup, but he extended his strikeout streak to 10 consecutive batters dating back through his last start against the Cleveland Indians. Per MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger, the last major league pitcher to do so was reliever Eric Gagne, who accomplished the feat for the 2003 Dodgers during his first and only Cy Young Award-winning season.
Any way you slice it, this is an impressive look: