Link-O-Rama: Hoffman's new deal

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* Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the details on Trevor Hoffman’s new contract with the Brewers. He’ll earn $7.5 million in 2010 and the team holds a $7.5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2011. Based on games finished in 2010 his 2011 salary can increase to $8.5 million and the buyout can rise to $1 million.
In other words, at least Hoffman will make $8 million for one season and at most he’ll make $16 million for two seasons. Hoffman converted 37-of-41 saves with a 1.83 ERA and 48/14 K/BB ratio over 54 innings in his first season in Milwaukee, showing no signs of slowing down at the age of 41.
* Fredi Gonzalez will return as Marlins manager next season, but pitching coach Mark Wiley and first-base coach Andy Fox won’t be on his 2010 staff.
* LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has had a hell of a time trying to get to New York, but he notes that the Twins arrived there at 3:05 a.m. and “most of them will be tired, buzzed from beer and champagne.” Just part of the reason why Minnesota is the biggest underdog of the postseason.
* Terry Francona announced this morning that Jed Lowrie will be on the Red Sox’s playoff roster despite getting a total of just 76 plate appearances in an injury-wrecked season.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and two walks total.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.