It's all on Pedro's shoulders now

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The Phillies managed to score four runs in six innings against a fully rested Andy Pettitte in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday. Given that he’ll be working on short rest tonight, it seems doubtful that they’ll be shut down entirely. Pettitte hadn’t even started on four days’ rest since Sept. 5. His track record in big games shouldn’t be dismissed, but this is the most vulnerable he’s been in months.
So, tonight’s Game 6 figures to come down to Pedro Martinez. With the possibility of Mariano Rivera for two innings looming, it’s imperative that the Phillies build an early lead. If they don’t go to the bullpen ahead by two or three runs, it’s advantage Yankees.
WEEI’s Alex Speier has the rundown on Martinez’s previous record in elimination games. The future Hall of Famer played a big role in some of Boston’s comebacks, winning Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS against the Indians, Game 5 of the 2003 ALDS against the A’s and Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS against the Yankees.
Perhaps even more famously, though, Martinez blew Boston’s lead in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS against the Yankees. That game, ended by a walkoff homer in Aaron Boone in extra innings, cost Grady Little his job as Boston’s manager.
Martinez doesn’t figure to get a chance to spoil a late-inning lead tonight. With any luck, manager Charlie Manuel learned his lesson by sending Martinez back out for the seventh inning in Game 2. If Pedro can hold the Yankees to two runs over six innings — which is what he did last time out before Manuel pushed his luck — then the Phillies should be in pretty good position to send the World Series to a Game 7.
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I’ll be hosting a live chat during Game 6. Check back at 8 pm EST to join in.

Marlins, Mariners are “fairly close” on a trade for David Phelps

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Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners and the Marlins are “fairly close” on a trade that would send reliever David Phelps to Seattle. Earlier Ken Rosenthal and others reported that the sides were talking, but that a deal was not imminent.

Phelps, 30, had a fantastic 2016 season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 64 games while striking out 11.8 batters per nine innings. He’s not been as strong this year, but he’s still been a solid setup man, posting a 3.45 ERA in 44 games while striking out 51 batters and walking 21 in 47 innings. He throws in the mid-90s and induces grounders. Basically everything you want in a reliever, right?

The Mariners could probably use rotation help more than bullpen help, but solid innings are solid innings at one point and improving your pen takes some of the pressure off of your rotation.

 

Corey Seager has more homers than any other shortstop in Los Angeles Dodgers history

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Corey Sager homered in the Dodgers’ win over the White Sox last night. It was his 45th career homer, 44 of which have come while playing shortstop. While that’s great given that the guy has only played in 270 games, it’s not a lot of homers in an absolute sense. Thousands of players have more homers than that, obviously. Baseball has been around for a long time!

But it’s enough to set a record. A Los Angeles Dodgers record, specifically, for the most homers from a shortstop. It puts Seager past Rafael Furcal, who hit 43 while wearing Dodger blue. The record for the franchise, including Brooklyn, is Pee Wee Reese, who hit 122.

It seems astounding that no other Dodgers shortstop has hit more than 44 homers in the nearly 60 years since the club has been in Los Angeles, but it’s true. If you had asked me before I saw the factoid mentioned on Twitter I would’ve bet my life that Bill Russell would’ve had more. Not because he had any power — he was, in fact, one of the more punchless players of his era — but because he simply played in L.A. so long, logging 1,746 games at short for Walt Alston and Tommy Lasorda. Nope. He only hit 46 in his 18-year career, with a handful of those coming as an outfielder. His season high is seven. Seager has hit seven homers in May of his rookie season.

Oh well, you learn something new every day.