As was reported over the weekend, Felipe Lopez fired his agent, Scott Boras, and Kendry Morales fired his agents, the Hendricks brothers . . . and joined up with Scott Boras. The whys of these sorts of things are always a bit murky, but SI’s Jon Heyman explains in consecutive bullet points in his latest column:
• Kendry Morales had a financial dispute with Randy and Alan Hendricks before leaving them for Scott Boras. Morales is the one who brought Chapman to the Hendricks brothers so there was quite a turn for the worse in their relationship.
• Felipe Lopez was obviously frustrated not to find a starting job from among 30 teams after hitting .310 with a .383 on-base percentage, which led to his switch from Boras to the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
The stuff about Morales is new, as I’ve not seen anyone else report why he left the Hendricks brothers. The Lopez stuff — the “starting job from among 30 teams” language — is not so new. Yes, I’m sure I’ve heard it before. Where was it . . . where was it . . . Oh yeah, those were Scott Boras’ words:
“We know how frustrating it is when a player can’t get a starting job from any one of the 30 teams,” Boras says. “We wish Felipe well. He’s a very talented player.”
Query: does Lopez agree that he “couldn’t get” a job “from any of the 30 teams” or does he think his agent didn’t shop him effectively? Inquiring minds want to know.
In any event, I find it interesting that Heyman is able to dig into the muck of a player-agent financial dispute so quickly in the case of Morales, while in the case of Lopez he is left with parroting the defensive and self-serving statement of the fired agent.
Unless of course both of those pieces of information came from the same place. Then it’s interesting for other reasons.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.