There is some moderate consternation among Yankees fans about what the Yankees will do with Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Joe Girardi this offseason, seeing as all three of them will no longer be under contract once the year ends. Sure, everyone knows that all three will almost certainly be back, but the details are a bit fuzzy and, given the ages of Rivera and Jeter, the negotiations could be kind of delicate. It’s not really a question of “if” they’ll come back but “how.”
The “how” for at least one of those guys is clearing up, however, as Mariano Rivera told Joel Sherman of the New York Post recently that he would accept an Andy Pettitte-style one-year deal to come back. You figure that he’d take a series of them, actually, with the Yankees continuing to offer them for as long as Rivera remains effective. Which, at present, seems will be forever.
Probably good news for Yankees fans. Everyone knows that Jeter will get a big deal that, at the end of the day, will probably be for too much money. No one really cares about that actually. Rivera was probably a source of slightly greater concern inasmuch as it was within the realm of the possible that he’d demand multiple years and the Yankees would balk, at least initially.
As of now, that seems to be a moot point.
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.