Rockies stun Cardinals with nine in 9th, win 12-9

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It was an inning for the ages. Down 9-3, the Rockies came through with nine runs against Dennys Reyes and Ryan Franklin to beat the Cardinals on Tuesday night.
The inning started innocently enough. Miguel Olivo singled to open it against Reyes, but Seth Smith followed with a lineout. Another single and a walk followed, with Olivo scoring on a passed ball on the walk.
That led to Franklin, the Cardinals’ closer, being brought into a 9-4 game. It seemed like the safe play, what with Franklin sporting a 2.16 ERA on the year and not having worked in four days.
The Rockies, though, weren’t about to go quietly. Chris Iannetta immediately hit a three-run bomb. It was just the second homer surrendered by Franklin this year and the fourth in 94 1/3 innings since the beginning of 2009.
With the score 9-7, but the bases again empty, the Cardinals still had to be feeling pretty confident. However, Dexter Fowler doubled to start another rally. After a Brad Hawpe groundout, Carlos Gonzalez singled in Fowler from third. 9-8.
After that, it was Jason Giambi’s turn. He lined a ball to right that should have put runners on the corners. No one told Gonzalez that, though. With Randy Winn playing an inch in front of the wall in right, he raced all of the way around to score from first on a single. 9-9.
Giambi was removed for a pinch-runner. In this case, pitcher Aaron Cook. Olivo came up for the second time in the inning and delivered his second single. That gave Smith another chance, and the guy who made the first out of the inning launched a walkoff homer. 12-9 Rockies.
It was the largest ninth-inning comeback in Rockies history, and it left Colorado and St. Louis with identical 45-38 records this season.
Give a ton of credit to Iannetta, who has managed to stay sharp despite limited action of late. The Rockies are usually loathe to use their backup catcher off the bench, so Iannetta had played just once this month. He entered tonight’s game as a pinch-hitter, played an inning of third base for just the second time in his career and then hit his fifth homer of the year in his second at-bat. He’s homered in three of his last five appearances.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.