Roy Oswalt was far from unhittable tonight. In fact, he gave up a home run to Brandon Phillips, the very first batter of the game. It’s all good, though, because the Reds forgot to bring their gloves to the ballpark.
The Reds matched a Division Series record with four errors, handing the Phillies to a 7-4 victory and a 2-0 advantage in the NLDS. You wouldn’t know it, but the Reds were tied with the Padres for the least errors in the league (72) during the regular season. Going further, Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce are three of the finest defenders in all of baseball at their respective positions, yet they all committed errors tonight. Phillips, who went 3-for-4 and finished a triple short of the cycle, had two of them.
The Phillies will gladly take it, though. Just like Chase Utley took first base against Aroldis Chapman on a questionable hit-by-pitch call by home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman in the decisive three-run seventh inning. Utley barely reacted to the pitch, so we’re not talking about a Jeter situation here, but after the game, the second baseman was pretty candid with reporters, saying he wasn’t sure if he was actually hit with the ball. That’ll happen with a 102 mph fastball, I’m sure, but replays indicate they definitely caught a break. Again, the Phillies will gladly take it.
At least the Reds get to return home for Game 3 on Sunday, but they are staring elimination in the face.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.