Giants 6, Phillies 5: Buster. Posey. Just a 4 for 5 night with a key defensive play behind the plate. Thank God he fixed all of those shortcomings that kept him in the minors back in April and May. Juan Uribe had a walkoff sac fly. Thank God his wrist was well enough to play. And what happened to Charlie Manuel and Bruce Bochy? Bochy had been pretty solid in this playoffs so far, but I felt like pulling Bumgarner as early as he did was strange. Manuel too seemed to be all antsy, pulling Jose Contreras after he faced only one hitter and using Oswalt in the ninth when he has a closer in Brad Lidge who has been pitching well. But ultimately those are quibbles. This may not have been the best-played or best-managed game of the playoffs — indeed, it may have been far from it — but it may have been the playoffs’ most entertaining game. Now all that stands between the Giants and the World Series is Roy Halladay.
Yankees 7, Rangers 2: The Bombers finally found their boomsticks. And the Rangers — who told fans yesterday afternoon that they could meet the team back at the airport in Dallas after they arrive following the game — were maybe caught looking ahead. Worse, Nelson Cruz had to leave the game early with a tight hamstring. It’s still their series to lose, I think — they have Cliff Lee in their back pocket after all — but if they drop Game 6 on Friday, you have to wonder if there will be enough crowbars in all of Texas to pry loose the clenched orifices of the Rangers and their fans.
Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.
His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …
It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?
Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.
Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.
Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.
Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.
Here’s a pretty good way to finally break out of that turkey-induced Thanksgiving tryptophan coma.
It’s a compilation of the 10 longest home runs from the 2015 season, with MLB.com’s Statcast technology providing data along the path of each blast …
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.