Giants 9, Rangers 0: Aaron has the gory details of the bottom of the eighth inning here, and covers just about everything important about this game. I’ll simply add that watching Ron Washington manage the Rangers’ bullpen in the postseason has been like watching Richie Tennebaum against Gandhi at the U.S. Nationals tournament. All I can think is that Washington’s adopted sister married Raleigh St. Clair yesterday, throwing him off his game, leading to all of these unforced errors.
On the bright side: Nelson Cruz got to two or three balls in right field in the early innings that Vladimir Guerrero wouldn’t have. If not for that substitution, it probably would have been 4-0 Giants heading into that eighth inning. Though, no, I don’t presume that makes Rangers fans feel any better.
I suppose the smart money has the Rangers being written off now. I can’t say I’d bet against it. But there’s hope. Hope in the form of the Giants throwing out two lefties in the next two games in Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner. Hope in that the Rangers have a lot of righthanded firepower and shouldn’t be as feeble in Games 3 and 4 as they were last night. Hope in that, should Colby Lewis falter, Neftali Feliz on seven days rest should be able to go five innings or more.
Oh, wait. That just brings us back to Washington. Who will still be managing that pen. Yeah, maybe we should just write Texas off now.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.