People have been hinting at the idea all week, and now it seems close to becoming a reality.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “all signs” are indicating that Bobby Valentine is going to become the next manager of the Brewers.
Valentine was interviewed for a variety of managing gigs this fall, and even appeared to be the front-runner for the Marlins’ job at one point, but talks fell through on all fronts and most believe that the stalled negotiations had to do with money. Specifically, Bobby V’s demands — a $10 million contract extended over three years.
The Brewers draw well and have a dedicated fanbase, but spending $3 million on a skipper seems misguided. That money would be better served in the back pocket of a reliable back-end starter. Or, heck, a front-end starter.
But let’s focus on some of the positives here. Valentine has a 1117-1072 career managerial record over 15 years with the Phillies and Mets and he’ll bring a higher media profile to the Brewers. There’s a load of talent in place for him in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros and Pirates have proven themselves plenty beatable. We’ll see about those Redlegs.
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.