Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun reports that the Blue Jays have inquired about Zack Greinke.
Interesting. No one knows if Toronto is one of the 20 teams for which Greinke has no-trade protection this year (it goes down to 15 next year). On the one hand, Toronto is a giant city, so maybe it’s somewhere Greinke — who has suffered from anxiety disorder — wouldn’t want to go. On the other hand, since he wouldn’t be playing for the Leafs, it’s not like he’d have 25 microphones shoved in his face after every game. For all of its size, Toronto is more of a smallish town in baseball terms. And of course, none of that may matter a bit because the only people who know the specifics with respect to Greinke’s history with anxiety are him, his wife, his doctor and probably the Royals. It may be that he wants to avoid places like New York because he’s averse to good deli food, not because of the size and bustle of the place. We’re all just guessing.
As for what it might take to land Greinke, it was reported yesterday that Dayton Moore is asking for “two can’t-miss prospects,” one of whom should be a pitcher with Greinke’s ceiling. The Blue Jays have one of those in Kyle Drabek, but that seems like an awfully steep price to pay for a guy who is going to cost $13 million and only be guaranteed to be around for two more seasons.
But hey, the Royals are wheelin’ and dealing already, so maybe something happens with Greinke soon too.
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.