Well, lookie here: Jon Heyman of SI.com hears that the Phillies are making a “big push” to keep free agent outfielder Jayson Werth.
No, Werth isn’t going to sign tomorrow or anything, but Heyman also refers to Ruben Amaro’s comments from earlier this afternoon, when the Phils’ GM indicated that he would like to know relatively soon whether they have a realistic shot at re-signing the outfielder. But do those comments mean that the Phillies are making a “big push” to keep him? I must have missed that.
I realize that Amaro has other priorities, mainly adding a couple pieces to his bullpen and possibly finding a right-handed hitting outfielder, but would it really hurt to hang around in the background just in case Werth can’t get his “Matt Holliday money” this winter? Honestly, I don’t see why the Phillies have to go after a right-handed platoon partner for rookie Domonic Brown or Raul Ibanez when they already have a pretty competent (and cheap) one in Ben Francisco. They can afford to wait there.
Just in case you forgot that Werth’s agent is Scott Boras, Heyman reminds us that a quick deal is “not likely.” You think? Why do I have the funny feeling that we’ll still be talking about this guy until early January?
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.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.