UPDATE: First Adrian Beltre and the Rangers had a deal. Then they didn’t. Then a deal was imminent. Now it’s not again:
Club officials are not particularly optimistic that something will get down with third baseman Adrian Beltre. That deal seems unlikely give the tenor of feeling on Monday but things could change.
The weird thing about this is that neither side of these conflicting reports is openly refuting the other. Usually we see “So-and-so said a deal was close, but a team source says that’s not the case.” Not on this. Here it’s like we have two alternate realities existing in which Adrian Beltre is close to signing and not at all close to signing and they are totally unaware of the other.
Maybe we’re in a Star Trek: TNG episode. They used to encounter that kind of thing all the time. If only we can somehow communicate with our alternate selves, we could solve this crisis! I suggest doing something with a tachyon field. Or perhaps reconfiguring the deflector dish. If we need more power, we can just divert some from the main shields. Yes, I know that leaves us vulnerable in the event of an attack, but how likely is that to occur? We’re on a research mission for crying out loud!
11:05 AM: Enrique Rojas of ESPN reports that “an agreement appears imminent,” between Adrian Beltre and the Rangers.
We are in grain of salt territory here however. Why? because yesterday there were reports that a deal was done, but those were walked back by U.S. writers, presumably with Rangers sources, who say that there are conversations but nothing close to being done. Rojas’ new report cites those reports from the Dominican Republic yesterday, but it is bylined from ten minutes ago. Is he reporting something new pointing to an imminent deal, or did an ESPN editor jump the gun or misread Rojas’ latest dispatch as the latest news when he was really reporting on yesterday’s now discredited reports? And if it is the latter, why no acknowledgments of the debunkings from earlier today? Hurm.
Rojas is good, though. If there’s a deal in place, it would not shock me in the least if he had it first. It seems like player-sourced news tends to beat team-sourced news with this sort of thing anyway.
Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.
deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.
In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.
Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.
deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.
Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.
Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.
For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per MLB.com’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.
The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.
Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.
Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.
With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.
Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.