In the Rotoworld Draft Guide — which you should totally buy now — I wrote an article ranking the top transactions of the offseason. I included the Mets hiring of Sandy Alderson in the top 10. It was the only non-player signing I mentioned. I mentioned it for good reason. Stuff like what the Daily News is reporting about how he has totally revamped the scouting department:
In contrast to Omar Minaya’s method of assigning pro scouts to a large number of major league teams (special assistant Bryan Lambe, for example, covered the entire National League last year), Alderson’s Mets will charge each pro scout with covering just three organizations, but far more comprehensively than before – from the low minor leagues to the major league club. J.P. Ricciardi will oversee their work.
“I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way to do it, but this gives you a little more continuity,” Ricciardi said. “Getting guys on a system, from A-ball to Double-A to Triple-A, gives you a better understanding of what the organization is doing.”
I don’t believe for a second that anyone as famously, um, confident as J.P. Ricciardi believes that there isn’t a right way and a wrong way and that he isn’t now in charge of the right way.
And I can’t help but think that giving guys less breadth of responsibility but greater depth will help improve the Mets’ scouting operation.
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.