Boras thinking

Is Scott Boras “controlling the process” in Carlos Beltran trade talks?

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Strange tweet from Buster Olney a little while ago.  He says that the Cleveland Indians have walked away from talks with the Mets over Carlos Beltran because they are convinced that Beltan’s agent — Scott Boras — is “controlling the process.”

Hmm.  On the one hand, if there is an agent who would try to control the process, it would be Boras.  On the other hand, this could be Cleveland’s way of voicing displeasure over talks that weren’t going the way they liked. Maybe they’re using Boras as a handy excuse. Such a cover story would certainly help quell any fan grumbling if and when the Indians fail to land a bat at the deadline.

One thing that has occurred to me, however, is that if Boras is controlling the process somehow, it may make a possible trade to Atlanta complicated.  The Braves were already thought to be heavily involved in trade talks, and you’d figure their interest would only intensify now that they’ve lost their best hitter for an extended period.  However, the Braves’ front office happens to have some pretty negative feelings for Scott Boras.  Current GM Frank Wren less than John Schuerholz used to have — Schuerholz reportedly vowed to never deal with Boras again — but it’s not like Schuerholz isn’t still hanging around the office.

Probably much ado about nothing — Boras is an easy boogeyman — but interesting all the same.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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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 clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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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.