Two years removed from playing his final major league game with the Twins, Joe Crede still hasn’t been able to get his back fixed and is no longer holding out hope of resuming his major league career.
Back at U.S. Cellular being honored by the White Sox on Tuesday, Crede talked to CSNChicago.com about his ordeal:
I’ve been going to doctors trying to figure out what’s going on back there. I don’t know. I just don’t really have a good enough answer. I’m kind of at a loss for words with it. How many doctors can you see about it and still feel the same way? That’s another frustrating thing about it for me, is seeing some of the top doctors supposedly in the world and still having my back feel the same way. I’ve just kind of learned to deal with it and move on. That’s life.
Crede debuted with the White Sox as a 22-year-old in 2000 and made an All-Star team with the club 2008, but he wasn’t re-signed after that season because of his chronic back troubles. He didn’t play in more than 100 games in any of his final three seasons. At age 33, he signed a minor league deal with the Rockies this spring, initially declined to report, later chose to report and then didn’t make the team.
It eats at me everyday almost. Everyday I get out of bed. I have to get up in the middle of the night and I feel that pain again in my back. It really bothers me. It usually takes me an hour, or an hour and a half to get back to feeling normal walking around. It’s what I deal with on a daily basis.
Barring a miracle, Crede is now out of the game for good. A solid regular for the White Sox in the middle part of the decade, he hit .254/.304/.444 with 140 homers in 888 games. He had his best season in 2006, batting .283/.323/.506 with 30 homers and 94 RBI en route to a Silver Slugger award.
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.