Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki haven’t been in the Rockies’ lineup together since September 13 and that won’t change until next year.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Gonzalez has been shut down for the season with a wrist injury and Tulowitzki is “available only in an emergency” due to hip problems. And since there aren’t many emergencies for a sub-.500 team playing the final series of the season with an expanded roster he might as well be shut down too.
Gonzalez got off to a slow start and wasn’t able to duplicate his monster 2010 production, seeing his OPS drop nearly 100 points while missing 35 games, but if you take his rough April out of the equation Gonzalez hit .311 with a .962 OPS in 103 games from May 1 on. Last season he hit .336 with a .974 OPS in 145 games overall.
Tulowitzki’s production has remained steady for the past three seasons, with OPS totals of .930, .949, and .916. Coors Field obviously boosts his raw numbers considerably, but during that three-year span his .931 OPS ranks eighth among all MLB hitters and first among shortstops by nearly 70 points over Hanley Ramirez.
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.