Ryan Howard

NLDS Phillies-Cardinals Game 3 Live Blog


8:21: Theriot bounces out to second base to end it. The Phillies win the ballgame 3-2 and take a 2-1 lead over the Cardinals in the NLDS.

The Phillies will attempt to advance to the NLCS tomorrow night when Roy Oswalt goes up against Edwin Jackson.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and stay tuned for a recap.

8:18: Molina delivers with an RBI single to bring the score to 3-2. Ryan Theriot, who is 4-4 on the day, will come to the plate. Kyle Lohse is running for Molina here.

8:17: David Freese grounds out to second base for the second out. Pujols moves over to third. Last licks for the Cards with Yadier Molina coming to the plate.

8:13: Berkman flies out to center field. One away for David Freese, who had an RBI single in his last at-bat.

8:11: Pujols leads off with a double. He’s 4-for-5 with three doubles tonight. Lance Berkman will come up as the tying run. Edge-of-your-seat stuff here.

8:09: Madson strikes out to end the inning. It’s 3-1 Phillies as we move to the bottom of the ninth.

Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and David Freese are due to bat against Madson.

8:06: They got it right. After the umpires huddled together, it was ruled as a catch. Nicely done.

8:04: Human element alert! Skip Schumaker, who came on to play center field for Jon Jay, just caught that fly ball by Carlos Ruiz, but it was ruled as a trap by Jerry Meals.

7:58: Oh boy, did the Phillies just get out of a pickle. Madson induces the double play ground ball on Craig to end the inning. Huge. It’s 3-1 Phillies as we move to the top of the ninth.

7:54: High drama in St. Louis.

Rafael Furcal dumps a single into to left after one heck of an at-bat against Brad Lidge. Allen Craig will come to the plate with the bases loaded and one out, but he’ll face closer Ryan Madson. By the way, Madson hasn’t had more than a three-out save all season.

7:49: Holliday reaches with a pinch-hit single to right field. Runners on first and second for leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal. Adron Chambers pinch runs for Holliday.

7:48: Fans chanting “Albert Pujols” at Brad Lidge as he enters the ballgame.

7:46: Punto skies it to center field for the first out. As expected, Charlie Manuel will bring in Brad Lidge to face Matt Holliday.

7:43: Tony La Russa counters, as Nick Punto comes up to hit for Jon Jay.

7:41: Theriot leads off with a single. He’s 4-for-4 on the day. Here comes Charlie Manuel with the hook. Antonio Bastardo is coming in to face Jon Jay. By the way, Matt Holliday is on deck in the pitcher’s spot. We’ll likely see Brad Lidge after the at-bat with Jay.

7:37: Salas sits the Phillies down in order in the top of the eighth. Interestingly, Vance Worley is headed back out there for another inning, though Brad Lidge and Antonio Bastardo are staying warm in the bullpen.

7:34: Fernando Salas on for the Cardinals in the eighth, as Jaime Garcia is done for the day. He allowed three runs on six hits over seven innings while striking out three and walking two.

7:30: Worley gets Yadier Molina to fly out to right field to end the threat. It’s 3-1 Phillies as we move to the top of the eighth inning in St. Louis.

7:28: The Cardinals are on the board. Freese delivers with an RBI single to cut the Phillies’ lead to 3-1. First and second with two outs for Yadier Molina.

7:27: Berkman hits a ground ball to Utley, who cuts down Pujols at second base. Smart play. First and third with two outs for David Freese, who has had a rough day at the plate.

7:25: Pujols dumps a single into shallow right field. The Cardinals will bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Lance Berkman.

7:24: Vance Worley issues a one-out walk to Allen Craig. Here comes Albert Pujols, who has two doubles on the day.

7:18: Jimmy Rollins stole third base after reaching on a double over the head of Jon Jay, but Garcia was able to get Chase Utley to ground out to end the inning. Still, the damage is done. It’s 3-0 Phillies as we move to the bottom of the seventh in St. Louis.

7:14: Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Ben Francisco delivers with a pinch-hit three-run blast. And Busch Stadium is rendered silent.

7:12: Now the Cardinals are walking Ruiz with first base open to pitch to Ben Francisco, who is pinch hitting for Cole Hamels. Don’t like this for the Cardinals.

7:09: Berkman catches the low liner from Mayberry and Victorino is nearly doubled off at second base. Phew, that was close.

7:08: Molina makes a rare mistake by losing a ball in the dirt, so Victorino advances to second base.

7:06: Leadoff single for Shane Victorino to begin the top of the seventh.

7:02: The walk works for the Phillies, as Garcia strikes out swinging to end the sixth. Hamels now has eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings, but with 117 pitches under his belt, he’s almost certainly done for the day.

6:58: Jon Jay draws a walk. Don’t want to count Jaime Garcia out here, but at least the Cardinals could have their leadoff hitter up in the seventh.

Vance Worley is warming up for the Phillies as Hamels is now at 112 pitches.

6:57: Two-out single by Ryan Theriot. He has three of the Cardinals’ five hits this afternoon.

6:53: We have a streaker in St. Louis! Don’t get too excited. It’s just a squirrel. Best part was the fan trying to grab it. It’s not a foul ball, dude.

6:46: Howard makes contact this time, but grounds out harmlessly to first base to end the inning. Garcia has six scoreless innings under his belt, but isn’t getting any help from his offense.

6:44: Interesting. Garcia walking Pence with first base open to pitch to Ryan Howard with two outs. Howard has struck out in his first two at-bats today.

6:42: Dick Stockton pronounces Jaime Garcia like “Jamey.” Cringe.

6:40: “Looks like Dave could use a little floss.” – Bob Brenly on Cardinals’ pitching Dave Duncan.

6:37: Hamels gave that one a ride to the opposite field, but Allen Craig was able to catch up to it for the first out of the inning. Nice running grab.

6:35: Hamels escapes by getting Berkman on a groundout. Another opportunity missed for the Cardinals, as we’re scoreless through five innings. Hamels is at 86 pitches, by the way.

6:32: Pujols sends another one to the right-center field gap. His second two-out double of the ballgame.

6:27: Do I really need to say it? Another 1-2-3 inning for Jaime Garcia. The southpaw has allowed just two hits over five scoreless frames, throwing 39 out of 51 pitches for strikes. Still no score.

6:23: The birthday boy Tony La Russa is in a much better mood tonight than he was Sunday. After the fine this week, he says his jaws are “wired shut.” Garcia has thrown 31 out of 39 pitches for strikes to begin the fifth, so little to complain about, really.

6:19: The Phillies give the intentional pass to Jon Jay in order to pitch to Jaime Garcia, who hits a broken-bat ground ball to end the inning. We’re scoreless through four innings in St. Louis.

6:16: Theriot power! He reaches on a chopper down the third base line that traveled about 45 feet.

6:14: Is Rich Dubee wearing a calculator watch? It would be sweet if he was. Those things were awesome in the 80s.

6:10: Here’s a very fun read on why Tony La Russa decided to play Lance Berkman in right field today. Hat-tip to Bill of the Platoon Advantage.

6:08: Garcia cruises through another 1-2-3 inning. He has thrown 31 out of 39 pitches for strikes over four scoreless innings.

6:02: Hamels dances around a walk to Allen Craig to make it out of the third. Sorry, had to do it.

6:00: I’m convinced that mentioning these tidbits like “Player X is 3-for-9 lifetime against Player Y” is just a way for broadcasters to kill time.

5:57: “Only one win in his last eight starts” – Dick Stockton about Cole Hamels. Is this supposed to mean something?

5:51: Utley grounds out to Albert Pujols to end the threat. We’re scoreless going into the bottom of the third. Despite the two hits, Garcia only threw 11 pitches in that inning.

5:49: Not sure Jon Jay ever saw that liner from Jimmy Rollins, but he probably didn’t have a realistic shot at it, anyway. Here’s Utley with runners on first and second and two away.

5:47: I blinked the Phillies already have one out. Do they have dinner reservations or something?

5:46: All-time career OPS reference on the TBS broadcast. Silly “Moneyball” stats.

5:43: Hamels makes it through the second inning unscathed, but has already thrown 39 pitches.

5:41: Jon Jay strikes out looking with a pitch off the outside corner. Has La Russa complained about the strike zone yet?

5:37: Ryan Theriot with a one-out single. And he dove head-first into first base, just for the heck of it. Ok, not really.

5:34: And…Yadier Molina narrowly misses a home run down the left field line.

5:30: And he gets Mayberry swinging, as well. Garcia has thrown 19 pitches over two scoreless innings so far this afternoon.

5:25: Howard goes down swinging to begin the top of the second inning.

5:20: The Cards catch the Phillies off guard with a double-steal. Interesting considering Pujols’ recent heel injury. Turns out it doesn’t matter much as Freese strikes out to end the inning.

5:19: Berkman hit on the foot by the pitch. Runners on first and second now for David Freese.

5:18: Albert Pujols sends one to the right-center field gap for a two-out double. Here comes Berkman.

5:14: These shadows are intense, but I’m not sure anything could be worse than Saturday afternoon in Milwaukee. Yovani Gallardo was excellent, but the sun definitely helped him against those Diamondbacks hitters.

5:12: Rangers-Rays update: Desmond Jennings grounds out to second base to end it. Rangers win 4-3 and are headed to the ALCS. Ok, no more flipping back and forth.

5:10: Hunter Pence lines out to Rafael Furcal to end a 1-2-3 first inning for Jaime Garcia. Up come the Cardinals.

5:08: After taking a first-pitch strike to begin the ballgame, Jimmy Rollins is retired on a foul pop-up to Albert Pujols.

5:07: Craig Sager is neon. That is all.

5:04: I know this is a Phillies-Cardinals thread, but I’m still keeping an eye on Rangers-Rays. The Rays are down to their final two outs against Neftali Feliz.

5:02: Awkward intro there on the telecast. Must be distracted by all those white rally towels. Have I ever told you how much I hate rally towels?

5:00 p.m. ET: After splitting the first two games in Philadelphia, the Phillies and Cardinals will play Game 3 of the NLDS this afternoon/evening in St. Louis.

Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA) is on the mound for the Cardinals while Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA) starts for the Phillies.

I’ll be dropping some of my random thoughts and observations here throughout the ballgame. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section.

Looking for lineups? We have you covered right here.

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.