Game 3 on Saturday night will always be remembered for Albert Pujols’ ridiculous performance, but in the short term, it may be more significant for what it meant for the starting pitchers — Kyle Lohse and Matt Harrison — each of whom was terrible. It’s significant because this series has all of the hallmarks of a seven-game affair, and if we reach a Game 7 Lohse and Harrison are slated to meet up again.
The Rangers don’t seem to have any other ideas or options if that happens. Given Tony La Russa’s penchant for tinkering it’s always possible that he’d throw Jake Westbrook or a short-rest starter or Rick Honeycutt or someone out there instead of Lohse. According to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch La Russa has not yet committed to anything but the sense at the moment is that it will be Lohse — on a short leash — who gets the call.
Of course, the way this series has gone so far, we’re just as likely to see dueling perfect games from Lohse and Harrison as we are a five-hour empty-the-bullpen affair. Did I mention that I love this World Series so far?
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.