Another day, another candidate drops out out the running for the Orioles’ general manager job. Nice to know you can still count on something in this cruel, cruel world.
Earlier this morning we learned that the Orioles planned to ask permission to interview Red Sox vice president of player personnel and pro scouting Allard Baird. Well, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that while the former Royals’ GM was “tempted by the idea” of joining forces with O’s manager Buck Showalter, he didn’t want to leave new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.
Just to bring us up to date, that means the O’s have been turned down by Baird, Jerry Dipoto, Tony LaCava and DeJon Watson.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun brings word that former Expos and Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette did interview for the job today, most likely under his own free will, and the Orioles have received permission to speak with Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. Meanwhile, Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock and Orioles director of player development John Stockstill remain in the mix.
For what it’s worth, Connolly speculates that Duquette must be considered the favorite for the gig based on what the Orioles were originally seeking (a warm and willing body?) in a candidate. Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com hears that the Orioles were hoping to make a decision by Monday, though that seems a little on the quick side now.
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.