7:15 p.m. EST update: The Yankees have also been in touch with the Mets regarding Niese, though they’d seem to be unlikely trading partners. The rivals haven’t done a deal together since swapping left-handed relievers Mike Stanton and Felix Heredia in 2004.
7:10 p.m. EST update: Sherman reports that the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rockies and Padres are all making pushes for Niese, who would fit in as a nice No. 4 starter on a contender.
The Mets won’t part with David Wright, but everyone else on the roster is available, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. That lists includes first baseman Ike Davis and left-hander Jon Niese.
While a Davis trade is considered a big long shot, the Mets have discussed Niese with a few teams, Sherman reports. As a legitimate middle-of-the-rotation option still four months away from free agency, Niese would be attractive to pretty much every team looking for pitching. The 25-year-old is 22-23 with a 4.39 ERA since debuting with the Mets in 2009. He missed the final five weeks of last season, but since it was an intercostal strain, not an arm problem, that’s not likely to scare teams off.
The Mets are also perfectly willing to move Jason Bay, but according to Sherman, they’re not getting any hits on him.
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.