Imagine two families holding garage sales across the street from one another. Sunday afternoon rolls around and all the good stuff is long gone, most of the decent stuff is sold too, and only a few beat up, worn out, and largely undesirable items remain.
Someone from the first family yells across the street to the second family and says, “Hey, I’ll give you all my leftover junk for all your leftover junk.”
After thinking about it, someone from the second family replies: “OK, whatever. We were just going to throw it all out anyway, I guess.”
In related news, Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Rockies have traded Jeremy Guthrie and his 6.35 ERA to the Royals for Jonathan Sanchez and his 7.76 ERA.
For weeks now the Rockies have made no secret about wanting to rid themselves of Guthrie, believing he’s particularly ill-suited for Coors Field. And last week the Royals mercifully designated Sanchez for assignment after he was the worst pitcher in baseball for a dozen starts, likely only sticking with him for that long because they traded Melky Cabrera to get him this offseason.
Guthrie was a solid, durable mid-rotation starter for the Orioles as recently as last season, so it makes plenty of sense that the Royals be willing to take on his $8.2 million contract in exchange for Sanchez’s $5.6 million deal. Sanchez hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2010 and words can’t do justice to how awful he’s been this season, but from the Rockies’ point of view at least he’s the junk from across the street and once upon a time had some upside.
The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.
After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.
But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.
- They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
- They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
- They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
- They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.
The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.
Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.