The Rockies just announced that they have traded Marco Scutaro and cash considerations to the Giants for infielder Charlie Culberson. Yes, Brian Sabean loves his veteran middle infielders.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post notes that Scutaro is owed $2.2 million for the rest of the season before hitting free agency, but it’s not known how much of his remaining salary the Rockies are covering.
Scutaro, 36, is hitting .271/.324/.361 with four homers, 30 RBI, seven stolen bases and a .684 OPS in 94 games played this year. Coming into play tonight, he had a .794 OPS at home compared to a lowly .570 OPS on the road. He figures to be worked into the mix at either second base or shortstop. It’s even possible he could play some third base if Pablo Sandoval is placed on the disabled list, though he hasn’t played there since 2008 with the Blue Jays.
Culberson was a supplemental first-round pick of the Giants back in 2007. The 23-year-old second baseman had his first cup of the coffee in the big leagues earlier this season and is a .258/.309/.379 hitter over parts of six seasons in the minors. He was ranked as the organization’s No. 11 prospect by Baseball America during the offseason.
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.